Of lousy leeks

Crap leeksI’m still bitter about my shitty leeks. Like an Ethiopian airliner, they just failed to take off (can’t believe I typed that. I’m going straight to hell).

Here’s the enigma: I grow leeks for three straight years and they’re brilliant. Fat, healthy, perfect. Then they’re a washout for two years; a total disaster.

And I’ve done everything the same. No variation, no eccentricities.

The old boys at the plot mutter darkly about leek moth, but none of mine have any peculiar colourings, or other symptoms. They just haven’t grown.

I turn these things over in my mind during the long, dark nights. Never any answers, just more questions.

And so the winter passes.

Posted on 26th January 2010
Under: Alliums | 13 Comments »

Gherkins and Leeks

Salted gherkinsWell first the good news: I have more gherkins than I’ve ever had… ever. Tons of the buggers. More than 30 already, and they’re only just getting started. Wife is salting them furiously, but we still can’t keep up.

Now for bad news: I think I’m on course for a 100% crop failure.

It’s the leeks, the ones I put in so confidently a few weeks ago. Not only have they not grown, they’re now dying. Slowly.

Why? Haven’t a clue. It’s not anything obvious – I’ve checked all the major allium diseases. The buggers have just decided to cop it.

Which is depressing the hell out of me. Mostly because I know it’s my fault: if I’d been to the plot more often, I’d probably have caught it earlier – whatever it is – and been able to take remedial action.

But I couldn’t, because I have no time. It’s a refrain of my life. I do everything by schedule, snatching minutes here, seconds there.

Jeez, even in the khazi I’m usually crapping against the clock. Most of the time, I long to scream: “Just give me five minutes, FOR CHRIST’S SAKE!”

Posted on 16th July 2009
Under: Alliums, Cucurbits | 12 Comments »

Leeks 2009: Can’t be worse than last year…

Leeks planted outHot today. First time I’ve been able to type that this year.

Things are coming very early because of the decent weather. The corn is chest high, my first and second early potatoes are all ready – gone over, actually – and there are cauliflowers splurging heads all over the place. Extraordinary.

I hope these leeks will do better than last year’s crop, which was shit. It rained so much the wretched things never really got started. If the sun keeps shining, these will be whoppers.

The weeds are turbo-charged at the moment. I was weeding for 90 mins this morning and achieved two tenths of bugger-all. Turn your back and they grow six inches in 10 mins.

Posted on 27th June 2009
Under: Alliums | 8 Comments »

The eat-free diet

Leeks, parsnips and Jerusalem artichokesOn the menu tonight:

• Parsnip, onion, porcini and Jerusalem artichoke soup (tastes a lot better than it sounds)
• Ham, potato and leek casserole

Bit of a calorie nightmare, but probably just about within the bounds of my new diet. I’m now into the action phase of my face-facts-you’re-fat campaign.

Somehow, I have to lose half a stone.

Posted on 31st January 2009
Under: Alliums, Roots, Winter | 3 Comments »

Lousy leeks

Slow-growing leeksWhat crappy leeks. 

OK, so I planted out the seedlings a little late – mid-July, rather than June. But they should have made better growth than this. 

I’ve not had a single meal out of them yet. And probably won’t before March. 

I blame the grim summer. Anyone else had difficulty with their leeks this time around?

Posted on 23rd January 2009
Under: Alliums, Winter | 8 Comments »

Flowering vegetables

Leek flowers

This is one of summer’s prettiest sights. And yet it’s just a boring old leek.

Quite a lot of vegetables have lovely flowers. Potatoes, for example, can be gorgeous on a bright summer day. French beans have tiny, perfect little flowers.

Got  a bit burned at the allotment today. Looks like summer may finally be here. Er, at last.

Posted on 21st July 2008
Under: Alliums | Comments Off on Flowering vegetables