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Onion

Approaches to growing:

Leek (Allium porrum)   Edit Report inappropriate crop

Unless you are a competition grower, leeks are the onion's easier going relative. They will grow on any reasonable soil, are fairly pest and disease-resistant and, because they are untroubled by frost, can be harvested from late summer until the following spring. They do still involve some work though, transplanting from seed to growing bed and regular earthing up if you want long, white stems.

Likes and dislikes
Soil
Stonyok
Lightok
Loamyprefer
Heavyok
pH6.5 - 7.5
Manure
Previous cropdislike
Previous autumnok
Before plantingprefer
Position
Full sunprefer
Partial shadeok
Shadedislike
Exposure
Openok
Shelteredprefer

Sow indoors

sow indoors sow indoors

Sow 2.5cm deep in pots or modules and thin when large enough to handle. Harden off for two weeks before transplanting.


plant plant

Between plants: 15cm
Between rows: 30cm

Transplant when about 20cm tall and the thickness of a pencil. Lightly trim roots and leaf tips then create a 15cm hole with a dibber, drop in the plant and water in well to settle the roots. There's no need to backfill the hole, this will happen naturally over time. Keep well watered until established then draw up soil at intervals around the stems to exclude light, taking care not to get any between the leaves.


harvest harvest

Use a fork to loosen the soil and lift when leeks are still fairly small for the best flavour - the thickness of a hoe or rake handle. However, they can be left in the ground to overwinter and be lifted when needed, you can even lift and then heel them in somewhere else if the bed is needed.


Sow outdoors

sow outdoors sow outdoors

Between plants: 4cm
Between rows: 15cm

Sow thinly in rows in a well-prepared seed bed, 2cm deep. Thin when large enough to handle to 4cm apart.


plant plant

Between plants: 15cm
Between rows: 30cm

Transplant when about 20cm tall and the thickness of a pencil. Lightly trim roots and leaf tips then create a 15cm hole with a dibber, drop in the plant and water in well to settle the roots. There is no need to backfill the hole, this will happen naturally over time. Keep well watered until established then draw up soil at intervals around the stems to exclude light, taking care not to get any between the leaves.


harvest harvest

Use a fork to loosen the soil and lift when leeks are still fairly small for the best flavour - the thickness of a hoe or rake handle. However, they can be left in the ground to overwinter and be lifted when needed, you can even lift and then heel them in somewhere else if the bed is needed.


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Planting leeks (simonsmithster - 11:34 17/01/2015) Report inappropriate tip
The best dibber for planting leeks is the remains of a spade or a fork. Anyone who has worked the land will at some point break a spade or a fork handle. Keep the broken shaft as a dibber. Wet the ground shove the dibber in down to depth of about 8 inches drop in yr early leek seedling and fill the hole with water. Just water.
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