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