Thursday, August 12, 2010

Winter Alliums

Spring Planted Leeks
I'm sure most of you would agree with me that gardening is a hobby that requires a lot of patience and planning. There's also the anticipation that comes naturally with the change in seasons, which is why I usually find myself focused on what the garden would look like 3 to 5 months from now. At the moment, I'm focused on November, December and January. During the past 12 months, I've been able to pick something from the garden each month, even when temperatures failed to get above freezing. Granted, some of those harvests were rather meager. I'm hoping that with a bit more planning this year, I can get some of those cold weather harvests to be more substantial.

Above are some of the leeks I planted in the Spring. They are definitely slow growing. I think I'll top-dress them with a bit of compost and fertilizer to get them growing again.

Planting Winter Scallions
Last week, I decide to transplant my winter alliums. These scallions were started a few weeks ago. If all goes well, they should be ready by late November or December.

winter leeks
Last spring, I also planted a clump of leeks for transplanting later in the summer. These are my experimental winter leeks. I'm hoping that, if all goes well, they will mature sometime during mid to late winter.

Planting Winter Leeks 1
The entire clump lifted easily with a simple turn of the garden fork...

Planting Winter Leeks 2
Then I went about sorting through the bunch, trying to pick out only the largest leeks for replanting. (I'm learning to be more cut-throat this time of year.) After a quick trim of the leaves and roots, they were ready for transplanting.

Planting Winter Alliums
At this point, I'm watering all of my fall/winter seedlings almost every day to protect them from the summer heat and they seem to be responding well to it.

If you're growing a fall/winter garden this year as well, I'd love to hear about it!

On a random note, how creepy is this!!! Makes you think twice about inhaling your food (literally).


  1. I too will be growing lots of leeks! I just started mine, I was hoping to avoid the mess inside but it is WAY too hot for my seed trays so the lights and all that are up in the house again! Can't wait until it gets cool!

  2. You are so well organized. I haven't started any of my winter vegetable seeds. I wasn't sure if the greenhouse will be ready in time. Now I have to hurry up.

  3. The alliums look great. Love the lung peas!

  4. The leeks that I planted this spring are the same size as yours. It's amazing how long they take!

    We had a break in the weather and it has rained all day!! I will definitely get the rest of my winter crops planted this weekend!

  5. Thomas, I will trade you leeks for tomatoes. :) The majority of our leeks are ready to be dug, so it looks like I may be making large batches of soup to freeze.

    I am starting some seed now for more cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower; wish I had done that several weeks ago.

    Have a wonderful weekend with your family.

  6. Can't get over that a canned pea would grow in a lung. Makes me wonder what I am doing wrong in my garden then, lol.

    I have peas (AGAIN!), beans, lettuce, carrots, spinach, kale, and chard growing. Leeks as well, hoping to harvest them in Winter and early Spring.

    Seriously, I plant peas. They sprout. They grow. They disappear. Grrrr.

  7. Thanks for posting the picture of your leeks. I started leeks in the spring and have been worried about their slow growth. But they look similar to yours, so maybe they're okay.

    I have carrots, broccoli sprouts, cabbage, collards, kale, kohlrabi, swiss chard, peas, bok choy, winter squash, and various lettuce varieties for the fall/winter. I also will plant garlic and shallot bulbs in Sept. and am thinking of wintering over a bed of onion seeds, just to see what happens.

    Your garden is looking great.

  8. Good idea with the clump of leeks and then transplanting them out! Clever.

    I do the same thing with the 3 to 5 months forward view of the garden. While I thoroughly enjoy the summer garden, I am also slowly prepping it for production in the fall and winter.

  9. Good idea with the clump of leeks and then transplanting them out! Clever.

    I do the same thing with the 3 to 5 months forward view of the garden. While I thoroughly enjoy the summer garden, I am also slowly prepping it for production in the fall and winter.

  10. The leeks I started in the spring are slow growing also. Just getting to the point where they are harvestable.

    Getting ready for fall planting. I miss the fresh lettuce!

  11. We just planted fall beets ans a second wave of herbs for canning recipes. We have a cover for one of our raised beds and I hope to experiment with winter gardening. Boise is relatively mild and usually stays above freezing in the winter, so we'll see.

  12. The leek starts look great. They did really well for me last season. Scallions held in until Jan and then turned mushy. It is pretty strange to have a seed growing in your lung. Must not have cooked the peas much...

  13. I will start planting my winter garden in September. I can plant until Thanksgiving, then the days get too short and the plants just sit and do nothing, so I take a planting break and start back late January.

    Right now I am still waiting for the summer garden to kick into gear.

  14. I find what you are doing with the leeks to be very interesting and look forward to hearing more about how it works out for you. We never have much luck with ours, perhaps I will try your method next season.

    I do something very similar with onions and am always blessed with early spring green onions way before any other onions will be ready in the garden.

  15. I wish I were growing a fall/winter garden, but I don't think I'll have much of one this year. I'll probably sow some spinach and radishes though.

  16. fall planting will probably occur next weekend! thanks for the reminder!