Leek is also called pearl onions. This is a biennial plant with a huge amount of nutrients in the composition. However, growing it is not always easy. Some gardeners complain that it is difficult to care for him, and others can not even get small shoots! How to grow leek on the summer cottage will be described in detail below in the article.
What are the characteristics of leeks?
Leeks won a crowd of fans around the world for a reason. This is not just a beautiful or unusual vegetable - it is also incredibly useful! The plant is characterized by an abundance of calcium, iron, phosphorus, sulfur, magnesium, potassium in the composition. It also contains vitamin C, PP, B1, B2, A.
Leek is incredibly useful!
In terms of its popularity, the ion is second only to bulb onions and garlic. It can be fried, stewed, boiled, eaten raw, and stored by all possible methods. Even in ancient Rome, it was called the vegetable heroes. And today they are often used not only in cooking, but also in cosmetology and traditional medicine.
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Leek seeds can be difficult to find, as not all regions and countries are grown in large quantities, and the seeds are often sold fake. In different forums, you can find information that the leek is drawn on the package, but it has grown a simple feather. Of course, such a nuisance only upsets the gardener, who hoped for a different outcome, but such an experience would not be superfluous.
To get a really leek, and not any other kind of healthy vegetable, you should buy good, certified seeds in gardening stores or in nurseries. Ideally, the seeds should be local, that is, obtained when the plant is grown in local greenhouses and nurseries, as overseas sowing material can take a long time to take root in the new climate.
Do I need to make seedlings?
To grow a really good leek, you should work to make seedlings in advance, otherwise the crop will ripen for a very long time.
To grow a really good leek, it is worth working to make seedlings in advance
Before sowing, seeds should be soaked in water or in a growth stimulant solution for at least half an hour. It is necessary to sow the leeks at the end of February in flower pots with a diameter of at least 15 cm. The pots must have fertile soil, and holes must be present at the bottom of the tanks for water flow, since excess moisture will only harm this bow.
The earth is poured on 2/3 in a pot, then it is moistened, the seed is put, powdered on 2 cm with the earth and the pot is covered with a film. So you need to do with all the seeds and pots. You can sow one or several seeds per pot, but it is worth noting that the more seeds there are in a pot, the more difficult it will be to transplant seedlings to a permanent place.
Every 2-3 days the earth should be moistened with water. And when the shoots appear, it is worth removing the packages and putting the seedlings on the window sill. If the window is very cold, you can put the foam under the pots. It is recommended to take out seedlings on balconies and loggias only when there is a temperature of +5 degrees Celsius and more.
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It is possible to plant culture on any soil, but loam is best suited for leeks. The best predecessors are cucumbers, legumes, potatoes and cabbage. Planting time in the greenhouse is at the beginning of April, and in open ground in the middle or end of April.
Planting leek snails in open ground
To plant a leek in a permanent place, it is necessary to loosen the soil well on the garden bed, make convenient for transplanting holes or grooves with a depth of 15-16 cm. Humus and ash are laid on the bottom, it mixes well with the soil and is watered. Then sprouts are dug out of the pot and planted in the ground. The distance between individual shoots should be 8-10 cm, and between rows - 45-50 cm.
After planting, it is necessary to cover the seedlings with white agrofibre or film and leave it until a good, warm weather is established on the street - +15 degrees or more.
What kind of care does culture need?
Leek care is not the same as onions or any other. When the plant hits growth, and this is not a rhinestone, you need to gradually pour the soil to the trunks. The longer the plant grows, the higher the slide should be. Only then can you get a very long white leek leg. If the land is not poured, the leek will be green, and the most delicious light part will be small. And the taste of this vegetable is much worse.
Water it should be moderate. Per square meter usually takes up to 20 liters of water, but watering is carried out no more than once every 4-5 days. Weeds need to be harvested all the time, so that they do not spoil the harvest and pull nutrients out of the ground. For the entire season, you can 3-4 times feed the plant with mineral or organic matter. Just do not make fresh manure or bird droppings - they will spoil the taste of leeks.
Ways to preserve a long, whitish leek stem
You can mulch between rows, although this is not necessary, but this method retains moisture in the ground. As mulch, you can use dry grass, peat or tops of cultivated plants.
Harvesting and storage
Despite the fact that the leek is a biennial plant, leaving it for 2 years, as a rule, does not make sense. In the first year, the gardener gets a tasty fruit; in the second, you can collect seeds. However, experts believe that it is possible to collect seeds exclusively in the southern regions, and they do not appear in the middle and northern regions.
For full ripening leeks need an average of 6-7 months, although they use it after the fifth. Harvest at different times, when the leg reaches the desired size gardener, right up to late autumn. Fruit stems with a diameter of 1.5 cm or more are considered commodity, but leeks can be eaten earlier.
Harvesting and storing leeks
To get the plant, they dig it up with a shovel and pull it out behind the green barb. After harvesting, the crop must be stored. For this, a basement with a humidity of 80-90% and a temperature between 0 and +1 degrees is suitable. Leek is cleaned from damaged leaves, pruned root, and then piled up vertically in boxes and sprinkled with earth so that green feathers can be seen. In addition to fresh storage, onions can also be dried in the oven or cut and freeze in the freezer.