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After the Leek has Bolted… – LandGirl

I have neglected my leeks.  My head was turned by the attention seeking tomatoes, courgettes and aubergines.

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sually the leeks quietly mature and come in to their own around November time. This year they resorted to drastic measures to capture my attention.  A huge flower stalk (“scape”) was towering above the bed.

On closer inspection many of them were starting to bolt.  While this isn’t a disaster it is annoying. The leeks are still edible but when you cut them into rounds, rather than a tight tube of leaves there’s a fleshy central stalk.  They are also thinner and the leaves are more loosely wrapped.

The variety is Sprintan which I’ve grown very successfully for a number of years.  It’s very rust-resistant and I’ve never had any trouble with it before.

I don’t think they had enough water when I planted them out in June – even though I planted them in 6″ holes and watered them in well.  I surrounded them with French marigolds which would have competed for water.

I now have a bed of scrawny leeks rather than stocky, chubby vegetables that usually grace our plates in the early winter.

I have decided to let the big flower stalk bloom – it will cheer up the vegetable garden and I don’t think I’ve ever seen a leek flower!

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