I'm constantly being shocked this year by my Brussels sprouts. I've tried growing them before many times. Never successfully. The best I've ever done has been small pea sized sprouts. But this year the plants are huge.
For plants I don't know much about I start by using "How to Grow More Vegetables" by John Jeavons as s guide for plant spacing. But many times experience tells me that his spacings are too close. For instance when you plant onions in a grid 4" is a bit too close to let them really size up well. He says broccoli needs 15". I think 16" is a bare minimum and I currently give them 19" x 24" which gives me a better harvest. This year each Brussels sprout plant was given a 2' by 2' spot which they have totally filled out. Their leaves are now overlapping. I'm glad I didn't follow his 18" suggestion. For those of you who grow Brussels sprouts, what spacing do you use?
I underplanted the middle and the edges with my extra onion plants. I figured they would grow until the Brussels sprouts needed the space then I'd pull them. I really thought the would size up first though. The onions aren't very large. Maybe the size of a very small bunching onion. But any onion now is nice so I'm happy for the harvest. I took out the middle rows. As soon as these are eaten I'll work on the outside rows.
It is exciting to see little sprouts starting to form. If the plants don't have some horrible disaster, it looks I might actually get something this year. Of course it is far from certain. I have two worries. One is that the plants will outgrow their row cover. I suppose I can sew more on if necessary. But I have hordes of white butterflies dancing in my garden. I want to keep them covered. The other issue is where it is growing. That spot gets some serious shade in the fall. Will it have enough light to produce when it needs to?