Allotment

Leeks On Fleek

Seeing photos of strapping leeks on other allotment blogs and Instagram left me with a serious case of leek envy. For years I’ve found growing leeks for the table impossible, unless eating mushy pulp with maggots is a thing? I like to think I’m tolerant of the hidden surprises within organic vegetables but that’s taking it too far.

Sadly, allium leaf miner and leek moth are a real problem on my allotment site, and on many others too. I LOVE leeks so for me it was a tragedy not to be able to grow my own. I got chatting with the other plot holders about the problem, comparing mush and maggots as you do and came up with a plan of action. We figured the only way to successfully grow leeks going forward is to be very strict with crop rotation and cover using very fine insect netting such as Enviromesh or fleece from the moment they’re sown or planted out. The covering should stay in place for the entire growing season. I wrote a blog post about how to plant leeks here which includes a photo of the netting cover.

Yesterday I pulled back the cover and harvested my first leeks of the year and guess what? They’re beauties!

Success at last, I was giggly, chuffed and beyond happy holding my perfect leeks. The other plot holders have also grown lovely leeks this year.

The variety is Musselburgh and I planted them deeply to achieve a long white (well-blanched) stem. There’s a touch of leek rust but that’s pretty standard on my allotment site. I can live with that.

12 thoughts on “Leeks On Fleek

  1. Well done! I never had a problem with leeks and suchlike on my allotment (except rust); in the garden, I had a nice little crop growing over last winter and the moths got them all. Even the garlic! Boo! I will have to try your trick of covering them…

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    1. Hi Lee, thanks so much! I am really pleased the cover worked. Last year was particularly bad for allium leaf miner and leek moth on our allotment site, I’m sorry to read you have encountered the same problem in your garden. Hopefully covering them will work for you too.

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  2. We grew leeks under enviromesh this year as last year allium leaf miner caught up with us, So far only one or two leeks have housed the pupa so somehow the pests must have sneaked under – maybe when we were weeding.

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  3. Well done! Those are beautiful! Last year we discovered the joys of leek powder and I commend it to you. Those green woody bits that we used to compost? Washed and sliced in 2cm pieces then dehydrated and ground. It’s a spice like mild onion powder and ends up in soups and fry batters and sauces and… well nearly everything 😆

    Just another way to

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    1. I hope you have better results next year, it’s certainly worth covering the young seedlings and avoid growing leeks where you’ve grown them before to break the life cycle of the fly. Good luck!

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