Brussels sprouts, which hail from the cabbage family, form compact rows on large, woody stalks. When sprouts are harvested individually, the plants continue to produce more sprouts throughout the growing season. Some producers harvest entire stalks and then cut each stalk in half for ease of storage and shipping.
Brussels sprouts plants, which are a cool weather crop, typically measure 3 feet tall and 2 feet wide. Commercial producers often remove the lower sets of leaves to accelerate growth; however, this is not necessary for sprouts grown in a home garden. Sprouts at the bottom of the stalk, which measure approximately 1 inch in diameter, ripen first. To store Brussels sprouts, remove them from the stalk, and place them in a plastic storage bag in the refrigerator.