Wednesday 11 November 2009

Another Failure

As you can see, my leeks haven't done too well. I can only assume that the failure's I've had this year have been down to the condition of the soil. I'm trying to rectify this ready for next year by adding lots of manure and compost to the beds. This year it has been a case of planting everything into the soil as it was and hoping for the best. Luckily not everything turned out as bad as my leeks.

We had some nice weather over the weekend which enabled us to spend some more time digging over the allotment. It's a long hard task so we're getting as much done as we can before the winter really sets in and whatever isn't done then will have to be done in spring. I wouldn't have got half as much done without my hubby and son's help. They worked like troopers. When I first took the allotment on my daughter was really keen to help, but sadly her enthusiasm has waned along the way. She's quite happy to do little jobs like planting seeds or picking strawberries, but isn't quite so keen on the more laborious tasks. My son on the other hand is always happy to help out, and really is a huge help when jobs need doing.

I also dug up some parsnips this week which we had for Sunday dinner. When I say we, I actually mean myself and my daughter, no one else will eat parsnips, but I have to grow plenty as my daughter would eat them by the plateful if I let her. They were delicious and definitely one of the successes.


  1. I think they look really nice - are you disappointed by the size of them? Hard to tell, they look as if they're about three times the size of spring onions. Well developed roots. Mine are like that too - my first year growing them, and in reasonably well manured soil. I planted them out to follow the broad beans in mid July (I think). Maybe I should have done that a month earlier. We're finding the flavour of ours is good, it's just disappointing that ewe have to use so many to make a good soup or leek sauce, so they won't last as long. As usual, we'll be falling back on out lovely Riverford vegbox!

  2. Do not despair your leeks look fine - small but perfectly formed. Baby veg sell for a premium so look at the money you've saved!
    Some of my leeks have bolted which makes them woody inside which is very annoying, and some were planted too late but some are just right. (J who seems to have read the 3 bears too often this week).

  3. Hi Jo, Well done with your leeks! I think bunging things in and seeing what happens is a very good tactic. I'm also the only lover of parsnips in my family but will still be growing them next year!

  4. I’m not that experienced in leeks growing, but I’ve been told that you need to cut them down a few times while they are growing, in order for them to be thicker. I never had leeks in my garden, so I can’t tell you this is true, but it’s worth trying next year.

  5. I trim mine while they are still at the seedling stage, and I am certain it makes them bulk up a bit, but I have never tried it once they are planted out - might be worth a try?

  6. glad you parsnips were a success..i don't think your leeks are a failure at all...I like to grow my own so I can pick them when they are like this...I hate really big leeks so if you were selling these I would purchase the lot!!!!

  7. Your leeks look better than some of my tries. They're just small. Glad you got parsnips. You're on my latest post. Hope you'll drop by and see.

  8. I would gladly help you eat the leeks and parsnips. You have done very well with your little bit of ground this year. You should be proud.

  9. Yes, it's the size which I'm disappointed with, Scattered Gardener. They do taste good though, but as you say, you have to use so many at once so they won't last very long.

    That's one way of looking at it, Allot of Veg. I'm hoping that once the ground is in better shape next year I might get some bigger ones.

    I've had to employ the 'bunging things in' tactic this year, Caro. I got my allotment too late to get the soil into any sort of shape, but fingers crossed for better things next year.

    I haven't heard of cutting them down whilst they are growing, Vrtlarica, but I'll certainly be reading up for next year.

    I trimmed the leeks as they were being planted out too, Rachael. I haven't trimmed them since though, so I'll be reading up to see if this will make a difference.

    The only problem with them being this size is that they won't last long, Tanya. They still taste good so that's something.

    My leeks look a pathetic attempt compared to the leeks on my next door allotment neighbour's plot, Mary Delle. His are about five times bigger than mine.

    Thanks, Kat. I am quite proud with my first year, especially as I didn't do any real preparation with the soil. I've had some great successes, but also some failures, so fingers crossed for next year.

  10. Your leeks look fine Jo, and I wouldn't consider them a failure - but I understand what you say about them not lasting long because they're small. Better luck next year. Enjoy your successes in the meantime!

    Jeanne x

  11. Thanks, Jeanne. The parsnips were good enough.

  12. I think leeks have been undersized generally this year - well from the grand sample of my own and my Dad's they have been!

    The willing helper input waxes and wanes, doesn't it! When my children were younger they were both good for a stint at the allotment, and then first my son's interest waned until he was only interested in jobs demanding heavy lifting (manly) and then my daughter is only interested if she can combine working with interludes sunning in a deckchair. With son away at uni now and the Scottish sun hidden until about June next year that means husband and I are on our own for the winter!


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