Leeks

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Ian Foster
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Are you able to tell me why my Leeks are going droopy and floppy as per pictures attached ?

Many thanks

Ian
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Westi
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Hi Ian & welcome to the forum!

It is allium leek miner & it likes every allium, onions, shallots, garlic etc. It bores into the stems, & you can spot their presence in the leaves as the white lines on the leaf in the bottom pic. They are edible still but when prepping them & cut them out. Unfortunately this boring can cause other infections which will see your plants off completely so rescue & freeze any that look in trouble & peel off the outer layers of the others to check not bored deeply as if not could be saved.

They wiped out all my leeks last year so did some research & found the following: they will pupate & the pupae will lie in the soil so don't grow allium's there next year or even close by as the smell is their radar & they can travel several metres underground & will turn to flies & lay again, so need quite a space between this family. You can really carefully dig that plot & spot them & remove them, I tried this but I couldn't see any & questioned whether this was even possible as so tiny. The flies have 2 active seasons Mar/April & Sept/Oct/ November.

I meshed all my main bed this year from the off but still a couple snuck in probably when the netting blew off, but I spotted the white mining lines & took a few layers off until I could see no bore holes & (fingers crossed) looks OK. I split my beds at each end of the plot & wasn't as diligent with the early leeks & they failed, but as they are tall & skinny the gits managed to totally bore right into them & they succumbed & I had mush. Save what you can & ask Santa for some micro mesh for all next years alliums if you have limited space. Good Luck & I hope you can save some of this years!
Westi
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oldherbaceous
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Good evening, Ian, a very warm welcome to the forum from me, too!

I think Westi’s reply has covered it all….this problem is become a real pain.
Kind Regards, Old Herbaceous.

There's no fool like an old fool.
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Primrose
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Yes both the above are sadly right and once it gets a hold the problem inevitably sadly seems to haunt future leek crops. If you have an allotment and grow some at the opposite end of yiur plot it might be worth a try but general advice is to avoid growing them for two or three years, whixh is a real pain if you,re a leek fan.

When I had the problem I dug them all ,up chopped and soaked them in water and froze most of them for soup. If you can catch the problem quickly you may be able to avoid completely wasting them.
Westi
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Just to cheer you Ian, I checked the back up ones I put in those sack things & no sign of them, they were mesh covered though. I know there is a lot of chat about carrot fly & planting them high to prevent it, but they are wee tiny things like the leek moth & the wind will deposit them where it chooses so 2 things to protect! It's a shame really when you see old pics of open growing plots & the TV shows don't help when filming they remove all the covers.
Westi
Ian Foster
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Hi !

Thanks for the welcomes !

I took this allotment plot over last autumn in a very overgrown state. I guess contamination has come from neighbouring plots.

I suspect I won't grow next year as Leeks do occupy space for a long time.

Ian
Ian Foster
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Hi,

Thanks for everyone for the welcomes to the forum and for the replies re my Leek issues.

I took over the allotment last autumn in a very overgrown state. I guess the infestation has come from other, nearby, allotments ?

As Leeks occupy space for a long time I guess I will probably give them a miss next year.

Ian
Westi
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Or you could try in pots (look for freebie flower pots at the supermarket flower display & be cheeky & ask as they often get pots with each delivery), or those sacks you will find in the £ shops; they last a couple of seasons before they degrade. You could then place them in a corner somewhere spread around. I was on another site & some contributor said they had success with Paravor spray, (something like that), I don't know if it is organic or anything as never heard of it, but even if not the contents have to have been modified with elements removed to ensure no risk to waterways & no long life in the soil. Just adding this as it's really nice to see them growing green when it's cold & bitter & you can risk taking off the mesh & protection.

Ian, it sounds like you've worked hard getting the plot fit for purpose & the forum does slow down this time of year but you can always post on General Chat about anything at all & worth a look or even rant. Also look at other topics as you'll find we have U Tube contributors & you can look back on these with your hot chocolate to help you plan for next year.
Westi
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