Brussels sprouts work best as a fall crop, so now is a good time to start them. You can find seedlings at a local garden center because the proprietors, naturally, realize they do best late in the season, but you also could plant seeds directly into your garden.

Have you planted brassicas before? If so, wait four years before planting them in that same area again. They are susceptible to insects and disease, and rotating your crops in your garden cuts down on pests.

If you are seeding them directly in the garden, loosen the soil and plant seeds about a half-inch deep and 4 inches apart, thinning to about 18 inches apart. If you are using seedlings, plant them 18 inches apart. Fertilize lightly, water immediately and make sure they get about an inch of water a week.

Brussels sprouts will stand a hard freeze. In fact, they get a bit sweeter and tastier if they have been frozen. You can break the sprouts off the lower part of the stalk early in the season, but if a long, hard freeze is coming you should cut off the entire (dramatic-looking) stalk and store it in your refrigerator.

This fall, if you’re feeling decadent, you could try deep-frying the Brussels sprouts, a side dish that lately seems to be on the menu of every restaurant in Portland.