why are my leeks so small??

Discussion in 'Edible Gardening' started by lowrider69, Dec 9, 2018.

  1. lowrider69

    lowrider69 Gardener

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    why are my leeks so small??

    I love leeks so planted a crop but they seem to have come out really small, brought them on from seed in a green house them planted them on in spring.

    any advice please

    ThanksLeeks 2018.jpg
     
  2. sandymac

    sandymac Gardener

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    Need more info to give an answer, what variety are they, how did you grow them (garden, trench, containers) how far apart were they, how deep did you transplant them, did you earth up, what did you feed them with.
     
  3. lowrider69

    lowrider69 Gardener

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    don't know what variety I,m new to gardening this is my 1st year with veg, I bought the seeds off ebay, I just brought them on from seed in the greenhouse and when big enough I just planted them in a few inches deep or just past the white part, I mixed in feed into the soil which was new soil and don't know what earth them up means.
    you can just make them out at the front rows if you look close enoughFence Back Garden.jpggarden june 9th 18.jpg

    think I,m doing quite a lot wrong by sounds of it.
     
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    • Marley Farley

      Marley Farley Affable Admin! Staff Member

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      @lowrider69 I grow leeks from seed and the way I get nice sized leeks is to transplant when seedlings are about 8” - 10” high.. I use a dibber to make a nice deep round hole about 8” deep, or deeper if seedlings are big, snip top 1” or so off of the top of the leaves, drop them in the hole and gently fill hole with water trying not to wash too much soil into the hole.. You may or may not have leek poking out of the hole but they will soon grow up out of the hole.. Don’t fill the hole in as it helps the leeks to fill out better.. Well that’s what my dad and grandfather did and what I have done for years and get nice leeks every year.. :thumbsup:
       
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      • ricky101

        ricky101 Super Gardener

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        Hi,

        You could ensure you buy a well know seed next spring like the very popular Musselburg.

        An alternative is to buy the named punnets of young leeks from the garden centers in April/May time.

        As you are well south, wonder if lack of water in the hot summer reduce the growth ?
         
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        • Scrungee

          Scrungee Well known for it

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          If you planted them out in open ground too early, such as in Spring, that could explain it.
           
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          • lowrider69

            lowrider69 Gardener

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            Hey if its good enough for dad and grandfather its good enough for me :) thanks mate it does make sense to me and will give this a try ;)
            when do you plant yours out??
             
          • Marley Farley

            Marley Farley Affable Admin! Staff Member

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            @lowrider69 I plant mine in the tunnel in May usually but it depends on the room I have in there. Before I had the tunnel though I always planted out May or early June as the best time to plant out. Hope that helps. :thumbsup:
             
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            • lowrider69

              lowrider69 Gardener

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              May it is then I don't have a tunnel though
               
            • Steve R

              Steve R Soil Furtler

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              I have not grown leeks for a couple of years now, but this is how I used to grow them.

              I used an old polystyrene fish or brocolli box, filled with compost to "station sow" my seeds late January. That is I sowed them grid fashion in lines 1 inch apart.

              End of March they where carefully removed (so as not to damaage roots) from the poly box and planted out in a spare bit of ground in clumps. Here their roots can grow more and get access to more nutrients and water...let them grow on! (compost I sowed into would be depleted after 6-8 weeks)

              The Leek bed: My leek bed was always my first early potato bed which was heavily manured. My First early potatoes where planted end of March and I started digging those up after 10 weeks (mid june) and they where all harvested by the end of June, leaving the bed empty. Dig the bed over and fashion a trench, six inches deep. Dig the bottom of the trench over. Using a dibber, dibble some holes 6 inches deep 6 inches or more apart.

              Now dig up a clump of leeks from where you planted them and gently shake the soil off, wash the roots if you have to but 5 minutes gently doing this will easily tease the roots apart, your leeks will be pencil thick by now if not much thicker.

              Some growers trim both the roots and leaves with scissors, I only did this once the first year and saw no benefit save for making the leeks easier to get into a dibbled hole. But I found when offering a leek with large roots to the hole that if I rotated the leek whilst putting it into the hole the job was so much easier. As Marley said above, now just fill the hole with water.

              With rainfall, watering and hoeing weeds away the hole will naturally fill up, the trench sides will start to collapse and fill in. When your plants are about 12 inches tall, you can start to earth them up.

              This is done with a hoe or rake to move and pile the trench sides up along the row of leeks, this denies light to the leek stems and so blanches them, keeping them the desirable white that you trimmed your leeks too in the photo top of this page. Not all of the buried stem will blanch but it will still be very tasty and should not be trimmed away and discarded, as a rule a leek will be one part blanched and two parts green!

              I have not grown them for two years preferring instead to grow more shallots, but I might put a couple of rows in again next year.

              As an aside, we have a scientist on a plot at our allotment site. He grows great Onions from sets every year. He plants around late March then a month later he will dibble a small hole next to his onions at an angle heading towards the root zone, he drops one or two growmore pellets into the hole and fills it again. It works for him and I have wondered this last couple of years if a couple of growmore pellets in the dibbles hole for leeks would be just as effective, I feel another test coming on!

              Steve...:)
               
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              • lowrider69

                lowrider69 Gardener

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                Thanks Steve I tend to mix in long release feed when I plant anything these days.

                I never done onions last year but might give it a go this year, what type of leek seeds do you buy?


                 
              • Steve R

                Steve R Soil Furtler

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                Manured, dug over ground do a number of things. Loosen the soil to allow an easier root run/ easier swelling of the stem, provide food for the plants and soil life in general,add an ability for the soil to hold onto moisture.

                Adding a long release feed to a pot or basket is where it works best.

                Like Ricky above I use Musselburgh leeks.

                Steve...:)
                 
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                • Scrungee

                  Scrungee Well known for it

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                  I also use Musselburgh leeks for my main crop of leeks, but will try some others if I find some cheap seeds.

                  Looking again at the image in post #1, the short lengths of blanched leek also makes me think they were planted too (small and) early. I dib leek planting holes approx. 5" deep.
                   
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                  • WeeTam

                    WeeTam Total Gardener

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                    Saw a guy on youtube growing leeks in a bucket, or was that a leaky bucket?
                     
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                    • lowrider69

                      lowrider69 Gardener

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                      thanks for all the advice guys its been really helpful :)
                       
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