These tips and information for planting and growing Leeks will help you in your garden or greenhouse.
Botanical Information: Allium porrum
Leeks are a member of the onion family, native to the eastern Mediterranean and the Middle East—the biggest producers are Indonesia and Turkey.
Typically people eat the part of the leek that is grown underground.
Leeks can be grown from a seed and then transplanted. it is best to start the seed indoors, 4-12 weeks before the last spring frost. Set out the transplants at least 1 week before transplanting, until the seedlings are the thickness of a pencil.
Sow the seeds one inch deep in rows that are three feet apart. The seeds generally germinate in 2-12 days. Okra will grow in many soil types, so mulch and fertilize as needed. Once the plants start to grow, thin them so they are spaced 12 to 18 inches apart.
Companions and Enemies
Some plants can help these plants grow. The most common are beets, carrots, celery, onions and spinach.
On the other hand, some plants will hinder them from growing. The most common are most beans and peas.
Water the soil when you irrigate, rather than the leaves of the plant. One inch of rainfall per week is enough. An inch of water will wet a sandy soil to a depth of ten inches, a heavy clay soil to six inches. If your soil is sandy, it is better to water more often than once a week.
Most leeks require a long growing season of about 120 to 150 days, and a minimum of eight hours of bright sunlight daily.
Leeks are cross and insect pollinated and will cross with elephant garlic, kurrat and other leek varieties. They may also self fertilize but they won’t cross with onion. They are biennial flowering in their second year.
The most common problem with leeks are diseases such as downy mildew, pink root, purple blotch and white rot.
Leeks are ready to harvest when the base of the stalks is 1 inch to 2 inches in diameter. Gently twist the stalks back and forth to loosen them and ease them out of the ground. Cut off the roots and all but 2 inches of the leaves.
Storing & Preparing
Leeks can give off an odor that can be absorbed by other foods in the refrigerator. Therefore, wrap leeks in plastic when storing in the refrigerator. Do not trim or wash before storing. Leeks will last up to two weeks in the refrigerator if they are purchased fresh.
There are a variety of ways that leeks can be cooked and eaten. Including grilling, roasting or boiling. They are fabulous in soup, pasta with eggs or on pizza.
Planting and Growing Leeks can be easy with these tips.