Leeks, 2016

This page will be updated periodically with photos and text about the leek experiment this year. I have never grown leeks before and have started some from seed which are up about eight inches and I have planted some whole leeks to attempt to clone them. You can follow the directions for that here. Thank you to Phil!

These are the Autumn Giant leeks that were started from seed March 18. They will go into the ground late summer or early fall.

Leeks, _____ , planted from seed on ____. These will move to the garden late summer/early fall.

Autumn Giant leeks, planted March 18

The below photo shows whole organic leeks planted to make clones.

Planted May 25, 2016

Planted May 25, 2016

Two days later – you can already see the growth.

The great leek experiment. These were potted 24 hours before the photo and have already grown. More info later.

The great leek experiment. These were potted 48 hours before the photo and have already grown. More info coming.

I cut the butt end from one of these leeks and made three possible plants. Lets see what happens. Hopefully at least one of these will create clones.

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The instructions I am following;

How to clone a leek

  1. 1  Keep back a good quality leek. Dig it up in September, trim back the roots and cut a third to half off the top.
  2. 2  Plant the leek in multipurpose compost so it’s half buried.
  3. 3  Keep it in a warmish greenhouse over winter or indoors.
  4. 4  Plant it outside in open ground in May.
  5. 5  The leek will flower in July or August the year after it was dug up. Assoon as it flowers give it a haircut. All of a sudden it will grow hairs. Leave it until the hairs are easy to pull out and then plant the tiny leeks which are called ‘pips’. If the hairs aren’t ready and you expect a frost the parent plant can be dug up, planted in a pot and brought inside if necessary to protect from frosts while you’re waiting for the hairs.
  6. 6  The pips can be potted on individually and the young leeks should be planted out after the frosts have finished.
  7. 7  Save a couple of the best leeks for cloning and begin again!

Phil’s tips:

  • Leeks should be planted in ground that hasn’t had manure or compost added. You can add these the year before but then don’t feed. This applies to onions too.
  • Plant leeks as far away from garlic as possible. This is to prevent rust which often develops on garlic as the leaves die back. If leeks are growing nearby they’ll pick up the rust while they are still young.
  • Collar leeks to get a long white stem. Damp-proof material is useful for excluding light and reflective material is useful to protect from heat in summer. As the leek grows you will need to replace the collar with a bigger one.
  • Each leek flower can produce as many as two or three hundred pips. Only one or two leeks need to be overwintered to provide plenty of pips.
  • When Phil plants leeks he makes a deep hole with a broom handle and drops the leek in. The hole is so deep only the tips of the leaves are showing above ground. He doesn’t add any soil just pours water into the hole and leaves nature to do its work.
  • Your soil might be a bit different to Phil’s so you may need to experiment a little to get the best results
  • Thank you to Phil!