Author Topic: Leeks - can you grow them without transplanting  (Read 2586 times)

newspud9

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Leeks - can you grow them without transplanting
« on: November 20, 2020, 16:48:03 »
As I lack the space at home to start things off in modules, I grow everything from seed on the allotment.  That said, does anyone have success growing leeks without transplanting them at all...or is that just wishful thinking and that at the very least they need a seed bed.  Thanks for all the comments.

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Leeks - can you grow them without transplanting
« on: November 20, 2020, 16:48:03 »

Tee Gee

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Re: Leeks - can you grow them without transplanting
« Reply #1 on: November 20, 2020, 17:18:27 »
Sprinkle around 20-25 seeds in a 5"-6" pot  and grow them on until planting out time.

Alternatively (if you have the patience sow as many seeds as you can " apart in a 5"-6" pot)

At planting out time carefully split the root ball up and plant individual seedlings into dibbled holes!

This method will save you  space!





Paulh

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Re: Leeks - can you grow them without transplanting
« Reply #2 on: November 20, 2020, 21:13:15 »
I do what TG suggests but then plant out into a nursery row as I find they don't grow to the fabled pencil size in the pots. (I guess I need better seed compost or should give them some feed.) I transplant from that.

This year I tried the variety "Nipper" which you grow from seed as a mini-leek. The idea was to be able to grow them between the allium leaf miner danger periods. It sort of worked but the hot summer wasn't to their liking. And fifty mini-leek, however nice they are, is only 12 real leeks in size!





Digeroo

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Re: Leeks - can you grow them without transplanting
« Reply #3 on: November 22, 2020, 12:08:29 »
I start mine off in a 500ml yoghurt pot, so it does not take up much room.  I suppose you could do this and put a plastic bag over the top and keep at at your allotment.
I never seem to get them to pencil size, but it does not seem to matter, once they are planted out the soon get going.
I simply take out the plants and wash off the potting compost, trim off some of the root, and throw them down a hole. 
I have sown some at the allotment and then moved them.  This worked ok.  They are also quite happy germinating under a plastic bottle, so keep off pests.
I find they need to go deeper into the soil to get a longer white section, so do need transplanting. 

ancellsfarmer

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Re: Leeks - can you grow them without transplanting
« Reply #4 on: November 22, 2020, 14:13:33 »
As I lack the space at home to start things off in modules, I grow everything from seed on the allotment.  That said, does anyone have success growing leeks without transplanting them at all...or is that just wishful thinking and that at the very least they need a seed bed.  Thanks for all the comments.

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newspud9

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Re: Leeks - can you grow them without transplanting
« Reply #5 on: November 22, 2020, 17:22:12 »
Many thanks for all the helpful info.

Tiny Clanger

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Re: Leeks - can you grow them without transplanting
« Reply #6 on: November 24, 2020, 11:59:22 »
I am no expert on leeks and never managed to get them to "Pencil size" till this year.  I grew a variety Bleu Solaise.  Started them in march, scattering the seeds in a shallow pot - 6" diameter x 4 inches deep and then moved 30 or so out into a large tray 24" - 14" in May  - and then just left them in the polytunnel till early september.  Truth to tell I forgot them.  When I found them behind a rather rampeant cucumber - lo and behold.  The fabled 2HB size had been achieved.  I planted them out - hole 6" deep and not filled in and they are really good.  I am amazed I've managed it.

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BarriedaleNick

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Re: Leeks - can you grow them without transplanting
« Reply #7 on: November 26, 2020, 09:46:20 »
Never managed to grow them without transplanting.
My mate on my old plot just used to throw a handful of saved seed on the ground and water them in.  Then dig them up when big enough, wash them off and pop them in with a dibber.  Had great leeks..
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Digeroo

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Re: Leeks - can you grow them without transplanting
« Reply #8 on: January 25, 2021, 19:40:52 »
The white section of the leek seems to be a matter of taste.  I have a Polish friend and she does not like what she buys in this country as she does not like the white stalk.  So I told her to leave them outside in the sunshine for a few days, and they soon greened up to her taste.

Tee Gee

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Re: Leeks - can you grow them without transplanting
« Reply #9 on: January 25, 2021, 21:19:15 »
As you will be aware there are " pot leeks" which have short but very thick stems and their are "blanch leeks" which have long white slender stems. You will find that the top growers do not usually purchase commercial seeds they go to specialist growers for their seed .

Alternatively they buy pips which are grown from seedlings that eminate from the seed head grown froma leek/s  that have been purposely allowed to seed in order to keep the desired strain.

I don't normally recommend a commercial variety but on the advice of a top grower I started growing a variety called " Oarsman" and I was generally quite happy with the crops I got. oK the were not show toppers but for culinary purposes I found them to be very good!

See slide show here

http://www.thegardenersalmanac.co.uk/Content/L/Leeks/Leeks.htm

The seven harvested leeks at the end of the slideshow are Oarsman and the boards they are laid on are 4" wide in order to add some scale to the photo.

gray1720

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Re: Leeks - can you grow them without transplanting
« Reply #10 on: January 25, 2021, 21:39:49 »
I've never sown without  transplanting (I dib 'em in deep - much to SWMBO's amusement, she says they look as though they are hiding in foxholes), but my next-door neighbour on the plots had a row of what were surely leek seedlings coming up on hers in December.
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Vinlander

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Re: Leeks - can you grow them without transplanting
« Reply #11 on: February 04, 2021, 13:19:37 »
I transplanted some leeks & brassicas into the PT last month (later than ideal) - I do this with any slow, stunted seedlings left over from a spring sowing.

Both crops bulk up much faster under cover at this time of year. After all there's not much else in there apart from a few strawberries between the buried (empty) pots that are waiting for next summer's toms, peppers & aubergines.

The leeks hadn't reached pencil size - the biggest were about half that - I found it annoying to transplant so many tiny root balls so close to each other (12-15cm).

Then I remembered the leek section in Lawrence D Hills' book, where he said that it's traditional to cut all the roots off them before just dibbing holes and puddling them.

Unlike many authors who just plagiarise, Hills would ask why...

Apparently the thinking was that the majority of the roots got broken anyway when digging out the nursery bed, and such roots were useless because leek roots can't branch and grow on... - so you might as well get rid of the lot to save time.

I have to say I've never seen a branched leek root (or onion or garlic for that matter) so it seems to make sense.

I don't know how successful this will be for sub-pencil size so I tried it with the bigger ones (quick and easy) and gave the smaller ones holes to suit their root balls (slow and tedious - some small leeks have surprisingly large root balls, but washing them to make them drop cleanly into dibber holes is even more tedious).

It remains to be seen what happens, but if they all survive I'll report back, and I will certainly trim the whole of the next batch. In fact I'll probably do that anyway - provided the half-pencil ones don't actually get overtaken.

Lots of sources say it makes no difference in their experience - so why are they happy to spend an extra 30 or 40 seconds planting each root ball?

They make so little sense they're just using random words, not language. (I did try dumping them into a little trench but the extra soil movement used up the same time).

Cheers.
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Digeroo

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Re: Leeks - can you grow them without transplanting
« Reply #12 on: February 21, 2021, 13:09:55 »
There are some interesting youtube videos by  Charles Dowding about growing leeks. He puts several seeds in a module and then plants them all out as a clump.  The stems are greener but he seems to get good amounts of crops. 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CrqcUK2rdhw