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The number of brussel sprouts to plant per person can be calculated using averages. Average family consumption, average yield, and based on an average environment.
The number of brussel sprouts you should plant seems ‘impossible’ to pinpoint because everything to do with a garden varies!
But, with any variable matter, averages are where our best answers are!
I’ve been here, wondering how many plants to grow, and feeling like all the “how many to plant” charts are irrelevant to me (because they are).
I won’t be making up a chart on how many brussel sprouts I think you should grow because we don’t eat them at the same volume, frequency, or season.
In this post, you’ll determine a reasonable number of brussel sprouts to sow based on how your family likes to eat.
The averages to account for per person planting are:
- How many brussel sprouts you eat on average
- How often you’ll eat brussel sprouts on average
- How many brussel sprouts grow per plant on average
- How many brussel sprout plants will maximize your grocery savings
By the end, you’ll know how many brussel sprout plants to sow for your family’s consumption, as we put all the information together.
How many brussel sprout plants per person
The number of brussel sprout plants to plant per person is easily determined by the number and frequency each person will eat sprouts.
On average, we need 6 brussel sprout plants per person per year. We calculate this based on how many brussel sprouts our family considers an average personal serving, how many times per week we eat a serving, how many months of the year we eat sprouts, and the number of people who eat a serving.
For accurate estimates, can you think of how many brussel sprouts you would personally eat on a single plate of food? Do you go back for round 2?
How many total brussel sprouts did you eat over the course of a single meal?
We love brussel sprouts, so I put “12” in the serving amount. My partner and I might eat between 12-18 small brussel sprouts in a single meal. Other family members might eat 6-14 sprouts per meal. So a safe serving average is 12.
Then, for a month after Thanksgiving, I recorded the frequency we ate brussel sprouts every week The first week we had 2 meals that included brussel sprouts. On week 2 we ate sprouts once, on week 3 we ate sprouts 3 times, and in week 4 we had sprouts 1 time.
The calculator then shows we eat brussel sprouts 1.75 times per week and that the average number of sprouts used weekly is 21 in total (for two people).
IF we were to eat consistently this way for an entire year, we would need 1092 individual brussel sprouts.
But, we don’t eat that way! This is why, later, we account for the number of months we eat brussel sprouts.
How many brussel sprouts does the average plant produce?
Next, we need to know how many brussel sprouts a single plant will produce to continue the calculation.
On average, you’ll get 30-50 brussel sprouts per plant. Small plants will produce 15-30 sprouts and healthy, large, and vigorous plants that do well in your climate can produce 40-60 sprouts. The most skilled growers can yield up to 100 sprouts per plant.
I have tracked our brussel sprout harvests and we usually yield between 40-60 per plant. So, in the calculator, I set the average plant yield to 50.
An average yield of 50 sprouts per plant is in alignment with other gardeners’ reported average to be 3 pounds of sprouts per plant. Each sprout weighs an average of 30g. 30g multiplied by 50 sprouts is 3.3 pounds.
As you can see pictured above, if we ate this way for 12 months of the year, we would need to plant 22 brussel sprout plants, counting the way the two of us eat. (Yes, that is a lot of brussel sprouts!
And that is why I can’t take the charts seriously because I LOVE brussel sprouts! “1-2 plants per person” simply isn’t enough for me).
If you’ve never grown brussel sprouts before and want plenty to eat, I recommend growing extra plants. You need nutrient-dense soil, good water, and cool temperatures to get a good yield on your brussel sprouts.
Your first attempt at growing them is also a good time to track how many sprouts you are able to yield on average per plant.
Before you even decide to grow brussel sprouts, ask your local gardeners how well brassicas grow in your climate. If the local consensus is that they tend to grow well, it’ll be easier to grow an average yield.
Averages are more based on areas that grow brassicas well because areas that don’t, don’t tend to grow them. So their yields aren’t overly considered as part of the average.
You’ll also want a bug net to protect all brassicas against caterpillars that quickly devour foliage during early growth. If your plants’ foliage is gone, the growth will be substantially slower, resulting in a smaller harvest.
How many brussel sprout plants do you need?
We have determined an accurate number of brussel sprouts we need to grow by first breaking it all down to serving size, and now scaling up to how many months in a year we eat brussel sprouts.
On average, we need to grow 15 brussel sprout plants based on our consumption habits. We tend to eat brussel sprouts for about 4 months of the year, and during those months we eat them almost 2 times per week with an average of 12 sprouts on two people’s plates.
How many brussel sprouts for a family of 4?
Living in a household of 4 people, we wanted to know the right number of plants to grow to feed our family. So I turned the math into an adjustable calculator that factors in the measurable habits of everyone.
When I figured out the average yield of a brussel sprout plant, I was able to easily calculate how many plants you’ll need, on average, for a family of four.
You’ll need 18 brussel sprout plants to feed a family of 4 people who eat 6 sprouts per meal, about twice a week, and for 4 months of the year. This is based on the assumption you’re able to grow an average yield of 3 pounds of sprouts per plant.
A family of 4 is made up of varying-sized humans! Some people love brussel sprouts more than others.
We also eat different-sized portions. To determine the average number everyone would eat on a single plate; add them up, and divide it by four to reveal the average sprouts consumed per person, per meal.
Does everyone even eat brussel sprouts? if not, just change the number in the calculation.
How many brussel sprout plants will maximize your grocery savings
Think back to the bag of brussel sprouts you’d typically buy.
Frozen bags are often sold (for $4 here) in 500g sizes which are about 1 pound of brussel sprouts.
Otherwise, fresh brussel sprouts are handpicked at your desired quantity. Can you put a number of sprouts in that quantity? If not, weigh the bag or check the receipt weight you paid for.
Now, if you grow 54 pounds of brussel sprouts, you’ll know that you’d be saving about $216 on grocery store-quality vegetables.
Next, compare these savings with the rest of what you buy.
See: Save Money & Grow the Vegetables That Cost You Most
Or, calculate other expensive crops and see how much you can save by growing them.
- Calculate How Many Tomato Plants Per Person for Your Family
- How many peppers to plant per person (Calculate your needs)
To save the most money in a garden with limited space, you should prioritize whichever crop you’ll save the most money on.
How much space do you have to store brussel sprouts?
Imagine the size of your typical 500-g bag of brussel sprouts from the store. That is 1 pound of sprouts.
If you have 18 plants, it seems you’ll need to store 54 (1-pound) ‘bags’ of sprouts.
3-5 ‘bags’ are likely to be consumed fresh at Thanksgiving dinner and if nearly 2 pounds are eaten weekly for 4 months after, you can keep 8-24 pounds of sprouts in the fridge for 3 months or fresh eating.
Brussel sprouts, however, don’t have to be grown in a way that they produce all sprouts at once. They can provide a smaller continuous harvest and stay on the plant for a couple of months into the snowy weather.
Plus, they keep in the fridge for 2-3 months, like cabbage in a cold cellar.
So realistically, we only need to freeze 8 (1 pound) bags of brussel sprouts to enjoy them for 4 months of the year. The rest is consumed fresh off the plant, or from fridge storage. A very practical harvest to manage.
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