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  • Leeks

    Fellow Gardeners,

    I bought some leeks about a month ago, planted them and put a fleece on the top. Since then I have been digging the rest of the plot doing various other gardening jobs and then it has been raining and snowing. Plus I have my day job. In a nutshell I have not looked at them in a month. So yesterday I had a peek and they do not seem to be flourishing. I was wondering if I should start again or perhaps I should do a bit of maintenance (weeding, opening up the earth a bit, apply a bit of nourishment,...). If I take the latter option when is the best time of the day to take off the fleece to avoid the leek moth (sole purpose of the fleece, I see they lay in April and May and then in August to October)?

    Anton

  • #2
    Mine still look like grass.
    They're in a flower bucket until transplanting..no weeds, watered daily, living in a draughty greenhouse.
    Perhaps its simply not time yet for them so start bulking up?
    I'd give them a while longer before worring (but I am no expert) its been a strange spring this year.
    http://goneplotterin.blogspot.co.uk/

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    • #3
      Mine are still very small and thin as well. They're still in the seed tray i sowed them in. They'll be going out once they get a little fatter. You're supposed to plant them out when they get to pencil thickness but i never manage to achieve that and won't this year either.

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      • #4
        Same here still very thin but it's not unusual at this time of year unless you kicked them off under light at the back end on last year.
        Potty by name Potty by nature.

        By appointment of VeggieChicken Member of the Nutters club.


        We hang petty thieves and appoint great ones to public office.

        Aesop 620BC-560BC

        sigpic

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        • #5
          If they haven't died, just be patient.

          (I might adopt this as my motto!)

          Doubtless they'll enjoy some tender loving care, as well.
          Living in north-east Spain, where the sun is too hot, the rain too torrential, the hail too big, the wind too windy and the snow too deep.

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          • #6
            As they are still alive I would leave them and see what transpires. Will say that my last 2 years they never made it past pencil thickness by the end of the year. Some never made it to that. Actually the poor garlics were often thicker then the leeks last year.

            I have a pot of about 5-6 decent ones, well big enough that repotting would not kill them, but not even close to ideal. I have just put in a patch of lots of old seeds. Simply hoping one or two will manage to germinate. No harm if not.

            My few will go in one bit of the row and I may search out some other leek varieties I have or visit Wilkinsons for a cheap pack, and plant those direct.

            Before I plant any I will add a good helping of chicken pellets to the, as yet, unplanted rows (3).

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            • #7
              My leeks were sown last July and are ony now just getting to pencil thickness. Dont panic yet!

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              • #8
                Even if your leeks don't get very large you can still use them, you just need more of them. I think of mine as posh leeks after seeing how much they charge at the grocery counter for baby leeks.

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                • #9
                  A lot depends on what area you come from, last year I planted out my leeks at the beginning of June and it must have been the poorest crop of leeks I have ever had, and I think the cause was due to planting too early as the temperatures dropped shortly after, and yet a friend had a good crop, he waited till he had lifted his early potatoes before planting out, when the temperature tho still cool did not fluctuate the same. so this year they will be planted out the end of June early July
                  it may be a struggle to reach the top, but once your over the hill your problems start.

                  Member of the Nutters Club but I think I am just there to make up the numbers

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                  • #10
                    Leeks do seem to cause problems. If you sow them too early they tend to bolt in summer, if you sow them later they never reach the magic "pencil thickness" that they are supposed to be when you plant them out.

                    I have tried various methods from sowing in modules (not great) to sowing in an individual pot (not great) to sowing in the ground using a few seeds about every 4 inches (works ok at my friend's, but I haven't the space here). Last year I sowed them in rows in a trough in April, hoping that the deeper compost would help, and it sort of did, but probably being overshadowed by thick potato foliage didn't. The biggest were planted out into a pot in September at about pencil thickness and fed with coffee grounds and these have formed leeks about 1/2 an inch to an inch thick which are now starting to bolt. The rest are mostly a bit bigger than pencil thickness now, having been planted into buckets in October.

                    This year I am starting them off in rootrainers in the cold frame and they will be transplanted into a self watering saladgrow when my spinach is finished. The are currently at the grass-like stage.
                    A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. LLAP. - Leonard Nimoy

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                    • #11
                      Leeks seem so simple on TV! Never works simply for me.

                      However, for the last few years I've been sowing in a small seed tray but when they are about 6 weeks old and like thin grass I transplant into another tray that is about 4 inches deep.

                      This transplant seems to bring them on much quicker than just leaving them and gives me thicker stems for planting out. I've done many comparisons and found it far superior than any other method I've read about.

                      I still don't get pencil thickness though!
                      The proof of the growing is in the eating.
                      Leave Rotten Fruit.
                      Nitrogen, Phosphorus, Potasium - potash.
                      Autant de tĂȘtes, autant d'avis!!!!!
                      Il n'est si méchant pot qui ne trouve son couvercle.

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                      • #12
                        Mine are rarely pencil thickness, more like a fat needle, when they get planted out in June or early July and don't seem to fatten up until well into August.
                        If they aren't dead they'll be fine.
                        Although I would question the need to cover them - they are very hardy!
                        Le Sarramea https://jgsgardening.blogspot.com/

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                        • #13
                          I sow mine onto compost in an 8ins pot which is saturated by putting it in a bucket of water(carefully) and put outside the greenhouse, out of direct sunlight, end of may, start of june, and I leave them to it for a good while, except for last year, summer never arrived, I do get leeks generally 2ins across so it works here as a rule but then we usually get the watering done by the summer weather...

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                          • #14
                            I sowed mine into compost filled loo roll inners. Only have 3 that look 'alive' (just..!!) and look like grass, too ...

                            Was thinking of leaving them in their loo roll and putting each one into a bigger pot with more compost ..
                            Or should I just leave them as they are and just plant out in June (if they survive!) ??
                            ~~~ Gardening is medicine that does not need
                            a prescription ... And with no limit on dosage.
                            - Author Unknown ~~~

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                            • #15
                              Thanks for all your replies.
                              Actually I bought the leeks of the market. I did the same thing about two years ago and I ended up with the thickest leeks I had ever had in my life by the autumn but last year the did really well again to start with but then started keeling over by the end of summer owing to leek moth. So I covered my winter leeks with fleece as soon as I planted them in September and they did very well while a neighbour's were nearly all destroyed by the dreaded moth. So if I leave these pencil thin leeks in for the time being, when will it be safe to take off the fleece for weedings purposes, etc.? In the evening?

                              Anton

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