You know how it is... A Sunday morning in February; the sun is shining; the garden looks nice (although it is covered in frost); you are itching to sow something. You look back through your records to see what you normally sow at this time of year. Your eye lights on.... Leeks!
Yes, last Sunday I sowed some Leeks.
Last year I grew "Toledo" Leeks from Simply Seeds, and was impressed with them, so I am sowing some more of them this year. I was also sent some "Apollo" by the kind people at Marshalls, so I am trying them too. "Apollo" is supposedly the best Leek for growing at close spacings, so it should be ideal in my little veg-patch. I'll probably only be able to grow about 20 or maybe 24 Leeks all told.
The instructions on the packets are very self-explanatory, though it is interesting to see that they don't exactly agree! One thing that they do agree on is that Leeks take a long time to grow - the best part of a year - so it's good to start early. I shall probably sow another batch in a month or so, attempting to get them to mature at a rather later stage. In a small garden large-quantity production is not really a viable option, and it is better to aim for small quantities harvested more frequently.
These are the instructions from "Toledo" (£1.29 for 200 seeds):
And these are the instructions for "Apollo" (£2.95 for 50 seeds)
Well, to be honest, there is not much magic in sowing a few Leek seeds. I sowed about 20 of each type on the surface of some damp multi-purpose compost (New Horizon, peat-free), and then covered them with a 1cm layer of dry compost, and labelled them up. A 10-minute job. Easy.
At this stage there is not much to see...
The pots are now in the garage, where it is cool but definitely frost-free. I expect the seeds will germinate in about 10 days or so.
Last year I wrote a fair bit about Leeks. If you want to see what I said, this is a link to a post about Transplanting Leeks, and this is one about Planting Leeks.