Monday 11 September 2023

Leeks Dung Mulching.

 No not a Prog Rock band from Germany or Holland.  Although it would make a fine name for one wouldn't it just?  Or maybe an Asian recipe? " Fried rice?" " No chips please!" " Have you any vinegar?" May be the name of a Scottish Highland football team? Queen of the South nil. Leeks Dung Mulching 4.

I have been catching up weeding and doing jobs around the smallholding for the last week  or so.  

The weather has been exceptionally good the last week or so.  Rather like June when I finally got to see the Michael Schenker Band in Ballyshannon in Donegal.

You don't here Monty Don going on about Heavy and Prog Rock do you?

Any road or any way.  I followed the early new potatoes by planting Leeks.  My great grandmother came from Wrexham in Wales  and growing Leeks must be in the gene's.

Anyone new to growing will be surprised to know you make a hole with a dibber or stick and plant or drop them in the hole and water the soil around them so they grow a mighty fine white sock.

Broken spade handles makes a great home-made dibber for making holes to drop your leek plants in.  Then water the soil in around them.  I have even used a piece of scaffolding tube to make holes.  If you plant them in the rain you will not need to water them in.  I even managed to take a photo of my yellow wellington boot in the process.

Leeks are members of the Allium family and are great in stews and cooked in butter  in the microwave in a bowl.  

So I decided to give them a top dressing of some fym that had been decomposing in the pile of dung.  It's a lovely chocolate brown colour and I filled my wheelbarrow with my trusty four prong pike to pick up the dung.  Then I spread it around the leek plants.  It looks lovely stuff and I am sure the leeks will thrive in this verdant composted farm yard manure.

I believe you should leave them twelve weeks before picking them after giving a topping of manure in case of worms or other viruses.  What do you think? Are you squeamish about using animal manure around your vegetables?  How long do you leave your manure to decompose before using it?

My hotbed experiment growing beetroots in the new polytunnel was very successful and I just spread about an inch of topsoil over the fresh farmyard manure and wifey sowed the beetroot seeds and the beetroots have been enormous.


  1. Leeks are one vegetable which I can usually grow easily. Still too hot for them here. We get a few sacks of goat manure every year. The citrus trees love it and I put in the verge garden too

  2. I do quite well with any members of the Allium family Linda. Goats 🐐 are browse grazers so I would imagine you get mixed ingredients in their manure. I hate seeing veg gardens were they only use granulated chemical fertilizers and even worse weedkillers.

  3. I'm not at all squeamish about using manures and if I had a decent sized garden I would use them, also any compost which I used to leave a whole year to break down with several turnings of it through the seasons, unless potatoes had sprouted then I would leave it unturned until the spuds were harvested.

  4. I hope they get a good wash before you eat them!

  5. Hi River. Anything organic works in the veg garden. Especially animal manure, green manure, composted materials and seaweed. They also had taste. Thanks.

  6. God sends the free nitrogen in the rain that Ireland and the Isle Of Man washes us on a regular basis JayCee.

  7. I had an allotment for 18 years in semi-rural Surrey and the site was surrounded by horsiculture - actual term used in planning in Surrey where owners used to take land out of food production, turn it into horse fields, build a field shelter that then became stables with electricity and vast areas of hard standing for parking and turning horse boxes. Anyway I used to wheel barrowloads of horse dung to my plot where I used to let it rot down for at least six months before using it. Here on my free-draining greensand soil I really miss the oomph that manure gives to veg growing so to make up I compost for England. It has been the best year for squash (I grow Uchiki Kuri), sweetcorn, borlotti beans, courgettes, French beans and as everything has been so late this year I am still awaiting space to plant out my purple sprouting broccoli and black kale so they are now in one litre pots and sitting patiently covered by netting. Leeks used to suffer from leak miner moth so I don’t grow them anymore, especially as I grow around 48 garlic bulbs a year and I don’t like following alliums with alliums. I am with you on never using artificial fertilisers or pesticides or herbicides. I have been organic and no dig since dot which for me is 1985 when I got my first garden. Sarah in Sussex

    1. Hi Sarah. Thanks for the information about horticulture. I used to rent allotments in England and Wales. Now I live on a smallholding in the Southwest of Ireland. I am also a natural gardener and would never use chemical weedkillers or pesticides purposely. I am not a no dig gardener and still like to dig over areas and let the winter rains and frost break the clods of earth and fym down. Although I do lasagna garden wild areas with cardboard and fym.

  8. My experiment growing autumn sown beetroot failed completely....giant slugs ate every single seedling. Leeks have done well though. I grow winter leeks.


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