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Late Leeks - Guidance Please

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  • Late Leeks - Guidance Please

    2009 was my first year GYOing, and I always felt like I was chasing cleared land to plant out my next crop.

    In Spring I sowed some leek seed in tubs at home ready for planting out at my plot later in the year, much later. I had to wait for space to become available and they did not make it into there final growing place until August, consequently some of them are quite small, a few are a good size.

    As soon as the snow melts and the ground defrost I am going to start pulling a few of the bigger ones. But my question is about the small ones, what will happen if I dont dig them up? Will they grow any bigger and if so when? Whats the chance of them going to seed? Am I wasting my time and it would be best to get them up and use them small as baby leeks, then at least I can clear and prepare the ground for the spring.

    If it helps the varieties I grew were Bandit and Musselburgh.

    Funny thing is I am about to start sowing this years leaks and I havnt even eaten any of last years leeks yet
    Last edited by Jillyreeves; 04-01-2010, 12:28 PM.

  • #2
    Leeks often take a year!

    I'd use the bigger ones, then start using the smaller ones as baby leeks. Some of mine didn't get into final position until Sept/Oct and I'm using those now. I prefer smaller ones than huge tough ones so grow more for this purpose.

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    • #3
      Thanks Zaz, so when would you say its advisable to have them all up by, at the latest as I dont want to bolt or to use them for seed saving?

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      • #4
        Use as required. The baby leeks are usually nicer than the huge ones anyway.

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        • #5
          Im going to my plot in a bit to visit them, I will see how they look sat in the snow, might take a photo too :-)

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Jillyreeves View Post
            Thanks Zaz, so when would you say its advisable to have them all up by, at the latest as I dont want to bolt or to use them for seed saving?
            All depends on the weather. Unless you have used all the same leeks, and they aren't F1s, they might not be any good for seed saving. A note though - the seeds won't be ready in their pods until the autumn, and even then they often rot before they are ready. I am still waiting for last autumn's collected seeds to dry out.

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            • #7
              I've always left leeks to seed, but never been able to collect any seed. As Zaz says, they rot before they're ripe (or else the seed head gets so heavy it snaps the stem).

              I don't sow this early, because I don't want to eat leeks in August.

              Having said that, the leek moth always gets them, so I don't often get any to eat before Dec.

              I intend to grow fewer, better this year, keeping them under fleece so they don't get maggoty.
              All gardeners know better than other gardeners." -- Chinese Proverb.

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              • #8
                Mine went in late too as the allocated space didn't come available quickly enough. I'll be eating them as baby leeks once the ground defrosts.....
                Hayley B

                John Wayne's daughter, Marisa Wayne, will be competing with my Other Half, in the Macmillan 4x4 Challenge (in its 10th year) in March 2011, all sponsorship money goes to Macmillan Cancer Support, please sponsor them at http://www.justgiving.com/Mac4x4TeamDuke'

                An Egg is for breakfast, a chook is for life

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                • #9
                  They charge a fortune for tiddly bunches of 'baby leeks' in the shops! Different sizes have different uses I reckon.
                  Whoever plants a garden believes in the future.

                  www.vegheaven.blogspot.com Updated March 9th - Spring

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                  • #10
                    Mine went in late too, and most aren't that big. Personally I prefer them smaller, I think they have a better flavour. I'll be trying some just as soon as I can get an implement into the soil - and I don't mean a Kango LOL
                    All the best - Glutton 4 Punishment
                    Freelance shrub butcher and weed removal operative.

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                    • #11
                      Sometimes you just have to suck it and see! Usually Musselburgh will start to run to seed about April round here, but the best way is to use the bigger leeks and as soon as some start throwing up seed heads get the rest out pretty sharply as they will surely follow! The beauty about leeks is that if you need the ground they are growing in for another crop, you can dig them all up and heel them in in a bunch (also handy if the ground is frosted) They will usuallly stand for a month outside just heeled in.
                      My Majesty made for him a garden anew in order
                      to present to him vegetables and all beautiful flowers.- Offerings of Thutmose III to Amon-Ra (1500 BCE)

                      Diversify & prosper


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                      • #12
                        Snowy Leeks

                        Thank you everyone for your advice, here is a photo as promised.
                        Attached Files

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by HayleyB View Post
                          I'll be eating them as baby leeks once the ground defrosts.....
                          You don't need to dig them up to eat them. Just slice off at ground level. They'll regrow too.
                          All gardeners know better than other gardeners." -- Chinese Proverb.

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                          • #14
                            Good tip TS - as my leeks are frozen solid, and that I want to make soup, I will give that a go!

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Two_Sheds View Post
                              You don't need to dig them up to eat them. Just slice off at ground level. They'll regrow too.
                              Great tip - Thank you TS, I didnt know they would regrow how fantastic

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