There are certain words in the English language that I love to use whenever I get the chance because just the very utterance of them, evokes exactly what they mean. From small words like ‘splish’, ‘splash’, ‘splosh’ to larger words such as ‘glorious’, ‘abundance’ and ‘stupendous’, they are just ‘fabulous’ (see another one) words to use.
Today I’ve used another ‘largesse’ and you don’t have to reach for the dictionary to know that this word could only mean bountiful, generous …… although, to be honest, this word is generally used to describe generous gifts or monetary donations, so strictly speaking probably isn’t correct for this post. But then I see seedlings, the resulting plants and the harvest of food or flowers, as gifts from Mother Nature, a thank you for taking the time to nurture the seeds, care for the seedlings and look after the plants that develop.
Yes a ‘largesse of leeks’ will do very nicely thank you.
Okay so enough with workings of my mind and back to the topic in hand: my leeks.
I have rather a lot of them, as it turns out. As is my normal habit, I sowed the seeds into an old laundry capsules box (with drainage holes added) back in March and just left them to it. Initially, the tubs were kept in the house but the thing with leeks is that once they have germinated they don’t like it too warm and so once I had a fair few standing tall, they were moved out into the greenhouse, bearing in mind that the night time temperatures were still closer to freezing than most plants can tolerate at this point. A few weeks later the pots were moved outside, onto one of the raised beds, under the netting to prevent the birds getting to them and then they were generally left to their own devices, with the occasional drink of water from me, as and when.
This year the tubs have been sitting in the bed, in which a couple of weeks ago, I sowed carrots, beetroot and some mixed lettuces. At that time I thought that there might be a problem with over crowding in the tubs but I didn’t have the time or compost to sort them out and at that point I was focusing more on getting other plants out of the greenhouse. So I promptly forgot all about them, until I was checking the bed the other day and realised that there really were too many leeklings in each tub.
Ordinarily, I don’t tend to pot leeks on, tending instead to plant them out into their final positions once they have reached pencil thickness but this year I have decided to try a different approach. I figure that there is absolutely no nutrition left in the seed compost they were initially sown into and the sheer volume of seedlings is such that growth may well be impeded anyway. So Sunday afternoon, I set about splitting and potting on the leeks.
I started with the yellow variety ‘Jaune de Poitou‘, carefully loosening the soil and gently prising each leek out. When planting leeks out, there is a school of thought that says that trimming the roots of the leek, encourages it to grow stronger roots, making it a stronger plant. I’m not entirely sure if this is correct or not but I do trim the roots but only because this makes them easier to plant and although I wasn’t planting out into final positions yet, I did still trim the roots on each leek before gently planting it into fresh compost.
The blue variety ‘Bleu de Solaise‘ was next and in all, it took over two hours to re-pot both varieties ……. which was when I discovered my largesse: 61 yellow leeks and 96 blue ones, totalling 157 in all!!! I don’t have space for this number of leeks and so assuming that most, if not all, survive the potting on process, then some of these will be going into the plant sale alongside my surplus flower seedlings, at the schools summer fair.