FACTORS AFFECING THE MATURITY DATE OF BRUSSELS SPROUTS GROWN FOR SINGLE-PICK HARVESTS
Approximately 40, 000 acres of Brussels Sprouts are grown annually in Great Britain. The major portion of this area is grown for the fresh vegetable market. Until quite recently Brussels Sprouts have been regarded as a winter vegetable. During the five seasons 1960/61–1964/65, a period before mechanical harvesting became established, the average quantities of Brussels sprouts harvested each month rose sharply from August to November, approximately 80% of the total crop being marketed during November and December (Ellis, P.G., 1967). This pattern of marketing is largely attributable to the methods of harvesting where a number of picks are taken from each plant as the sprouts reach marketable size. Using traditional spacing and varieties the majority of the sprouts matured in October, November, December. Jones, A.G., et al. (1964) demonstrated this pattern in variety trials carried out in 1964 where the major portion of a crop of Evesham and Bedfordshire types was harvested during the period late October to December. In recent years the expansion of vegetable sales through supermarkets and chain stores has resulted in a demand for a constant supply of Brussels sprouts from August until February. This demand has coincided with the development of mechanical harvesting machinery using destructive harvesting techniques. Both these factors have stimulated investigations into methods of influencing maturity date of Brussels sprouts in order to extend the season.
Sandwell, I. (1973). FACTORS AFFECING THE MATURITY DATE OF BRUSSELS SPROUTS GROWN FOR SINGLE-PICK HARVESTS. Acta Hortic. 27, 116-121