Med­wyn Wil­liams has been deal­ing with hot leeks!

The ex­treme heat back in early June caused my lovely leeks to split open

Garden News (UK) - - News - MED­WYN WIL­LIAMS

The weather cer­tainly didn’t live up to ex­pec­ta­tions on An­gle­sey this sum­mer. In fact, we didn’t re­ally have a de­cent sum­mer at all. Although, that’s not strictly true as we had a scorch­ing week or so back in June. It was al­most im­pos­si­ble to keep the tem­per­a­tures down in the poly­tun­nels then and this meant that some of my sow­ing dates went through the win­dow and some of the veg­eta­bles for my dis­play at the Malvern Au­tumn Show were a lit­tle big­ger than I would’ve liked them to have been. I’m con­vinced this very hot week did no favours for my leeks, as they started to split deeply but I was for­tu­nate enough to still be able to stage some on my dis­play.

The ‘Pen­dle’ leek is cer­tainly one of the best blanch leeks around but it does have a prob­lem in that it throws up sideshoots from the root plate. The per­sis­tent heat we had in early June ac­cel­er­ated this growth up­wards in be­tween the leaves or flags, which causes prob­lems with the leeks even­tu­ally go­ing oval. The growth rate on one ‘Pen­dle’ leek was so bad that it quickly split open and you could see the se­condary growth in­side it. This goes to show just how much plants re­act to ex­treme vari­a­tions in tem­per­a­tures. The new blanch leek bred by Ivor Mace has now been called ‘Llaned­wen’, af­ter the lo­ca­tion of my grow­ing area. Ivor, of course, bred the Welsh seedling leek more than 30 years ago and crossed his orig­i­nal leek with the ‘Pen­dle’ to se­lect ‘Llaned­wen’. My leeks are grown in 30 litre buck­ets on the bench and I had 10 ‘Llaned­wen’ from Ivor and they were all ap­proach­ing 23cm (9in) in cir­cum­fer­ence dur­ing early Au­gust. This leek is ex­clu­sively avail­able from Med­wyns of An­gle­sey in the new cat­a­logue, avail­able from mid-Oc­to­ber.

The new leek ‘Llaned­wen’

One of the ‘Pen­dle’ leeks that split right open due to ex­treme heat

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