Anyone know what these are?

Discussion in 'Gardening & Plant Propagation' started by pickapeppa, Aug 24, 2005.

  1. pickapeppa

    pickapeppa Well-Known Member

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    Hi all. I have a bed of leeks that I let go to seed and didn't use this year. In addition to mountains of seed, they also grew these little "bulblets" at their bases. Does anyone know what I could possibly use them for? If planted will they turn into leeks, or just go to seed? Some of them are shaped like small onions, others look like garlic cloves.
     
  2. Paquebot

    Paquebot Well-Known Member

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    Yes to almost all questions! I'm pleased to see that you even used the proper name for them, "bulblets". Gardeners must have a half-dozen incorrect names for them! They are not corms, bulbils, or even cloves.

    The leek bulblets will grow into leeks but also may set seed in the same season. The resulting plants thus should be eaten early before they begin to get tough. I've never seen them grow into a large tender stalk as would result if started from seed.

    Although small, you can indeed use them as if they were small elephant garlic cloves. After all, they are both virtually the same thing but with a slightly different root system.

    If you allow the seed heads to mature and ripen, simply spread a lot of seeds in the fall. They may sprout yet in the fall but no problem. You'll have tons of them to transplant to where you want them. I'm growing the same strain or variety since about 1982. Only planted them one time. They've planted themselves ever since!

    Martin
     

  3. pickapeppa

    pickapeppa Well-Known Member

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    Thank you Martin. Those were the answers I was looking for. It appears I will be using them as pearl onions in my next beef stew or chicken pot pie! What a great idea with keeping them in the same bed and letting them self-sow. I may do this, as leeks aren't usually in my regular rotation. I may have to plant them permanently in my chives bed.