Author Topic: Overwintering leeks for immediate use in the spring  (Read 2471 times)

Steph S

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Re: Overwintering leeks for immediate use in the spring
« Reply #15 on: 2020-04-03, 01:01:44 PM »
Well for eating/selling purposes, they won't bolt immediately by any means.   You can definitely give them time to shake off the winter scruffs.  ;)

Ferdzy

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Re: Overwintering leeks for immediate use in the spring
« Reply #16 on: 2020-07-08, 11:30:19 AM »
We just did the second transplant of our leeks from seed from this strain. We got good germination and planted them out in trenches earlier in the spring; by now they have sized up enough to be dug up and dropped into 8" holes for their final positions.

Size has been all over the place with these leeks. Some of them seem to stay very tiny, no matter what. Most of them grow quite slowly and only really seem to hit a good size in their second spring. However, we re-planted only the largest ones this time. We re-planted 84 leeks - about 1/4 of what we had - and all but about 10 were a quite decent size. We've certainly planted leeks as poor as the remaining 10 too, so that's not unheard-of. Discarded the rest, they were too small for me to even want to fiddle around with them in the kitchen.

However, my overall impression is that even after only 2 years of growing these out, we are succeeding in selecting for better early growth. They continue to be oddly stiff to the touch, compared to any other leeks we've grown, although they cook up as tender as any.

Richard Watson

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Re: Overwintering leeks for immediate use in the spring
« Reply #17 on: 2020-07-08, 01:21:35 PM »
The size has been all over the place for me too, a real genetic range of colours also, even had some with thicker leafs.
Changeable climate manly during winter & spring - 500mm average yearly rainfall. 20 years of soil improvements plus sub soil top soil reversal means my garden beds are about half metre deep. Below that is 100's of metres of alluvial shingle

Ferdzy

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Re: Overwintering leeks for immediate use in the spring
« Reply #18 on: 2020-07-08, 01:27:23 PM »
Richard, the ones I am growing now are a very small subset of the types I sent to you, being selected only from ones that spent the winter in the ground as seed and sprouted in the spring. They definitely seem to behave a little differently than any other leeks I've grown.

Steph S

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Re: Overwintering leeks for immediate use in the spring
« Reply #19 on: 2020-07-08, 01:39:37 PM »
That is interesting...  I thought the same thing about the Mammoth Leeks from seed I got in the swap.   There seemed a lot of variation in leaf color and growth habit - length of stalk, whether a bulbous part underground or not, and also whether they divided readily and formed 'pearls' that is baby leeks on the side.  (A lot of leeks did so that summer, including another var at my friend's farm as well as in my garden.  So it could be mainly environmental.)  May have been an accidental cross in that batch.
I have a small group that I selected from the Mammoth brood although I don't recall exactly what I selected for - they got brought into the greenhouse and the others didn't survive.  They are in a pot outdoors now and will flower soon.
My hardy leeks got moved this year to a sunnier place with less competition, hoping they will settle in there and set seed earlier than they usually do, which is very late.  No sign of any scapes on these until August or September.   Overwintering in the greenhouse is pretty much the only way I can get seed in this short season, but maybe do better in the sunny spot.

Ferdzy

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Re: Overwintering leeks for immediate use in the spring
« Reply #20 on: 2021-03-11, 12:01:21 PM »
Three days ago we had a foot of snow - at least- throughout the garden. We then had 2 days (including today) of near 20C weather. Tomorrow it's back to seasonal temperatures, fluctuating between freezing at night and thawing in the day. We went back and had a look at how things are doing.

The leeks! They are the best I've ever seen! A little flattened, but NO dead and rotting sections. To be fair, we have had good snow cover and no temperatures below -20C, even at night, with daytime temperatures being higher, and very steady throughout the winter. An ideal winter thus far for things to come through. I'm a bit surprised at how much the Turkish Inegol influence is still seen in these, even though they all came out of Verdonnet. Inegol is the parent that is bringing the size, it's the others that are bringing the hardiness. 

So, what do people think?

1/) Eh, I've seen better.
2/) Pretty typical looking spring leeks.
3/) Wow, those look great!

Joseph Lofthouse

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Re: Overwintering leeks for immediate use in the spring
« Reply #21 on: 2021-03-11, 06:35:53 PM »
Wonderful looking leeks!

Steph S

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Re: Overwintering leeks for immediate use in the spring
« Reply #22 on: 2021-03-15, 07:15:40 PM »
They look great!  Hardly crushed (I see a plant in the back row behind them flattened to the ground) and leaves all good under the snow is pretty fine indeed.   Nice range of leaf colors. 

Ferdzy

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Re: Overwintering leeks for immediate use in the spring
« Reply #23 on: 2021-03-16, 05:15:51 PM »
Yeah, that's the celeriac. It overwinters and will recover and go to seed if I let it, but it's not edible anymore.

The darker leaved leeks are clearly the best. The lighter leaved leeks are clearly dominating the largest leeks (ie anything that got  planted on last year). But it looks like if I keep on keeping on, there are enough dark leeks to keep on with.