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Another way of planting leeks

Posted: Sun Apr 16, 2006 7:21 pm
by PT
Instead of just dibbling them in the ground. Dig a trench a spit deep incorporate some compost or manure in the bottom. when your leeks are ready to transplant dib your leeks in the bottom of the trench. Water in as per. But don't fill in the trench. It'll fill in over the season by its self. when you come to lift them in the winter you'll have nice long blanched stems.

Posted: Sun Apr 16, 2006 11:25 pm
by Johnboy
Hi PT,
This is already well documented on this forum and I for one have done this for many many years and I might add long before organic was 'Organic.'

Posted: Mon Apr 17, 2006 6:03 am
by Allan
The technique that I would like to perfect is growing smaller leeks for winter and early spring from an 'in situ' sowing sometime in summer or autumn i.e. sowing date, variety, anything else. There is a demand for these but the only success I have had so far was by accident. An instant sell-out.

Posted: Mon Apr 17, 2006 9:19 am
by Johnboy
Hi Allan,
How small do you need your Leeks. Give me a camparison based on conventional Salad Onion.
I left some Leeks in a Linpac 126 module tray, a few years back when I was unwell and unable to work on the veg plot, and they grew into quite passable Mini Leeks.

Posted: Mon Apr 17, 2006 9:38 am
by Geoff
I sow my leeks about now in deep pots in the heated greenhouse. Later move to the cold greenhouse or shed. When they are manageable like very thin spring onions I make a little straight edged trench and space them about 1" apart along it. When the Rocket potatoes are cleared they are dibbed into the bottom of a 6" deep trench with the traditional broken spade handle and watered in. In the late Autumn they are weeded and the trench filled in, perhaps actually earthed up a bit, then we start eating the big leeks after Christmas. However the spares are left in the original row and used as mini leeks, some are still there still quite small. I think you could grow an entire crop this way if you wanted to. It doesn't take long to spread them out along the little trench.

Re: Another way of planting leeks

Posted: Mon Apr 17, 2006 12:30 pm
by Garlic_Guy
PT wrote:Instead of just dibbling them in the ground. Dig a trench a spit deep incorporate some compost or manure in the bottom.

Hi Geoff - always intersting to read alternative suggestions.

Can I ask a daft and obvious question - what advantages do you find this approach gives over straight dibbing?

I can see that digging lets you work in the organic matter which wouldn't otherwise be possible by just dibbing. Is that the only point, or do you find the physical aspects easier?

It's easy for me to ask this, as I never grow more than 40-50 at a time. People like you, Allan and Johnboy are probably growing hundreds!

Posted: Mon Apr 17, 2006 7:19 pm
by Johnboy
Hi Colin,
By this method you get a vastly increased blanched area. I dont actually dig a trench I take out a 6 inch deep "V" groove and dib them in at the bottom of the V. My father used to take out a trench and plant a triple row filling in as growth permits until I actually earth mine up but not quite as much as Potatoes.
Whichever way the end result is the same and over the years have produced some good quality produce.

Posted: Mon Apr 17, 2006 7:26 pm
by nog
I plant mine in kitchen roll tubes and then put them in a raised bed with the carrots and Parsnips.

Posted: Tue Apr 18, 2006 3:01 pm
by tony s
I sowed mine outdoors this weekend. I wont transplant them until July, either after the first early potatoes or the overwintered broad beans. They are quite big by this stage. I rotovate the ground first and then use my rake handle to dib a hole as deep as it will go - usually about a foot. The leeks are tall enough to leave a bit poking outand grow away really quickly. I am still using last years planting and they have nice long shafts. If they were any deeper, I would think they would be difficult to dig out.

Posted: Tue Apr 18, 2006 3:15 pm
by Allan
I had some old seed so I sowed that in clusters in pots with various results. The extras I sowed thickly and have now pricked out 150 in pots of 5 to see how they do. I do onions similarly. King Richard has a long blanch naturally whereas Musselburgh needs the trench or deep hole. Later on I shall sow some rows in situ and just earth up as per potatoes or celery.

Posted: Tue Apr 18, 2006 5:03 pm
by oldherbaceous
Hello Dan, a lot of the old boys used to plant leeks in trenches like you suggest. It was probaly because a lot of the older varieties needed this to get a decent length of blanche. The newer varieties seem to blanche longer naturaly. I should think if you use a modern variety in a trench you should get some excellent results. I might even try a row myself.

Kind regards Old Herbaceous.

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