Sowing Leeks


Fluellen: Your majesty says very true: if your majesties is 
remembered of it, the Welshmen did good service in a 
garden where leeks did grow, wearing leeks in their 
Monmouth caps; which, your majesty know, to this
hour is an honorable badge of the service; and I do
believe your majesty takes no scorn to wear the leek
upon Saint Tavy's day.
King Henry V: I wear it for a memorable honour;
for I am Welsh, you know, good countryman.
from Henry V, Act IV, scene vii
Happy (belated) Saint David's Day! Saint David is the patron saint 
of Wales, and his personal symbol is the leek. It made sense, then, 
to get our leek seeds sown on Saint David's Day, which was March 1. 
This, however, was what it looked like outside that afternoon:

We had wanted to start the leek seeds outside in a cold frame, but the weather did not cooperate. With our very warm winter, I'm sure we could have planted them much earlier than this weekend, but we didn't get around to it. Now there is snow, and for the next week as it melts, the soil will be mucky and hard to work in. So I ended up starting them indoors in a flat, and we will transplant them outside when we put out the onions. 

It took some looking around to find leek seeds locally. This is a vegetable far more popular in Europe than in the United States, but I finally found some seeds at Wolf Hill in Ipswich. I chose (because there was no other choice, really) a variety called "King Richard," which has a long growing season and is good for overwintering. That's the type of leek we were hoping for anyway, so hopefully these will do well. I'll post a picture when there is something more interesting to look at than a flat full of dirt.

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