Growing leeks

Leeks are one of the staples on our allotment. They grow well without too much hassle, we love to eat them, they’re a versatile vegetable which can be used as a substitute for onions when they’ve all gone, and you can leave them in the ground all winter, just pulling up a few at a time, as and when you need them. What’s not to love? I think if I could only grow one veg on the plot, it’d be leeks.

Admittedly we overdid it a bit last year and struggled to use them all up. So when a few started to produce flowers I decided to leave them and try saving the seeds.

The flower head was cut at it’s peak, and hung in my shed all winter. When I came to sow the seeds a week or so ago, I found it a very fiddly job to free the tiny black seeds from their dried flower cases. I did a few okay, but it was taking ages, and I wanted to fill a seed tray with them. So as an experiment, I pulled off a few flower heads and threw them in whole, making sure to cover them completely with soil. My theory being that the thin papery case would quickly rot away in the moist soil, allowing the seed inside to germinate.

Well, I’m sure it’s not the recommended method (happy to take advice here from more experienced growers) but they’ve germinated and seem fine so far. I never fail to get a thrill from seeing the first tiny shoots poke out of the soil (it’s sad I know), especially when you have your doubts about whether they will succeed or not. It’s a ‘phew’ moment. It’s amazing to think these tiny green shoots (that look like green hair grips when they emerge) will turn into those in the top photo.

Growing flowers or vegetables yourself is so rewarding, growing them from seed is even more so, but growing them from your own seed that you lovingly saved from last years crop is even better! I think I might have been bitten by the propagating bug.

One comment

  1. Hi,

    I was intrigued when I saw the title of your post. I have just planted some leek seeds and wait with eager antipation for the green shoots to appear! I am never sure what to plant when in Portugal – but I give most things a try. I eagly await their germiantion. Liked your idea of burying the seed heads.

    The leeks in the picture above look really impressive 🙂
    PiP

    Like

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