Early planted Leeks and Onions

by on January 27, 2013
in Vegetable Growing

At the moment I am very happy with the progress of both my Pendle blanch leeks, my Cumbrian Pot leeks and my own selection from the Ivor Mace Large exhibition Onions, all of course destined for Tatton and were started off August last year. The leeks are in 30 litre pots and last week they had their first collar made from builders damp course and cut to 12 inch by 9 inches.  It’s now rolled on giving me a height of nine inches, this will be removed  before long and rolled the other way to give me a collar height of 12 inches.

The onions are now on nine leaves with two support clips supporting the leaves whilst another single clip is used to keep the stem growing upright. This is important if I am to harvest onions with good form or shape on them.

The pot leeks Cumbrian, are showing the usual blotches on the leaf which is a virus that seems to curtail somewhat the earlier growth. However the growth will quickly improve as the plant seems to grow out of this early virus affecting the leaf. Watering all these is quite critical with the water being targeted around the inside of the pot rim and never aroud the centre of the plant.

Time will tell if this is going to work, don’t forget these were initially intended for the Chelsea flower show in May so all could end with a disappointment if they throw up a seed head. I shall keep you posted.

Leeks pendle with 9 inch collars 30 lit pots 230113

Onions large for Tatton in 25 litre pots on 9 leaves 230113

Pot Leeks Cumbrian in two pot system

Comments

9 Responses to “Early planted Leeks and Onions”
  1. Padraig says:

    Hello,
    Medwyn I planted some of the leeks I grew for the 2012 show season to produce plants for next year and one of them has just gone to seed. What should I do, should I keep the plant and allow it to produce plants just to see what happens?
    Thanks
    Padraig

  2. Marcus Powell says:

    All looking very good Medwyn. What’s the length to the button on your Pendles behind the damp proof please?

    Marcus

  3. Medwyn says:

    Hi Marcus,
    I haven’t actually measured the length but I would say that the button length must about seven inches long.

  4. Marcus Powell says:

    Thanks Medwyn. I didn’t get enough length last year, only just enough not to be NAS’d so have started drawing earlier this year. So far so good.

  5. Padraig says:

    Hello,
    Medwyn I planted some of the leeks I grew for the 2012 show season to produce plants for next year and one of them has just gone to seed. What should I do, should I keep the plant and allow it to produce plants just to see what happens?
    Thanks
    Padraig

  6. Medwyn says:

    Hi Padraig,
    I’m not quite sure where you are coming from regarding the leeks. If the leeks you mention were re planted after last year’s shows for producing bulbils or pips, then they should be going to see at some point. The one that has just bolted is certainly a little early and the resulting head of bulbils will also be early, probably too early for propagating this October / November for the 2014 season. However if the head produces pips or bulbils anytime from this June to August period you can root them and they can become your stock plants for producing pips for 2014. They will however require a period of Vernailisation, a cold spell to induce the plant to bolt. I leave mine in my Cold polytunnel even when it’s freezing, other growers will leave them outside during frosty weather for a week or so.
    Hope that is the sort of reply you were looking for.

  7. Padraig says:

    Hello,
    Thanks Medwyn for the advice much appreciated.

    Kind Regards,
    Padraig

  8. colin says:

    Hi medwyn can you help my large onions planted from seed about a month ago all germinated and grew to crook stage, i transplanted them into biigger pots but have noticed they are around 2″ tall and the tops are withering and the plant then falls over. any ideas what might be wrong ?

  9. Medwyn says:

    Apologies for the delay in replying. There could be a number of reasons why your onions are keeling over. It could be the compost is too strong, it’s too wet or it’s too cold for them. If you are heating your greenhouse with a paraffin heater the fumes from that can cause the tips to yellow off. They may also be in too big a pot initially. Over the past few years I have had great success using either 40 cells in a seed tray or 60 cells with most of them this year in the latter. The compost I use at this stage is Levington F2S which contains some silver sand and allows for good drainage. Do not water over them wholesale, treat each cell as and when they require water, takes a bit more time but well worth the effort.

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