GARDENINGIN THIS most colourful of seasons came news of colour in winter — a rare commodity.
Through the post from Suttons Seeds came leek Northern Lights in the smallest modules I have ever seen.
Northern Lights is so called because of its bright foliage and it is that which can be used not just in the vegetable patch but to brighten up borders that might otherwise be dull in the winter months.
The plug plants supplied by Suttons are supposed to be in quantities of 46 or 92, but given three seeds are planted per module, those quantities are definite minimums and they will need to be teased apart before planting.
I personally like to plant leeks in their dibber holes when they are somewhat larger than those supplied, so for the next few weeks they will reside in pots getting the best in food and water until they can go out in the vegetable patch.
Northern Lights is a British-bred variety, which has leaves that change from blue-green to an eye-catching deep purple during the winter months.
It has good winter hardiness, enabling the roots to stay healthy in the ground even in freezing conditions and it probably won’t start to 'bolt’ until the end of March — depending on the weather.
Northern Lights is available at £11.99 for 42 plants for planting during the summer, which is great if you have missed the planting boat. There are several other varieties too, including a mixture of plants which mature at different times.
Packets of seed are available for a fraction of the cost and are worth thinking about for next year.
They can be planted in pots or a seedbed in March/April.