Last night while cutting up some of my perennial leeks for a meal i noticed a flower stem in the centre of all the leeks that i picked which is rather exciting as its never flowered before,but having a bed of Pukekohe Early Long Keeper onions growing for this summers flowering its likely that the two will cross so does anyone have some ideas how i could keep them separate, could i keep a bag over the leek flower heads and hand pollinate them?.
Richard, according to Ashworth's 'Seed to Seed', leeks don't cross with any other allium, so you shouldn't have to isolate them. T
Hey thats good news T,problem is though i hope i didn't harvest all the larger stems that were going to send up a flower stem
Side question: I have some Babingtons leek, collected years ago in the wild on Inishmore (Ireland) but I can't say they plants are growing that well. Does anyone know about the preferences that this one has?
Utter neglect is their preference. A perennial corner in the garden. Mine weren't that good initially, but after 3-4 years of acclimatising to conditions here which are very different to their native coastal conditions, my clumps are thriving. I have small thin plants which I leave and many fat leek sized plants, for the pot.
If I cut the fat ones above their bulb, they will regrow for a second harvest. Or I pull the fat plants with the bulb. At this stage the bulb is not divided and very similar to a leek plant. If I leave the thick stemmed plants, they will send up 4ft scapes, flower and make bulbils (no seeds here). Thin plants won't flower, but the foliage will die down, resprout and then flower the following year. I have a small batch in the corner of the greenhouse and several batches outside. The greenhouse batch is just as good but leaf earlier after their summer rest period (when the foliage dies down). They don't need to be in the greenhouse at all, but I did not know how to grow them and therefore put a few bulbils outside and a few into the greenhouse just to make sure.
I harvest bulbils during late summer and replant. Or use in cooking. The bulbils need no peeling until they get very mature, and go straight into the garlic crusher. When the bulbils have developed on the tall flower scapes, the bulbs underground are also ready for digging up. They are like a smaller elephant garlic. 2 or 3 large mild garlicky cloves in every bulb. They keep well. Next to the cloves there are usually a few bulblets in a hard yellow casing (just like elephant garlic but a little smaller). These can be replanted too, but often need 2 years before they grow into plants. You get new plants faster from bulbils. From bulbil to mature plant (with bulbils, cloves and bulblets) takes 2 or 3 years, from bulblets to mature plant takes 3 years or longer.
We had temperatures down to -16C the last few winters. This is much colder than their native coastal conditions, but they did not mind. They thrive underneath the hedge trees too, where nothing else grows (other than nettles). What can I say? - give it time, neglect them and they will do well.
Raymondo, that is a good thought! Our soil is very slightly alkaline. I would have associated Irish coastal soil with being on the acidic spectrum, but perhaps not where these originated from?
Looks just like the one I have in the garden. Makes lots of babies around each larger plant. Mine sets seed quite readily but I usually don't let it. Last year I let one go to seed and and have hundreds of leeklets in the spot where the flower head fell!
Ray Silty loam over clay, pH 5.5, altitude 1000m, latitude 30deg south, 150 frost free days.
The largest of my Minogue plants is looking very much like a leek; I don't know how significant that is. It does the thing with little 'pearls' around the main bulb. My other 'pearl onion' (I don't know whether the name is correct) doesn't, at least as far as I know right now. I acquired a mass of overcrowded, stunted plants last year, planted them out, and haven't disturbed them since. Both are looking very green and healthy, while other perennial alliums are a bit sorry for themselves. It's gong to be interesting to see how the plants develop this season.
Post by ottawagardener on Jan 13, 2015 7:28:02 GMT -5
Cletus: Sorry missed this question. The Oerprei is a flowering leek that produces a lot of offsets at the base and the LISP blue select is a larger flowering 'standard' biennial that has been selected for four years now to the ones that have perennialized - produce offsets at the base. When damaged LISP blue select will produce leek hair or clonal leek bulbils. I think this is typical of leeks. I imagine Oerprei would do it too but not sure: experiment time!
Garden is a clearing in the woods grading from shallow, rocky soil supporting a maple bush to a pine forest planted on sandy soil and a clay bottomland with spruce and tamarack.
One of my Minogue is budding. Has anyone had flowers on these?
Yes two a few years ago. As I was saving seed from another allium at that time (and I never quite understand what does and does not cross) I removed them. The year after I got another single one and it flowered a bit like chives.
Ah! You could be right with that I.D. Galina. My Allium tuberosum are only young so I am just beginning to see the larger mature flattened leaves. The eBay picture does look to have flattened, but slightly hollow, succulent leaves of garlic chives, not coarse, solid 'V' section, with a central crease like leeks. I would like to grow garlic chives as big as possible so will divide frequently & plant in good soil. My greenhouse plants are much bigger than outdoor ones. I wonder if there is much variation between varieties?