Early Leeks and Onions
Blog Sunday 16th December 2012
Having had a problem with my leeks bolting last year you would have thought that I would be more cautious than ever this time round. However I am taking a calculated risk with both my Pendle Improved blanch leek and my Cumbrian Pot Leek. Both of these, together with the Welsh Seedling blanch leek were started off early from some advanced bulbils during late July. The purpose of which was twofold, to have some early plants as I was hoping at the time to stage a display at Chelsea. Unfortunately I have been unable to find a sponsor on this occasion so I shall be giving it a miss. The second purpose was to have sufficient stock plants to generate enough heads for next Autumns leek bulbils.
The leeks intended for Chelsea will now also form the thrust of my display at the RHS Tatton Park Flower show next July. This will be just over two month after they would have been ready for Chelsea. I’m just hoping, given the excellent growing conditions that I have at the University glasshouse at Aber, that the plants won’t bolt on me. They will almost certainly be on the edge as they definitely wouldn’t hold out for the mid or late August shows.
They are nice plants now and nearly ready for potting on into either six inch pots or even directly into their permanent 30 litre pots. Whatever I decide won’t happen now until early in the New Year and whichever way I do it, the Pendle will be collared with a nine inch by one inch diameter DPC collar as soon as they are planted. I did this with the Pendle this year and I had a far better blanch on them than previous years. I do definitely think that they want pulling when they are young.
With Chelsea again in mind, I also sowed seed of the Peter Glazebrook onions during early August this year and they will now be hopefully be part of my display at Tatton in next July. The onion seed were broadcast sown in some Levington F2S and transplanted into 60 cells when they were showing their second proper
leaf. From these they went into 12 cells unit, (about two inch square
) and from those they went into 3½” pots using again F2S with s
ome slow release fertiliser.