> Growing Leeks
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Topic: Growing Leeks
Post By Ontario Gardening ID: 13245
Wed, Aug 22 at 10:04:55 EDT
Last year I tried growing leeks for the first time . I had such good luck with them I planted twice as many this year. Leeks are in the onion family , and are the national emblem of Wales.
My favorite dish turned out to be leek and potato soup, sometimes I added cauliflower.. I also used them in stir frys.
Growing them was EASY. I direct seeded early in the spring as soon as the ground could be worked ( early April). One seed packet to about 20 feet of row. I sowed them rather thick , thinking I would thin and transplant later , but I never bothered. Before sowing I raked in a bag of cow manure. My seeds were sown appx. 1.5 inches apart in a 3 inch band. I grew two varieties , Musselberg and Large American.
These onion-like seeds took a few weeks to germinate , but up they came like little soldiers and I never looked back. As they grew I hoed along the row and did cursory weeding. As the plants got bigger I hilled up along the row to bury the weeds. A side benefit of hilling is it blanches the bottom 3 or 4 inches. Alternately , you could plant them in a shallow trench , and hoe over that.
Leeks like water , so I soaked them deeply once per week or less , depending on rainfall. Leeks put down many long , deep roots , and require effort to pull them up .(Unlike onions whick are shallow-rooted). Hence , they can withstand adverse conditions , and continue to grow long into the fall .
I started to harvest them in mid August when the stems were about one inch thick, and continued right until hard freeze-up just after Christmas. There were a few plants that overwintered , and I dug them out of the ice in March ..they were still good .
No wonder the Welsh like them .
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