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Leeks

These were planted in September last year and were left outside.  A few have died and I'm not too happy about how these look.  I'm not sure when they will be ready for harvesting (if at all).  When should I admit defeat on these?  I could leave them until April when i put the potatoes in if necessary:


At about 750 feet on the western edge of The Pennines.  Clay soil.  
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  • JennyJJennyJ Posts: 10,464
    They probably didn't get a long enough growing season before winter came. I've only grown leeks a couple of times but I think I sowed them in April to grow through the summer and be harvested over the winter. They'll stand over winter but I don't think they grew much in cold weather. Whether they'll start growing when the weather warms up or just run to seed, I couldn't say but if you don't need the space you could leave them and see what happens.
    Doncaster, South Yorkshire. Soil type: sandy, well-drained
  • nick615nick615 Posts: 1,481
    I rather think they'll be tough as old boots, as and when you harvest them.  I'd go along with JennyJ's timetable, maybe sowing in March in a seed tray, then, when they're 13-14 inches tall, dib 12 inch holes where you want them to grow on and harvest them from autumn onwards into winter.
  • SkandiSkandi Posts: 1,723
    I would pull them out now and eat them as spring onions, if you want leeks in the winter they need to be planted in the spring, nothing grows much when the daylight drops under 8 hours a day, so they need to be nearly fully grown by then, for me that's in October for you it may be a bit later.
  • LynLyn Posts: 23,190
    Same here @Skandi they are fully grown by October but I leave them in the ground and pull them when I need them.
    I sow the seeds at the end of February.  
    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • Hi everyone

    I only started growing veg. a couple of years ago and it's not as easy as it looked when my father did it!

    I planted leeks in late summer after harvesting the last of the potatoes.  I was guided by the various websites that suggested that leeks were an autumn crop.  It may be for some but we are almost 750 feet on the edge of The Pennines and i think it's too cold for anything outside out greenhouse.


    I'll have a serious rethink next winter.



    At about 750 feet on the western edge of The Pennines.  Clay soil.  
  • LynLyn Posts: 23,190
    I think you’ll be ok with leeks,  I am 960’ above and although in Devon, you need to take 3° of anything forecast. 
    When they say an autumn crop they mean ready for eating in the autumn.
    I will be sowing leek seeds this week end, indoors and keep them indoors until they are about12’ tall,  unless the weather turns for the best, then they’ll go in the greenhouse until ready to plant out in April.,
    Our forecast gives -2° for all next week. 
    You’ll learn what’s best for your weather and height situation,  just don’t go by what the seed packet says. 
    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • You’ll learn what’s best for your weather and height situation,  just don’t go by what the seed packet says.
    I think that this is what is relevant with my failing winter crops.  Leeks and when to plant them:

    • In mild winter regions, plant leeks and shallots in late autumn or winter.
    • In cool–but not cold–winter regions plant leeks and shallots in late summer and autumn for spring harvest. Plant them again in spring for fall or winter harvest.
    • In cold winter regions plant leeks and shallots in the garden three weeks before the last spring frost or later.

    We are a cold winter region and are prone to a northerly airstream for a lot of the time.  A few years ago the cold killed a couple of mature trees in our garden and the man who cut them down said that we were not the only ones to lose trees.

    This is the second year that we have tried winter veg.  I'll leave the leeks and probably not bother next winter, apart from what I can grow in the greenhouse. 

    At about 750 feet on the western edge of The Pennines.  Clay soil.  
  • JennyJJennyJ Posts: 10,464
    I think that's a US website @InTheMoorlands , and they have a much wider range of climates than we do. Maybe have a look at some UK sites, eg https://www.growveg.co.uk/plants/uk-and-europe/how-to-grow-leeks/


    Doncaster, South Yorkshire. Soil type: sandy, well-drained
  • LynLyn Posts: 23,190
    edited February 2023
    @InTheMoorlands    You’ll be ok with leeks,  they do well in cold areas,  you just need to adopt the right method for your climate,  I do exactly as in the link Jenny has sent except it would be no good for me to plant direct.  I will be sowing mine this weekend. 

    You could try Spring Greens in your GH,  I grow them every year.  Sow the seeds mid September in the GH or indoors in pots,  then they’re ready to be planted in the ground in your GH after the tomatoes have finished,  they don’t do a lot through the winter but start to grow well at the end of February and March,  you can take off the outside leaves as soon as they’re a good size and keep picking right through until tomatoes are ready to go in round about may/June.  The greens freeze well. 

    Please don’t give up,  we all have failures at the start,  keep at it and keep asking questions,  always someone ready to help. 
    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • nick615nick615 Posts: 1,481
    Parsnips are a safe winter CROP.  Plant around March/April.  Ready by autumn for winter.  Method is to make deepish holes (14-15 inches deep) with a crow bar.  Fill to within half an inch of the tops with fine soil or compost.  Sow 4-5 seeds in each, before completing the filling.  Germination is normally pretty bad, hence the 4-5 seeds to get one plant.
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