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.