Dig for Victory Monthly Guides

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Planting out Leeks & Feeding Onions

Planting out LEEKS

You can plant leeks from mid-June to mid-August, but July is the time recommended in the Ministry’s cropping plan. Many gardeners plant them on ground cleared of peas. If you have sown leeks in your seedbed, the seedlings should be lifted when about 6 in. high.

If the soil is dry, soak the seedbed before lifting. Lift carefully with a fork; it is usual to cut off the tips of the leaves before planting out. Plant in rows 12 to 18 in. apart, 9 in. between plants.

Drop each plant into a hole at least 6 in. deep, made with a blunt dibber. Water in to wash soil round the roots, but don’t fill the hole with soil. The sketches show how to plant. Although hardy, the soil should be drawn up to crops in the autumn to give some protection from severe frost and to help in bleaching.

Planting Leeks

This method of growing leeks is effective although modern advice is not to trim the leaves (or roots) when transplanting. However, there tends to be some root damage when transplanting so possibly leaf trimming could help the plants recover from the shock.

The spacings given are larger than current best advice of 6 in. apart in rows 12 in. apart.

Feed your ONIONS

Early July is the best time to provide some extra rations for onions that have not had the advantage of heavy manuring before sowing or planting. A good general fertiliser such as “National Growmore” is safe and effective.

The ideal time to apply any fertiliser is during showery weather; and if showers are lacking, do not fail to hoe in the fertiliser and water thoroughly. Artificial manures of all sorts are more of a danger than a help when spread on dry ground, but their action is very soon seen when rain descends or when artificial watering has been well done.

Not more than two applications of any fertiliser should be given to the onion bed. The ideal to aim at is hard, well-ripened bulbs—not mere size, for the medium bulbs will keep better than the big ones. Late manuring with artificials only prolongs the growing period and makes ripening all the later and more difficult, so give no artificials after mid-July.

Earthing up BRUSSELS

Draw a little soil up round the stems about a week after planting. Remember, Brussels sprouts like very firm ground.