Irish Gardeners Forum Home
 FAQFAQ   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 
Custom Search
   
Weather Report /
Moon Phase for Ireland

Post new topic   Reply to topic    Irish Gardeners Forum Home -> Vegetable growing, fruit and allotments in Ireland

Planting leeks- to cut or not to cut?


 
Most Recent Posts funny
Last post: Margo
2016 Vegetable quizz.
Last post: Sue Deacon
oops
Last post: Margo
Skimmia seed wanted
Last post: Brendankearns
 
Visit TheGardenShop.ie
Author Message
tippben
Rank attained: Vegetable garden tender


Joined: 15 Jan 2011
Posts: 896
Location: north tipperary

PostPosted: Tue May 17, 2011 4:05 pm    Post subject: Planting leeks- to cut or not to cut? Reply with quote

I'm just about ready to plant out my multisown leeks, grown 3 or 4 to a module. I've always planted them in 6" deep holes, about a foot apart, and always had enough leeks for the winter. Some people are saying that I should trim the leaves and roots in half at planting time. What is the theory behind this, and is it advisable?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
sirpsycho
Rank attained: Pedunculate oak tree


Joined: 15 Mar 2010
Posts: 341
Location: Stamullen, Co Meath

PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2011 8:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You should have a read of the link below, about 3/4 the way the page. This guy explains how he goes about planting leeks and he mentioned he used to trim the leaves and roots but never noticed any difference so he doesn't bother anymore. No idea on the theory behind it but I'd be going by the results.

http://www.allotment-diary.co.uk/May-2010-Allotment-vegetable-growing-guide-blog.html
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
James Kilkelly
Rank: Site Admin


Joined: 30 May 2006
Posts: 2142
Location: West of Ireland

PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2011 11:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Never felt the need to trim them myself.

Transplanting:
Why should you transplant? Transplanting increases the length of white stem on your leeks, so you end up with more usable vegetable from each individual leek. The stem whitens through deeper planting leading to light deprivation, a change from green to white, which is the resultant blanching.

If transplanting, the young plants should be ready for moving when they are about 8in (20cm) high and as about as thick as a pencil. Water the ground deeply around the young plants the day before you intend to move them, as this will prevent damage and shock to them.

The transplants new growing bed should have been prepared sometime during the autumn/early winter before sowing, in a similar way as described earlier in this guide. To transplant you can use a dibber. This is usually a plastic, metal or wooden hand tool, 6-inches long with a pointed tip; primarily used to make holes in soil for planting and transplanting seedlings, bulbs etc. You can buy one of these or take the frugal option and whittle one out of a broken broom handle or better still an old garden fork or spade shaft (complete with T or D handle).



With your dibber make rows of 6-inch (15cm) deep holes in the transplanting area at 6-9 inches apart. Allow 12 inches (30cm) between each of the plant rows. Then from your seedbed, lift out the young leek plants with a trowel or hand-fork. Lightly trim off the root tips and leaf tips before dropping the transplant into the holes leaving just the tips of the leaves showing. The plants can be kept damp throughout the time it takes to plant them by lightly wrapping bunches of them in damp sacking or wet newspaper.

Finally you must gently fill the hole with water to settle the roots. Use a watering can with its rose removed for this task. To prevent soil to falling between the leaves do not fill the transplant hole with soil, instead over time the holes will fill up of their own accord.

When the transplants have settled in well, and are showing good upward growth, then you can look earth up the stems to blanch them further. Earthing up is as simple as gently drawing soil up around the stems with a garden hoe or spade whilst being careful not to allow any fall between the leaves. You can carry out the earthing up over a few stages to vastly increase your percentage of white stem.

A lot of gardeners ask me "do you really have to transplant and earth up leeks"? No you don't have to. You will still have perfectly usable leeks albeit with less crisp white stem. The choice is up to you.

From here........... Leek growing - Leeks how to grow, tips, varieties, cooking.

_________________
Gardening books.

http://www.allotments.ie/ Ireland's allotments.
On Twitter... http://twitter.com/Allotments

Garden Consultation & Design.

Try my Garden Design home study course!
.
.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Seedling
Rank attained: Hazel Tree
Rank attained: Hazel Tree


Joined: 28 Feb 2011
Posts: 31
Location: Cork

PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2011 1:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Instead of earthing up leeks to blanch them, has anyone tried covering individual leeks with say, cardboard toilet roll inserts? I have been keeping these all winter for this purpose but will it work to increase the length of the white stem?


Conor
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
tippben
Rank attained: Vegetable garden tender


Joined: 15 Jan 2011
Posts: 896
Location: north tipperary

PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2011 7:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the replies. It seems i'm not losing a lot by just planting deep and earthing up. Never tried toilet rolls, apparently newspaper helps blanching, according to people locally: you just wrap sheets on the stem as it grows. I'd be a bit worried about rotting and slugs, but worth trying- some you win, some you lose! One thing I am doing is multisowing. I left several leeks in a clump, and increased the plant spacing a bit. I heard this from Bob Flowerdew. I did this last year, and got smaller, sweeter leeks, but much more of them for my small space. I was just confused about the root pruning- for a 1 year plant, I couldn't understand the point.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Blowin
Rank attained: Orchard owner


Joined: 20 Aug 2008
Posts: 678
Location: Drimoleague, Co Cork

PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2011 6:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think the principle of trimming back the upper stages of a plant when transplanting has been designed to reduce the need for nutrients at a time when the roots have been disturbed and can't supply them?

If anyone has family/friends in the Newcastle area of Britain, leek growing is something of a passion there but, as always with things grown for showing, the super-plants may be huge, perfectly formed etc but totally devoid of taste and texture, i.e. the very things we want from them on our plates.

The pencil thickness for transplanting seems rather excessive? I just sprinkle the seed in a seed tray full of compost, wait until they're, as others have said, about 8" high but never more than an eigth of an inch thick via this process. Dib holes about 4-6 inches apart. Hold by the tip of the seedling. Drop into the hole whilst still holding the tip. Push enough of the surrounding soil into the hole to support it. Water thoroughly and leave them to it.

I understand chicken manure is particularly good for leeks but planting them closer together will probably produce more leeks per row and, thus, avoid the need for earthing up etc but still produce the same weight of food.

_________________
A novice gardener on newly cultivated, stoney ground.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Irish Gardeners Forum Home -> Vegetable growing, fruit and allotments in Ireland All times are GMT
Page 1 of 1

 

Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum
You can attach files in this forum
You can download files in this forum


Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group

Privacy Policy | Copyright © 2006 - 2016 IrishGardeners.com (part of GardenPlansIreland.com)