Bred in England for just that purpose, Neptune is an excellent multipurpose fall leek with strong straight shanks and attractive blue-green leaves. Resistance appears to be horizontal (broad) rather than vertical (absolute) so it is not immune to the rust, but it is a good start in addressing this new problem in allium production in our area.
Leeks are a flavoursome winter vegetable that can be steamed or boiled, braised in a cheese sauce and used in soups and stews. Leeks are easy to grow, but need looking after – you need to sow them in containers or a separate part of the garden before moving them to their final position. Sow seed in spring, and you will be lifting leeks from autumn to late winter.
Grow your own
Difficulty – Easy
Sow - February-April
Plant Out - May-July
Harvest – August-February
Seed Packet - Aprox 50 Seeds
Sow thinly or sow three seeds at 15cm (6in) intervals, 13mm (0.5in) deep in rows 30cm (12in) apart.
Although it is sometimes recommended to start sowing in February, this can lead to failure. Sowings made in March and April, and even early May, will often do much better. Warm the soil before sowing with cloches or similar; leave these in place until the seedlings have developed two true leaves.
Enjoy an open, sunny site and are easiest on a deep, light soil. When the seedlings are about 2.5cm (1in) high thin out leaving one seedling 15cm (6in) apart.
Keep the soil weed free, hand weeding close to the roots to avoid damage. Keep the soil evenly moist to avoid roots splitting.
The roots are ready to lift when the foliage starts to die down in late summer or autumn; use a fork to carefully lift them. They can be left in the soil and lifted as required, although lifting a few extra in November will ensure you still have parsnips to eat even if the soil is frozen. Lightly frosted roots tend to produce the best flavour.