Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: Leeks  (Read 4212 times)

polaris

  • Joined Mar 2014
Leeks
« on: May 11, 2014, 02:05:30 pm »
So, every year My grandfather grows beautiful leeks, best flavour in the world, but they refuse to plump up and waist a lot of space in this regard.

Any tips for plumping them up? And extending the shank? I've read about putting a tube round them and were going to try that this year, also heard of trimming the leaves? Which leaves and how much, and when?

Any tips would be great, I'm going to be trying some late leeks that will be getting planted out in June so willing to try a bit of everything with them.

clydesdaleclopper

  • Joined Aug 2009
  • Aberdeenshire
Re: Leeks
« Reply #1 on: May 11, 2014, 02:43:41 pm »
You need to make sure that they aren't planted too close together, nowhere near peas and earth them up.
Our holding has Anglo Nubian and British Toggenburg goats, Gotland sheep, Franconian Geese, Blue Swedish ducks, a whole load of mongrel hens and two semi-feral children.

polaris

  • Joined Mar 2014
Re: Leeks
« Reply #2 on: May 11, 2014, 03:21:22 pm »
You need to make sure that they aren't planted too close together, nowhere near peas and earth them up.

 :gloomy:   That might have done it, they are always plants next to the peas......

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
Re: Leeks
« Reply #3 on: May 11, 2014, 04:53:29 pm »

For leeks, I make sure the soil is fertile and well fluffed up then use a broom handle or similar to make holes as deep as I can.  I then drop one leek plant into each hole (there may be no leaves reaching as far as the surface if your hole is deep) and water with a fine rose can.   I don't fill the holes in but let them backfill themselves as it rains - they tend to grow upwards to get their heads above the soil.   Eventually the soil will be at the same level as the surrounding ground, but the leeks will have a good length buried and blanching.
What variety are you using - there is a big difference between some fast growers and varieties destined to overwinter, such as Musselburgh.
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Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus - let sleeping dragons lie

polaris

  • Joined Mar 2014
Re: Leeks
« Reply #4 on: May 12, 2014, 01:26:12 am »

For leeks, I make sure the soil is fertile and well fluffed up then use a broom handle or similar to make holes as deep as I can.  I then drop one leek plant into each hole (there may be no leaves reaching as far as the surface if your hole is deep) and water with a fine rose can.   I don't fill the holes in but let them backfill themselves as it rains - they tend to grow upwards to get their heads above the soil.   Eventually the soil will be at the same level as the surrounding ground, but the leeks will have a good length buried and blanching.
What variety are you using - there is a big difference between some fast growers and varieties destined to overwinter, such as Musselburgh.

I've no idea what variety they are actually, I'll try and check. What would you recommend?
Can the hole be too deep.... Ie, deeper than the baby leek? As we've got a good foot I could put the hole down. I plan to try a little bit of everything on them this year as we go through about 4 a week currently and would like to grow more as they are terribly expensive now!

bloomer

  • Global Moderator
  • Joined Aug 2010
  • leslie, fife
  • i have chickens, sheep and opinions!!!
Re: Leeks
« Reply #5 on: May 12, 2014, 09:01:16 am »
paying attention as when i get a veg patch leeks are a high priority (i prefer them to onions) and they keep well and grow well in scotland!!!

pgkevet

  • Joined Jul 2011
Re: Leeks
« Reply #6 on: May 12, 2014, 09:53:30 am »
I've got two pot-fulls of leek seedlings - around 100 per 12" pot- getting a bit crowded. Last year I planted them out at a nice pencil thick size but I've over seeded the pots this year.

So wait or plant out now?

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
Re: Leeks
« Reply #7 on: May 12, 2014, 10:46:13 am »

Well, I usually plant mine out in June (here in southern Scotland), but I need to start them fairly early to have them big enough by then - yes about slim pencil thickness.  However, if you need to get them in earlier because of their size or crowding, then you might have to sacrifice some depth.  Make sure they are started off in good compost, then give liquid feeds every week to give good sturdy plants.
How deeply you can plant them in their holes depends partly on what your soil is like I think.  If it's very crumbly then the holes may fill in quicker than the little leeks can grow, so they would be buried.  I don't trim the leaves of mine so there's a chance something can peek out of the hole, but I think that might be wrong (see lower down).

For varieties, I usually grow a very winter hardy variety, having lost a whole crop in our first (extremely cold) winter here because I'd bought plants at the market and they must have been an autumn variety.   I like big sturdy chunky leeks, not slender cordon bleu types, leeks which make lovely warming leek and potato soup in winter, or provide a good veg portion.  I usually grow Musselburgh as being the old fashioned standard, but there are some recently developed varieties based on the type.
There seem to be leeks designed to be ready from early autumn to right through the winter, so you need to choose which you want - you don't have to stick to one variety.  Which you choose will depend on your soil and local climate.  I tend to try something new each year somewhere in the veg patch, so you could try out several varieties of leek and choose which you like best.

Grandfathers always grow wonderful leeks for some reason  :roflanim:  I think it's to do with using 'old fashioned' growing techniques, which probably do involve trimming both the leaves and the roots, which I think will make each plant concentrate on developing a good, fresh root system which can head straight downwards (the existing roots may curl around in the hole and struggle to go down) before it starts putting on top growth, or even has to support what it already had at planting time.  :garden:
www.scothebs.co.uk

Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus - let sleeping dragons lie

pgkevet

  • Joined Jul 2011
Re: Leeks
« Reply #8 on: May 12, 2014, 10:52:18 am »
..I don't worry much about watering stuff... here in wales you just wait 10 mins for the next rainstorm...

Mine were sown feb in pots in the sunroom..then moved to the greenhouse and have been outside the last month+

Last year the roots were solid in those deep pots.

pgkevet

  • Joined Jul 2011
Re: Leeks
« Reply #9 on: May 26, 2014, 05:44:22 am »
Definately overseeded my pots. Planted out the first potful using only the best seedlings... 115 put in and at least as many thrown away. I've tried the top and tailing approach this time.

I'll do the second pot/row today and take less off the tops for comparison

suziequeue

  • Joined Feb 2010
  • Llanidloes; Powys
Re: Leeks
« Reply #10 on: May 26, 2014, 07:39:38 am »
Yes - I over seeded mine last year and they were so dense I had difficultly even thinning home out as every time I pulled one out, about three came out.


This year I mixed the seeds with quite a lot of sand then then just "smeared" the sand on the surface of the pot. It's worked well and I plan to plant them out today :-)


We will out pipe around them to protect the thank. Last year the pipe we used was to narrow so this year we will go for something more generous.
We do the best we can with the information we have

When we know better we do better

cloddopper

  • Joined Jun 2013
  • South Wales .Carmarthenshire. SA18
Re: Leeks
« Reply #11 on: June 02, 2014, 02:34:48 am »
I used to grow my leeks in old cleand out foul water brown /orange pipe cut to 14 inch long lengths . Once the leek is about 12 inches tall I'd slip a tube over it . and drop a few slug pellets down inside .

So long as the soil is well & correctly  manured the leeks didn't need any feeding and there is no need to earth up . The advantage being you get reasonably grit free leeks and greenery .
Strong belief , triggers the mind to find the way ... Dyslexia just makes it that bit more amusing & interesting

 

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