Saturday, 24 May 2014

Planting Leeks On The Smallholding.



Me planting leeks with a metal tube on a showery Saturday afternoon.  I use the tube/dibber to make a six inch hole and drop in the leek.  Then I usually water the soil around the leek.  There is never any need to fill in the planting hole yourself  and it leaves you with a decent sized white sock on the leek.  

Me looking at the 100 or so leeks that we grew from seed in the poly tunnel.  I am going to mulch the area behind me and the polytunnel with flattened cardboard boxes.  This will be a winter plot.

Leeks are said to have originated in Egypt.  The Welsh claim they came from Wales and the Irish claim that St Patrick changed rushes into leeks to cure a dying lady.  I wonder which vegetables originated from England?  We seem to have developed a very cosmopolitan variety of vegetables over the centuries. Sir Walter Raleigh brought us the humble potato and tobacco.  How do you plant and cultivate your leeks?  

6 comments:

  1. I dib mine in like you only mine aren't as big as yours yet. I think they'll have to go in soon though. I'm reading a book on the history of gardening at the moment and its interesting where our veg came from.

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  2. I also find the origins of our everyday vegetables and food very interesting, Kev. There aren't many vegetables (Asparagus, Nettles...?) that originate from Britain. The Tudors ate everything fresh and would only eat vegetables and fruit in season. Even Mulligatawny soup and Piccalilli came from India and the game Snooker was invented during the Monsoon season. All fascinating stuff and shows that even our every day vegetables that we take for granted. May have originated thousands of miles away.

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  3. We do leeks the same way, only I made my holes too deep last year and although the length of the white part of the leek was quite long, I could not get them out of the ground because they were in too deep!

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  4. Hi Vera. I often move my leeks about and heel them in where another crops just finished. I have read that show leek exhibitors make the dibber/ metal tube widen the hole and fill them with compost to give the leek a bigger white sock. The Alliums are great for keeping away colds in winter time. Thanks!

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  5. Not a plant I've had any success with, there used to be a society of leek growers all trying to grow the biggest one, usually on allotments. Some huge specimens in a good year, the competition was fierce and lots of time, effort, love and attention was spent trying to grow the winner. I don't know if the competition still goes on, a lot of allotments locally have been swallowed up by development.

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  6. Hi Cumbrian. I have seen some of the giant leeks at Shrewsbury and Southport flower shows. There are many ways of growing giant vegetables. I use to know some one who use to feed his giant vegetables sugar.

    Allotments are prime development land, sadly. In Denmark they have allotment sheds that they live in the summer and the allotments are preserved for ever for future generations.

    Allotments have a lot of camaraderie (mutual trust and friendship among people who spend a lot of time together) and there is always somebody who can 'talk' a good allotment and tell you how to do it right. Then you look at their allotment and its overgrown. Seriously. Smallholding is much too isolated and even though you can do what you want on your allotment. You miss humans to have a laugh and a joke and put the world to rights.

    You have to got to have an interest or else you would go mad. Even seen carrots and parsnips growing in drain pipes in a sand/ compost mix. Thanks for your comment!

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