Leeks, Carrots and Runner Beans.
There’s about two and a half weeks to go before my last harvest for Malvern Show as we shall be travelling down on the Wednesday to stage our display on Thursday and Friday. There will be six of us working on the stand this time and I’ve just had a look through my leeks for the central position on the stand. I have been bothered badly this year with both Red Spider Mite and Thrips, and before I knew it the damage had been caused.
A number of exhibitors now use Admire to control The thrips on Leeks, you use it as drench with enough to cover the surface of a 2 pence piece in 2 gallons being the correct amount. However it didn’t seem to work with me as I was probably too late with the application and I could clearly see the Thrips crawling around on the leaves.
The next thing was an application of Dynamec and this seems to have done the trick as there are no more pests visible on the leaves. Dynamec is good also on Red Spider Mite. Next year I shall use Admire early on when still in the pots in the greenhouse and then further control after planting out using Dynamec.
Another problem that I have had with my Pendle leeks is secondary growth appearing between two sets of foliage or flags. This is the first time for me to get this phenomenon and I’m convinced it’s to do with the plants metabolism when the plants are close to bolting. From 34 leeks planted I now only have ten left which haven’t bolted and enough to cover my last display at Malvern.
Those that haven’t bolted are also now throwing up these side shoots and they must obviously come from the root plate. It won’t affect me with the display but for anyone showing on the bench it could be a serious matter.
The reason for this is because as the growth increases in strength it will change or alter the shape of the barrel of the leek as it pushes outwards in between the flags.
I was late sowing my final bed of Sweet candle Carrots at home, in fact it was bored and filled by my grandson Owain and I simply the sowed the seed, (he does come in handy at times!!) This was around the middle of May and I thought then they might come in useful for the kitchen later on or I could possibly manage a few for my stand.
As the picture shows they are much better than I thought they would be with no trace at all of any fly with beautiful fresh green foliage on them. Whether the bottoms will be rounded is something else but that criteria certainly won’t bother me when I’m eating them!
In one of the beds next to the leeks I have a row of Jescot-Long-Un (Cat N0 3200) Runner bean growing away ( even though they were also severly hit with pest damage) and the longest at the moment is 28 inches long. This is showing no sign of beaning and it will certainly grow longer than that.
I grow these at home as I don’t want them to cross pollinate with the my 800 plus Stenner bean plants growing in the fields for seed production which is about 4 miles away. What is more, this is a fantastic bean to eat provided you pick it when it’s still young, it’s very fleshy and tasty.