Friday 12 September 2014

Leeks under attack

My leeks have been under attack not from the Allium Leaf-miner or the Leek Moth, but by foxes! At least, I think it is foxes, though I can't be 100% sure because I have not seen them doing it. During the night, something decided to dig around in the soil where my leeks are growing, presumably in search of worms to eat. Maybe it was badgers, not foxes? Definitely not cats, because I'm sure cats don't dig for worms. Whatever it was that did it, there is no denying the damage. Several of my few (and therefore precious) leeks have been damaged. They have rips in them evidently caused by clawed feet:

I realised that it was highly likely that damage like this could allow fungal infections to enter the leeks, so decided that the worst-damaged ones had to be used up very soon.

Two leeks is enough for a serving for the two of us, so two of them came up straight away. More will have to follow soon.

These "Toledo" leeks are actually quite decent specimens. The table on which they are laid here is 5 feet (1.5 metres) long.

In order to make the leeks useable in the kitchen I had to strip off several layers, but I was still left with a couple of quite decent leeks.

You can see that the one on the left had been squashed by the offending animal and severely bent, but I straightened it up!

For now, I have draped a piece of lightweight anti-butterfly netting over the remaining, rather battered, leeks. Maybe it will deter the foxes; maybe it won't...

I'm beginning to think that I am going to have to buy some more nets and poles in order to cover ALL of my raised beds. It is animals that do most damage in my garden, not diseases or weather.


  1. Cats don't dig for worms, but they do dig in nice, soft soil, the same as they do litter trays. I'm plagued by them in my garden when the soil's just been dug over. Glad the leeks weren't too damaged and that you got to eat them.

  2. Oh Mark that is such a shame. I'm glad you were able to salvage the damaged ones. I hope you make something tasty with them.

  3. Here in the States raccoons and skunks will dig in soft soil for grubs and worms. I've given up planting most pots because of the damage from these critters. They haven't bothered the fenced veg garden and the raised beds in there. Not sure why.

  4. I must say that, despite the damage, those are still some gorgeous leeks. I recall trying to grow leeks many moons ago and it being a dismal failure - they basically looked like fat blades of grass. I'm sure I'll give them another try at some point.

  5. That is too bad. At least the leeks are edible though.

  6. What Mark has been too modest to add is that the leeks are the best we've ever tasted! They really are wonderful, and so fragrant that if I could bottle the scent I'd dab it behind my ears. So they are definitely worth fighting for.

  7. Looks like foxes to me my onions suffered the same fate the blighters roll in them


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