THE U-Pick GARDEN will be closing August 20th. This will be the last year the garden will be open to the public. Next year I'll be operating as a CSA, supplying about 20 regular customers with weekly boxes. Thank you for your support over the last 8 years, but it's time to try something new.

To get a copy of my book, "How To Grow Vegetables In Sitka, Alaska" just give me a call....The books are $20 plus tax. If you live out of town and want me to mail you a copy, you can mail a check for $25.60 to:

Lori Adams
P O Box 6021
Sitka, Alaska

Down To Earth U-Pick Garden is located at 2103 Sawmill Creek Road in Sitka, Alaska. It is open usually from mid-June through late August. Hours are Monday-Saturday 12:00 to 6:30. On Farmer's Market Saturdays I am not open until 2:00. Children are welcome but may not run through the garden or chase the ducks. If you have any questions you can contact me, Lori Adams, at 907-747-6108 or 907-738-2241. My email address is

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Brussel's Sproutus Giganticus

Brussel's Sprouts plants do really well here in Sitka, but here are a few tips to get the most from your plants.

Brussel's Sprouts form right at the base of each leaf. If the plants are left alone the sprouts at the bottom mature first while the plant continues to grow taller and produce smaller sprouts up the stem, clear to the tippy-top. You will get plenty of sprouts without doing ANYTHING to the plant. However, most of them will be disappointingly small. If you want larger sprouts I suggest the following:

1. As sprouts begin to form at the base of the leaves, remove some of the lowest leaves every other week or so by either snapping them off sideways or cutting them off with a knife. Removing excess leaves channels more energy into growing sprouts rather than leaves.

However, be sure not to remove more than 1/3 of the leaves at any one time or the plant will become stressed and production could actually be negatively affected.

2. Sometime in September it's a good idea to "top" the plants by pinching out the growing tip.

Topping plants stops them from growing taller and producing more sprouts, and lets the plant concentrate on plumping up the sprouts that are already on the plant. Interestingly enough, topping the plants seem to cause the upper sprouts to get bigger than the lower sprouts!

If you do these two things you will be amazed at how big your sprouts will get! But don't let them get too big before you harvest them... or they could get loose and tough on you if you're not careful. Some of mine got really huge this year!  Look at this one....

Fortunately it was tightly knit, tender, and delicious!

Remember, Brussel's Sprouts taste best after the first don't eat them all now! In fact, not many people realize that these plants are not merely hibernating right now....they are actually STILL GROWING, so any sprouts you've left outside will continue to plump up for the next few months!

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