The JSN, (John Soulsby New).
Bred by myself this is the latest leek to make its mark, winning the NPLS championship in both 2017 and 2018. This leek has been described by many as the perfect leek. It has a very smooth, straight barrel with great solidity and is perfectly round. The foliage is a nice dark green colour which emphasises the pure white barrel. The parents of this hybrid where a Giant mother plant and a very good Cumbrian providing the pollen. The seedling was grown in a trench with no fertiliser or manure added. After careful selection I chose this plant which was 17” around and 5” to button.
Now this all sounds good but there are a few problems when growing this breed. The foliage is very brittle and will crack if damaged. I also found a few of my leeks bent above ground level. Another fault was splitting on the barrel, but I think this is the fault of the grower. This leek needs no fertiliser to grow as it is very vigorous and has no virus .
The JSN is definitely a leek of the future once we learn how to grow it properly. Maybe not a banker as yet.
That concludes my description of the 5 top pot leeks. I apologise for any breed I may have missed. I look forward to seeing new leeks over the next year or two. Here are some to watch out for.
Keith Forsters, Amelia. Derek Richardson’s leek we got a glimpse of this year. John Lawsons new leek we seen on Facebook. And two or three new Hybrid leeks grown by Peter Kerry.
The CSC or McKenzie as some people call this leek, was bred by Joe Calvert.
It first came to the showbench at the Jennings World Championship in Maryport where Joe Calvert came second. The main fault was evident from the first time I handled this leek. It had and still has a crease running up the side of the leek from the base upwards , which causes a soft spot on the side of the leek and when stripped shows up and makes the barrel very coarse.
The leek has had success in lots of shows and is widely grown because it is easy to achieve very big cubic measurements. It is still a nice leek up to about 16” as seen above, but loses quality when overgrown. Apart from being a coarse leek it sometimes carries heavy suckers and also gets a hole in the rootplate.
Not a leek I grow to show but is still a popular choice as it’s easy to grow and wins the biggest for best shows.
The Cumbrian is a top class leek winning shows for two decades. This is another breeding from Joe Calvert.
The Cumbrian has probably been the most successful leek in the history of the NPLS , taking top honours for almost 20 years. A lovely shaped leek that strips very well to retain good quality. A fault appears on the base if over stripped causing an uneven base known as a saddle. As the leek reaches 20 years old there are flaws appearing mostly due to poor stock selection.
New growers to this leek may struggle to achieve a good size but learn to grow the leek and success will follow.
Although this is a fine leek it still has faults. The worst in my opinion is the virus it carries. This is most evident in the months of December and January when light levels are at there lowest. As light drops the plants stop growing but the virus continues to grow and I have seen plants turn almost silver with virus.
Artificial lighting will help prevent this from happening but beware not to give too much light as suckers may appear at a later date.
I prefer not to produce too large a plant in the greenhouse as this keeps plants very short later in the season. It’s all about balance.
After 20 years this is still one of the most reliable and best quality leeks to grow. Select only the best plants for stock and take your time to learn how to grow this plant and I am sure success will follow.
This leek was bred by Keith Forster . I have grown this leek since Keith released it about 10 years ago. It has the ability to grow to an enormous size and weight, and holds the current world records for heaviest and largest cubic capacity.
The giant is an easy leek to grow to a large size and retains good quality up to sizes of 17 to 18”. Most growers will try this leek and if they are lucky will get them on the bench and win there show.
I say lucky as there is a downside to the giant. It is a hard leek to keep under 6”.
I have also seen double centres and suckers and the giant is also prone to holes in the rootplate.
I would not recommend growlights in growing this leek. The stock plants produce a very small head, Usually of small pips like grains of wheat. Also very reluctant to produce king pods. Worth a try and you may be lucky. Good luck.
The Betty Black , bred by Kenny Black. This leek has just had a very good season and has stood the hot weather very well. The Betty is another very heavy leek with very good solidity and very nice foliage of a dark green colour.
Apart from being a heavy leek it also does well with cubic capacity measurements.
The downside to this leek is it has a very heavy wedge to the barrel and can also go over the six inch mark. When grown large it also gets a hole in the rootplate.
A leek worth a try as it’s quite reliable and stands most weather conditions.