Sunday 23 June 2024

Lets Go Planting Leeks.

 Friday morning was very wet and I used the damp opportunity to transplant twelve leek plants that we had grown from seed and I left the other leek plants in a raised bed in the polytunnel until more vegetable growing space becomes available. I donned my "rainy day" suit to carry out the transplant operation.

This year the majority of our vegetables have been grown from seed.  Only seed potatoes, onion sets and Jerusalem Artichokes tubers have not been grown from seed.  

Even the tomato plants I grew from seed and it's good to know you can propagate your plants from a few packets of seeds. 

I haven't bought any compost for a while because it's too expensive and the cheap stuff is made from crushed bark and coconut coir.  

It contains little or no nutrients and cakes on the surface.  I much prefer my well rotted fym and topsoil mix.  Sure you get weeds but that's natural gardening isn't it?

Any way or any road.  Leeks are planted like no other vegetable.  You get an old garden fork handle ("four candles" Two Ronnies remember?) for a dibber or a piece of metal tubing like I did.  

Make the holes wide and drop the leeks about six inches into the holes.  This enables your leeks to be blanched with big white socks.  Then you get a fully filled watering can and fill every hole with water.  There is no need to back fill the holes with soil because the watering will have knocked soil into the hole and covered the roots:

Leeks are named after the old English word for onion: leac.

They originate in Mediteranean and Asian countries.  The Romans grew them and they are even mentioned in the bible.

I look forward to making homemade potato and leek soup this winter.



14 comments:

  1. Most of the houses in Leek in Staffordshire are made from leeks and they don't have churches - just massive leeks that the townsfolk worship.

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  2. I would never have thought to use a fork handle. Genius. I do love a good leek and potato soup.

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  3. Yes I have visited Leak. I hope they don't get any leeks in their allotment shed roofs and grow leviathan like leeks.

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  4. I try to repurpose everything Jules. A broken fork handle makes a great leek planting dibber. I love leek and potato soup and home baked brown bread.

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  5. I have 19 leeks planted, grown from seed, one died, they have been in a few weeks and are doing well, first time of growing them. I am growing most of my veg from seed this year, Marlene, Poppypatchwork

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  6. Excellent Marlene. They are great to pick just after a frost in winter. We grow lots of alliums. They fight off colds. Have you grown Japanese onions or winter onions? I plant the sets in September.. It is good to fill empty growing spaces even in winter.

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  7. I've got an old fork handle as a dibber...it certainly saves backache!

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  8. Hi GZ. It does save back ache. I incorporated my garden fork in my Heath Robinson runner bean that I featured on here recently. On Friday I used a metal piece of tubing to make my blanching holes. A crowbar or even a stick works fine to make the holes for the leeks. Thanks!

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  9. How do you avoid gritty leeks? Ours were always full of muck so we stopped growing them.

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  10. If you plant or drop them into a dibber hole six inches deep JayCee. You will get a well blanched white root sock and the green leaves will grow above the ground. Thoroughly washing them in cold water and all our Emerald Isle rain during monsoon season washes any grit away. I love leeks especially after Christmas and there is a bit of an hunger gap. I also transplanted my Brussel Sprouts. They love rock hard ground. Something like a cricket wicket. Otherwise they move about in the wind and you get button small sprouts. I firm them in. They don't like too much nitrogen and the sprouts blow. The trials and tribulations of an organic vegetable grower.😊

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  11. Kathy in Wales24 June 2024 at 02:03

    I had failue on my first sowing of leeks , so sowed late on the 2nd. Nothing came up. I was emtying seed trays yesterday and discovered very baby leeks, more came up during the day.So If I can find a spare patch I will be planting,
    I am growing oriental grens of various types and am please at the high germination rate, also the speed at which they grow, big plants after a few weeks.
    My sister has used old garden forks and spades to make a 'fence long some steps.
    Kathy

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  12. Hi Kathy. The Alliums can be notoriously slow to germinate. My latest batch of leek seedlings came through this weekend. I like to grow forty or fifty for winter and the hunger gap in spring. Your sister sounds like she is another repurposed like myself. I grow Griselina hedging in pots. It's very easy to propagate and I am going to grow more shrubs like Hypericums and Hebes.

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  13. You can't beat fresh home grown leeks. When I had a vegetable garden I used grow them and eat them really young and slim and they were the best ever leeks. I am never so fond of them when I buy them and in fact I rarely buy them.

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  14. Hi Rachel. I love leeks. Even cooked in butter in the microwave for about a minute. I wish you still had a vegetable garden. It would be great to see posts and photos of it on your blog. I think raised beds are far better when we are all getting older. Even growing in containers brings rewards. I once grew potatoes inside an upstairs flat window in a big plant pot. I have also planted them in September in the polytunnel and we have had them ready for Christmas dinner.

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