Soil preparation should be thorough. Work in animal manure or compost at the rate of 1 cwt. to from 12 to 20 sq. yd., or, better still, choose a plot that has been manured for some previous crop, such as potatoes. Then chemicals only will be required. Sulphate of ammonia may be applied in spring at oz. per sq. yd. ; supplement with sulphate of potash, 1 oz. per sq. yd., and superphosphate of lime, 2 oz. per sq. yd. Six or eight weeks after planting, give another dressing of sulphate of ammonia, Nitro-chalk, or nitrate of soda at oz. per yard run. Do not apply fertilizers after mid-August.
Seed should be sown in a frame or greenhouse in March or outdoors in early April as described for heading broccoli and young plants treated in a similar manner. Plant out very firmly early in May, or, if the sprouts are to follow some other crop, as soon as this can be cleared. Set plants 2 ft. apart in rows 21 ft. apart.
Picking may begin as soon as the most forward buttons attain usable size. Do not strip the plants, but leave smaller sprouts to gain size. The tops can be cut and used as ‘greens’ in Sept.—Oct. and this will help sprouts to swell.
Cambridge Nos. 1 and 2 Rous Lench, Fillbasket, Cambridge Special, Irish Elegance and Jade Cross are good varieties.
Club root, caterpillars, root fly, flea beetle, aphis and white
fly are the pests most to be feared. Gall weevils, often present, do little harm.