Sunday, 12 April 2020

Seed Saving Leeks

Every year I try to save more and more seed of different varieties for veg.


This is for a few different reasons.



I like having my own seed to use, share and give away. I find home saved seed has great germination rates and slowly starts to adapt to it's environment.

It gives me some security knowing I'll have the seed to grow next year, without having to buy it or, as is the case this year, seed merchants not have any for sale.

I also like to do it to learn more about the plants I grow. I've never saved the seeds from leeks before, hopefully in doing this I should learn more about them and how they flower and add a bit of beauty to the garden as they do. 


To prevent inbreeding depression and maintain enough genetic diversity I need to save seed from around 20 plants where leeks are concerned.

It's an old french type called "bleu de solaise" which can stand a bad winter and has beautiful blue tinted leaves when it gets touched by frost. Luckily I grew three full beds of these leeks last year and it's one that seems to be a great, tasty variety.

With plenty still left in the garden it was easy to go through and select out the 20 best looking plants. In an ideal world I'd just let them grow where they are, but that would take out three of my growing beds for other veg. So I created a new area with some raised beds and transplanted them into it. I tried to keep their root balls as big as possible.


I chose plants that were a good size and had the blue tinge to the leaves that goes with this variety.

I think I'll have to keep on top of watering until they get established again and I'm sure the flower stalks (which are just starting to come up through) will have to be supported with canes.

Hopefully these plants should provide me with plenty of seeds for the seed swap and for myself next year! I also love allium flowers so I'm looking forward to them coming up from a beauty side of things as well.

Ever saved leek seed? Any advice?

2 comments:

  1. They look great leeks Kev. They (who are they?) say you should let the best strongest vegetable to go to seed.

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    Replies
    1. Yes! "They" are the experts I guess! But you';re right the strongest should survive. But also the ones with the traits I'm looking for. So in these the blue leaves were something I'm keen to keep so it was one of the first things I was looking for when selecting a plant. I wonder how many years you would need to select for something in a leek before it would breed true?

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