Among a wide range of vegetables in your winter garden, Brussels sprouts are a standout harvest! In our Vancouver garden, we planted them from seed in early July, then transplanted them to their winter beds in August. This worked out so that we harvested the sprouts on December 25th for Christmas dinner!
The plants need to grow in full sun, but they are very cold hardy - and taste sweeter after a frost, since the plants produce their own natural antifreeze in our winter temperatures. (West Coast Seeds provides more information on how to grow them - and a slightly different set of instructions for planting).
Here's a photo-diary of their growth from September through to harvest:
On the left, the plants are beautiful in themselves - a good three or more feet tall, with big, spreading leaves. On the right, the sprouts are already growing by early September. They grow directly from the main stem at each leaf joint.
In the successive photos, we see them in October, November, and then on Christmas Day just before harvest. In background of the middle photo, you can also see our vetch and rye grass cover crop, adding nutrients to the soil as it grows throughout the winter.
And finally, the newly-harvested sprouts - enough from four stems to feed the eleven people who came for dinner!