Leeks and celeriac

janetcw(5)February 2, 2013

Has anyone winter sown leeks or celeriac? In the past I've started them inside in February or March in order to give them long enough to mature (zone 5), but I'd love to winter sow them if it's feasible.

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ldsluder(7b)

I haven't.. well; cept for this year. I started some leeks and onions the past week. We shall see... figure they needed time, so hopefully this will work.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2013 at 8:58PM
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misskimmie(z4b Central NY)

Hi I just saw this post. I have wintersowed leeks for the past 3 or 4 years. I am very happy with the results and will WS them in the future. Transplanting the little grass like sprouts can be a pain but its worth it, especially when I look at the price of leeks in the store.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2013 at 12:32PM
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organic_ns(6a)

I have wintersown leeks for the past 3 years, and I agree, transplanting the little sprouts can be a pain. Actually, they aren't supposed to be all that little when you transplant - something like pencil sized. Anyway, this year I'm experimenting with planting the seeds in little cardboard pots I've made from toilet paper rolls. I'm placing the little 'pots' in one of those plastic lettuce containers with the hinged lid (holes punched in top & bottom) and sticking them outside. I've had great luck with them sprouting in the past, and I think this will make the whole transplanting exercise a lot easier. In our zone, they don't get planted until mid-July, so we shall see!

    Bookmark   February 19, 2013 at 7:43PM
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janetcw(5)

Thanks for your responses. I have lots of leek seed so I've decided to wintersow some at the same time as I start some inside (probably be next week). In the past when I've planted leeks out, they've been closer to smallish pencil size. Do the grass-like wintersown ones catch up with the larger transplants or should I expect to end up with smaller leeks by the end of the summer? I usually plant them out in mid-May and they grow quite large. Actually, I'm still harvesting last year's crop, which is heavily mulched and currently under several inches of snow. I go out and dig a few whenever we have a bit of a thaw. The larger ones seem to fare better.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2013 at 10:45PM
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pghgardengirl(6b SW PA)

I have wintersown them in a way...Two years ago, I scattered seed in a spot I wanted the leeks to be in early winter. The following spring, they were grass size. They did not catch up by the end of the year for me, so I left them there. The next year, however, they were nice and big. I am still eating those now. Nice thing was, once they got larger, I transplanted them in the beginning of fall to the correct spacing and they took off. I do cover them with plastic over hoops for the winter once they are larger. When I scattered the seed, I left it as open ground.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2013 at 11:26AM
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janetcw(5)

That sounds like a great idea - even easier than winter sowing in a container. I'll have to try some direct sowing too, and then if I can cover them so that they winter over I'll have some good leeks the next year. I thought they would go to seed in the second year. That's what mine did last year. I was hoping to collect seed from them and I was able to do that with the 3 plants that I saved for that purpose. If the leeks overwinter as small plants, are they less likely to go to seed in the second summer? Of course, perhaps they are good to eat even if they are sending up flower heads. Does any one know about this? It looks as if I am destined to do some leek growing experimentation this year. This is just my third year growing them, so I still have much to learn.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2013 at 12:58PM
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pghgardengirl(6b SW PA)

From everything I have read, leeks are suposed to go to seed the second year. That 's how they are "programmed", but I welcome that to save seed and I eat them regardless..lol

This post was edited by pghgardengirl on Thu, Feb 21, 13 at 16:36

    Bookmark   February 21, 2013 at 12:19AM
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