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Leeks from seed

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default Leeks from seed

Post by MrsC on 11th April 2011, 7:43 pm

Hi all

This year I'm trying to grow leeks for the first time and am doing so from seed. They seemed to germinate without any problems in a propagator and when they got a few cm tall I moved them into pots. They still seem to be growing upwards, but I'm a tad concerned about the girth which just doesn't seem to have changed at all since they were potted up.

I suppose what I'm wondering is should they have grown thicker yet or is that stage still to come? Everything I've looked at in books talks about transferring them into the ground when they are as thick as pencils but that seems like such a long way off. I realise that leeks take a while to grown, but I'm wondering if I have a problem with my seedlings.

Any advice gratefully received! Thank you.

Mrs C

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default Re: Leeks from seed

Post by Dandelion on 11th April 2011, 8:46 pm

I grow leeks from seed every year - I start them off in an old plastic stacking box which has had holes drilled in the bottom as I don't have the luxury of a nursery bed. Last year I changed all this and grew them in modules but their progress was very slow, so I'm back to the old method. I would ususally expect them to be pencil thickness by June/July which is when I plant them into their places for the autmn/winter. Last year the seedlings were still looking pathetic by the summer - cocktail sticks instead of pencils, some of them. However I still planted them out, and by the time we ate them they were a bit less than an inch in diameter, so perfectly useful for soup and casseroles.
This year's leek seedlings have only just emerged from the compost, so I don't think you have anything to worry about!

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The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually. We have learned to fly in the air like birds and swim in the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers and sisters.

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Post by MrsC on 12th April 2011, 9:05 am

Thanks for that Dandelion - you've relieved me no end. Very Happy

It's so useful having a knowledgable bunch of people on tap to ask questions of and know that someone will definitely have an answer. Thank you forum!

Mrs C x

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default Re: Leeks from seed

Post by Chilli-head on 12th April 2011, 10:30 am

I always sow leeks in 1" modules, so they can be dropped into a dibbed hole. They are slow to get growing (very little leaf area for photosynthesis I guess) - I usually plant them out to follow overwintered broad beans, so Dandelion's timing sounds about right. Mine are never as thick as a pencil by then. Maybe one of the ones you get with a diary ...

The poorest results I have had were from using a JI seed compost - they are a long time in the modules so need more nutrients. I now use a general purpose compost instead.

Incidentally, last year I grew leek "Bandit" because it had an AGM and was said to resist rust. Entirely undeserved, if my experience was typical. Whimpy little leeks with poor flavour. Back to Musselburgh this year, and I'm trying "Startrack" too for some earlier crop.
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