Saturday, 30 July 2011

A bone to pick

Leeks are one crop I have grown every year (for 20 years).  That's an indication of how easy they are to grow not of any skill on my part. You just sow them in spring in a pot at home and then plonk them into their holes in the vegetable patch around this time of year.  In return for this, and a bit of weeding, you get winter veg that carries on throughout spring. Unlike other alliums they are not too fussy, not subject to major diseases or susceptible to pests. Some years they do better than others but this year I thought I would be a bit kinder to them and apply a dressing of "fish blood and bonemeal" fertiliser when planting them out. Sadly the resident fox family had other ideas and spent the night digging up the leeks I had planted during the day! Of course they don't like leeks, just the fertiliser. After repairs I'm sure I'll still get a reasonable crop.

I don't normally comment on the BBC Gardeners World programme, but I have to say that Monty Don infuriated me last night.  First he showed how to grow leeks, the same way as I do (althought mysteriously straight after cutting back transplanted irises  he failed to top and tail his leek seedlings in a similar manner (so they didn't sit well in their holes)) he then went on to plant out groups of leeks grown in root trainers without thinning them out at all.  This sure looks like a case of a new product being used for unsuitable purposes just because it is new. I wonder if he will show the viewer how the two methods compare next spring! My prediction, the clumps of leeks will be poor compared to the  individually planted plants.

Also have to mention that my new weed "Great Mullein" featured large in several of the London Gardens Carol Klein visited. What a coincidence!


  1. I've given up on GW. I still have more than half of last year's episodes on the sky box wIting to be deleted!

  2. You know what. I saw Gardener's World last night and with the leek bit, I thought to myself the idea of planting them in the root trainer block would never work. What is wrong with the fantastic, and proven, and easy method of dibbing a hole and placing a leek in?

    I'm glad you enjoy growing leeks too. One of my favourite vegetables to grow!

    Have a great day!

    Martin :0)

  3. Ooops I never top and tail my leeks either but they do grow well! I wasn't sure about the root trainer idea though!

  4. Must admit I don't top and tail either - my lazy streak coming through - and I've never seen anything as ridiculous as growing in clumps, may as well sow some spring onions!

  5. I didn't get the clumps of leeks bit either, tho I do have my spares sheuched (sp?) in at the side of the bed.
    I have to admit I fell asleep in the middle of Carole Klein's bit. She has two effects on me - I either go to make a cup of tea to escape her, or I fall asleep. Monty by contrast is restful on the eye and the ear, and I'm watching GW again as a result. Despite the Carole effect.

  6. I have never 'top and tailed' my leeks...but the plonking method sounds about like mine.

    I don't see how leeks would grow well in clumps though....curious to find out so if they do a follow up that you see Mal please tell us about it!