Packet Content (approx.): 250 (0.5g)
Welsh onion (Allium fistulosum) Perennial. Grown in the same way as chives. The taste is between the mild flavour of chives and the stronger one of onions. Green stemmed Spring onion with thick, hollow stems and just slightly enlarged bulbs. Clump forming and hardy. The name would suggest that this variety originates from Wales, but in fact it comes from Siberia. Can be harvested through the winter without protection.
Sowing & Planting:
- Sow seed thinly in early to mid spring into a seed bed 2.5cm deep at a minimum temperature of 7oC, with rows 15cm apart. Alternatively sow under cover into modules in mid winter at a temperature of 10oC, harden seedlings off before transplanting.
- Germination takes 14-21 days. Height 30cm.
- As the seedlings begin to develop and look strong thin to 5cm apart. Once the seedlings reach 20cm in height and the thickness of a pencil they can be lifted and prepared for transplanting.
- Prepare the main bed, using a dibber make deep planting holes of around 15cm deep and 15cm apart with 30cm between rows.
- Lifting with a hand fork will minimise damage to the shanks. Once lifted trim the roots to 2.5cm and the leaves to 15-20cm.
- Place one plant into each hole so that the growing point is at or just below the soil surface. It is not necessary to infill the holes but instead water well to settle the roots over time as the leeks grow the hole will fill itself.
- Keep beds weed free during the growing period. Once established do not water except in dry periods. In mid-late summer top dress with a high nitrogen fertilizer, or in late winter for the late crops.
- To increase the length of white stem blanching is needed. Draw dry soil up around the stems when they are well developed. Ensuring no soil falls between the leaves.
- Blanching will need to be done several times through the season finishing in October. Feeding will increase the thickness of the stems although late feeding is not advised.
- Early varieties are ready for harvest September to November. Begin harvesting early while still quite small to ensure a long harvest period. Mid season varieties can be lifted December to February with late varieties lifting February to April. As leeks are winter hardy they do not all need to be lifted at once and can be left in the ground during the winter months until they are needed.
- Transplant seedlings when large enough to handle into 7.5cm (3in) pots. Plant in the greenhouse in individual large pots, or 3 plants per growbag when 20cm (8in) high. Can be planted outdoors, 45cm (18in) apart once all frost risk has passed
Suitable for the vegetable garden, allotments and containers.
Be prepared to water well and supplement feed with high-potash feed during season. Regular feeding is recommended.