Planting the leek seeds

These are not mine obviously!

The leek seeds (Apollo) arrived from Marshalls Seeds as part of the initial delivery in January along with the seed potatoes and some Growmore so I’ve been impatient to get them planted ever since.

Unfortunately as I don’t have a proper greenhouse and the weather up here in the North East of England can be slow to warm up, I plan to use the garage windowsills  so I don’t want to start too early. Luckily this is also delayed by the fact that work keeps me busy and away from the garden so I can’t get to these until next weekend I think.

Staggered Planting

Another favourite subject of mine this year is staggering the planting time so I’ll be doing the leek seeds in two batches spaced at least 3-4 weeks apart. It may not make much difference with  leeks in the long run as they  stay in the ground for quite some time but at least it spreads out the enjoyment of planting the seeds!

Seeds in a roll

I’m not sure where I got the original idea from but after deciding to expand the veg beds late last year, I thought  it would be a good idea to save the cardboard tubes from the middle of the toilet rolls for use in the garden.

I’m amazed how many I managed to save between December and February but there are absolutely loads even though as far as I can recall we didn’t have an outbreak of dysentery in the period.

How will it work?

My theory was two-fold and goes something like this:

  1. I can fill the cardboard tubes with seed compost and stack them all together in an old chocolate tin left over from Christmas with drainage holes. They can start off indoors like this and just  plant them out in the tubes  at the right time to minimise root disturbance – the  tube will eventually rot away.
  2. I can also use the cardboard tubes as an aid when “blanching the leeks as they develop. I thought, why not just slip another roll (or half roll) over each growing plant so that I can  build up the earth around the plant with less risk of getting soil in amongst the leaves.

However after reading about an experience of  mould appearing on cardboard/paper based seed starters I’m starting to have small doubts. Presumably this can be prevented with good drainage and proper ventilation but I’ll be keeping my eyes out for this in the future.

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