Let’s talk winter veg: Leeks and turnips

Resuming our focus on delicious winter veggies to plant right now, let’s talk about leeks and turnips…

Leeks are a great crop to plant for nine months of the year as they seem to thrive in our climate. Aim for your last lot of leeks to be mature by early January and to be sowing again at the end of March/ April. In our hotter months, Black Fly strikes and as a lover of the allium family it can infest and destroy plants – best to avoid the problem rather than give these destructive critters somewhere to take hold. Remember that leeks can be moved to a holding bed and will be good for up to three months – simply dig up and trench into a compact space making sure sufficient earth is covering the white part and use as needed. Over time, the plants will become soft so best to use within the three month window. Leeks are a highly nutritious crop (Vitamin K 29%, Manganese 13%, Copper 7%, Vitamin B6 7%, Folate 6%, Vitamin C 6%, Iron 6%, Vitamin A 5%, Fibre 4%, Magnesium 4%, Calcium 3%, Vitamin E 3%,  Omega-3 fats 3%).

Turnips are often overlooked and considered pig, horse or cow fodder. You’d be surprised at just how sweet these little beauties are when harvested small. Just pull, scrub and pop in a stew, casserole or roasting pan – mmmmm! They are also a great soil conditioner, helping to break up hard soils and are fast to grow whilst you wait for your other winter veg to mature.

Happy Gardening!

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