Most of the leeks are hardy and will stand the severest weather without damage. The shorter, thick varieties are the most suitable for general cultivation. London Flag, Musselburgh or Scotch and The Lyon are the names of good leeks.
Both Musselburgh and The Lyon can be found to grow today
Unlike onions and shallots, leeks cannot be stored but are lifted from the ground as required for use.
Plants are raised in the seed bed by sowing seed thinly in a shallow drill, as for onions, in mid-March. Transplanting for the maincrop should be done in June, but for later crops it can be continued until August.
The ordinary method of growing leeks is to plant them out in rows on fairly rich soil from mid-June onwards to mid-August. Plant in rows 12 in. or 18 in. apart with a space of 9 in. between the plants. Insert each plant into the bottom of a good hole made with a large blunt dibber, so that as it develops the stem will bleach itself.
It is useful, when transplanting, to trim the leaves a little, but although often practised, there is no need to trim the roots.
For trench cultivation, plant in double-angled rows in manured trenches and earth up as growth proceeds. The leeks are fit for use from October to April. Although hardy, soil should be drawn up to the plants of the later crops to afford protection from severe frost.
These are a sort of hardy perennial onion propagated annually from small bulbs. They require a fairly rich soil not recently manured; but good drainage is essential. Two varieties, the Common, yellowish red in colour, and Jersey, coppery-red in colour, are usually grown.
Plant the bulbs from mid-February until early March in rows 1 ft. apart with 9 in. between, leaving the tip of each bulb just showing at the surface of the soil. The crops are usually mature by early July and should be taken up, carefully dried and stored in a manner similar to onions. Save sufficient medium-sized bulbs for replanting.
Shallots may also be grown from seed but the bulbs so raised are useless for replanting and should be used up each year.
The bulbs of garlic are the strongest flavoured of the onion family. Like shallots, the crop is grown by planting out small bulbils, or cloves, in February or March on light, fairly rich soil that is well drained.
Plant in shallow drills, 2 in. deep, 1 ft. apart and allowing a space of 9 in. between the plants. When the leaves turn yellow, take up the plants and dry the bulbs in the sun. To store, bunch together and hang up in a dry room or shed.
NOTE ON SEED SUPPLIES, 1942.
ONIONS. Supplies are available of Up-to-Date, Bedfordshire Champion and White Spanish.
LEEKS. Seed of all varieties is in short supply.
‘DIG FOR VICTORY’ LEAFLETS
No. 4 PEAS AND BEANS.
No. 5 CABBAGES AND RELATED CROPS.
No. 6 ROOT VEGETABLES.
No. 7 MANURE FROM GARDEN RUBBISH (COMPOST HEAP).
No. 12 SEED POTATOES.
No. 15 POTATO GROWING.
No. 16 PESTS AND HOW TO DEAL WITH THEM.
No. 18 BETTER FRUIT: DISEASE CONTROL IN PRIVATE GARDENS.
No. 20 HOW TO DIG.
COPIES MAY BE OBTAINED—FREE OF CHARGE—FROM THE ADDRESS BELOW
Issued by the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, Hotel Lindum—St. Annes — on- Sea—Lancashire.