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Cause of "dirty" brussel Sprouts



 
 
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  #1  
Old 16-12-2002, 04:38 PM
John Towill
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Default Cause of "dirty" brussel Sprouts

I have grown some healthy looking and large brussel sprouts plants. However
the sprouts themselves need a lot of preparation as they have what seems
like dirt inside, indeed some are so badly infected as to be useless. When
cleaned and cooked they are delicious, however it would be nice to be able
to prepare them easily. Especially on Boxing Day when there are 16 for
dinner!

Apart from cabbage butterfly caterpillars they seemed free from problems.
Any ideas of what it might be, and the prevention for next year?
TIA
John T


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  #2  
Old 16-12-2002, 05:22 PM
Sue & Bob Hobden
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Default Cause of "dirty" brussel Sprouts


"John wrote in message
I have grown some healthy looking and large brussel sprouts plants.

However
the sprouts themselves need a lot of preparation as they have what seems
like dirt inside, indeed some are so badly infected as to be useless.

When
cleaned and cooked they are delicious, however it would be nice to be able
to prepare them easily. Especially on Boxing Day when there are 16 for
dinner!

Apart from cabbage butterfly caterpillars they seemed free from problems.
Any ideas of what it might be, and the prevention for next year?


The ones at the bottom of the stems do occasionally get dirt in them if it's
been raining hard and splashing the dirt on them. Try some further up the
stems if you have only tried ones from the bottom.
Other than that aphids do attack sprouts and you then get sooty mould
growing on the "honeydew" (aphid excrement) which is nice and sweet. Are
your sprouts sweet? :-)
--
Bob

www.pooleygreengrowers.org.uk/ about an Allotment site in
Runnymede fighting for it's existence.


  #3  
Old 16-12-2002, 05:42 PM
Kay Easton
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Default Cause of "dirty" brussel Sprouts

In article , John Towill
writes
I have grown some healthy looking and large brussel sprouts plants. However
the sprouts themselves need a lot of preparation as they have what seems
like dirt inside, indeed some are so badly infected as to be useless. When
cleaned and cooked they are delicious, however it would be nice to be able
to prepare them easily. Especially on Boxing Day when there are 16 for
dinner!

Apart from cabbage butterfly caterpillars they seemed free from problems.
Any ideas of what it might be, and the prevention for next year?


Caterpillar droppings?
--
Kay Easton

Edward's earthworm page:
http://www.scarboro.demon.co.uk/garden/
  #4  
Old 16-12-2002, 06:10 PM
Rod
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Default Cause of "dirty" brussel Sprouts


"John Towill" wrote in message
...
I have grown some healthy looking and large brussel sprouts plants.

However
the sprouts themselves need a lot of preparation as they have what seems
like dirt inside, indeed some are so badly infected as to be useless.

When
cleaned and cooked they are delicious, however it would be nice to be able
to prepare them easily. Especially on Boxing Day when there are 16 for
dinner!

Sounds like grey aphids and the mould on the honeydew they secrete + debris
from cast aphid skins. Not much you can do except be very vigilant early in
the growing season and remove any patches of aphids you see and in extremis
discard badly infested young plants.......oh and don't kill wasp nests
they're valuable predators.

Rod


  #5  
Old 16-12-2002, 09:39 PM
Mary Fisher
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Default Cause of "dirty" brussel Sprouts


"Rod" wrote in message
...


Sounds like grey aphids and the mould on the honeydew they secrete +

debris
from cast aphid skins.


I'd agree with that, from my own experience.

What I'd like to know is how the aphids get into the very, I mean very,
tight buttons I'm so proud of. It takes ages peeling off the outer leaves
until I stop seeing the blighters and their deposits.

It's worth it though, the sprouts are really delicious.

And sweet :-)

Mary


  #6  
Old 16-12-2002, 10:11 PM
Rod
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Default Cause of "dirty" brussel Sprouts


"Mary Fisher" wrote in message
t...

"Rod" wrote in message
...


Sounds like grey aphids and the mould on the honeydew they secrete +

debris
from cast aphid skins.


I'd agree with that, from my own experience.

What I'd like to know is how the aphids get into the very, I mean very,
tight buttons I'm so proud of. It takes ages peeling off the outer leaves
until I stop seeing the blighters and their deposits.

It's worth it though, the sprouts are really delicious.

And sweet :-)

Mary

They're present at a very early stage in growth and seem to stay in the
tight parts of the plant - look carefully at any slightly yellowy crumply
looking growing points even as early as 2 true leaf stage. The distorted
growth is symptomatic of viruses carried by the aphids. Well fed otherwise
healthy plants outgrow the virus if the aphid infestation is not too bad.
Also look carefully at patches of aphids and see they don't get everything
their way - you'll see aphids parasitized by small wasps (chalcid group
iirc)
Unless I'm missing something the choice you have to make is possible
pesticide residues v some disfigurement by aphids.
Since sprouts will be on many minds at this time it's probably worth
mentioning that some breeders like Marshalls are selling varieties low in
the mustard oil that make some varieties bitter.

Rod


  #7  
Old 16-12-2002, 10:41 PM
Mary Fisher
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Default Cause of "dirty" brussel Sprouts


"Rod" wrote in message
...


Sounds like grey aphids and the mould on the honeydew they secrete +

debris
from cast aphid skins.


I'd agree with that, from my own experience.

What I'd like to know is how the aphids get into the very, I mean very,
tight buttons I'm so proud of. It takes ages peeling off the outer

leaves
until I stop seeing the blighters and their deposits.

It's worth it though, the sprouts are really delicious.

And sweet :-)

Mary

They're present at a very early stage in growth and seem to stay in the
tight parts of the plant - look carefully at any slightly yellowy crumply
looking growing points even as early as 2 true leaf stage.


My sprouts aren't discoloured or distorted.

Unless I'm missing something the choice you have to make is possible
pesticide residues v some disfigurement by aphids.


The sprouts aren't disfigured and there's no way I'll use pesticides. A bit
more time for preparation isn't a real problem after all. It doesn't take as
long as it would to shop for them.

Mary

Rod




  #8  
Old 16-12-2002, 10:47 PM
Sue & Bob Hobden
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Default Cause of "dirty" brussel Sprouts


"Rod" wrote in message

Since sprouts will be on many minds at this time it's probably worth
mentioning that some breeders like Marshalls are selling varieties low in
the mustard oil that make some varieties bitter.


And T & M too. We grow Trafalgar and Icarus both sweeter sprouts and
together they give us a long season.
The later is only available "mail order" from their catalogue, never seen it
on the Garden Centre shelves.
What is amazing is the number of people that previously hated sprouts that
now, having tasted them, want some of these or grow them themselves.
--
Bob

www.pooleygreengrowers.org.uk/ about an Allotment site in
Runnymede fighting for it's existence.


  #9  
Old 17-12-2002, 05:33 AM
Alan Gould
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Default Cause of "dirty" brussel Sprouts

In article , Mary Fisher
writes
What I'd like to know is how the aphids get into the very, I mean very,
tight buttons I'm so proud of. It takes ages peeling off the outer leaves
until I stop seeing the blighters and their deposits.

This problem can be overcome to some extent by picking the buttons
sooner after they have finished forming up. Very often sprouts are left
on the stem for ages and they become an open invitation to all kinds of
insects looking for fresh greenery in wintertime. Sprout varieties can
be arranged for differing periods of maturity so that button
deterioration on the stem is avoided, or much the same effect can be
achieved by taking off older buttons, thus encouraging more new ones to
form up.
--
Alan & Joan Gould - North Lincs.
  #10  
Old 17-12-2002, 01:54 PM
Rufus
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Default Cause of "dirty" brussel Sprouts


"Bob Hobden" wrote in a message:

The ones at the bottom of the stems do occasionally get dirt in them.


And SLUGS! On checking some Brussels that I had 'carefully prepared
for the pot, I was more than surprised to find a good collection of small,
yellowy green slugs floating on the surface of the water. Not quite as bad
as finding a black widow spider on your grapes I suppose.

Rufus




  #11  
Old 17-12-2002, 08:36 PM
Mary Fisher
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Default Cause of "dirty" brussel Sprouts


"Alan Gould" wrote in message
...

the same effect can be
achieved by taking off older buttons, thus encouraging more new ones to
form up.


I didn't know that - I've never witnessed it. But it's worth thinking about,
thanks.

Mary
--
Alan & Joan Gould - North Lincs.



 




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