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Square Foot Gardening Forum
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Leeks Toplef10Leeks 1zd3ho10

Hello Guest!
Welcome to the official Square Foot Gardening Forum.
There's lots to learn here by reading as a guest. However, if you become a member (it's free, ad free and spam-free) you'll have access to our large vermiculite databases, our seed exchange spreadsheets, Mel's Mix calculator, and many more members' pictures in the Gallery. Enjoy.

Leeks I22gcj10Leeks 14dhcg10

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Post  Tamara Calero Wed 21 Mar 2012 - 14:08

I bought some leeks from the Home Depot. I'm not sure on how to plant them I read that they are much like planting onions. Anyone care to share some advice? affraid
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Post  plantoid Wed 21 Mar 2012 - 16:32

I've recently finished reading current advice from loads of research done in Belgium where they take their competion veg growing very seriously.

It is dibber a hole 8 inches deep , slip the whole leek plant in DO NOT CUT THE TOPS OR ROOTS as this will slow the plant ..it will not as I used to think make the plant grow a profuse root system .

Add a cup of slightly warmer than the air temp into the hole & leave it to back fill on its own for a week or two . Then start earthing up when 5 inches of leek stem starts to poke above the ground level.

To do that in 6 inch of MM will require the use of lifts / extender boxes to make the available depth of theMM greater. they should be made of 4 inch wide wood , set the first lift ontop of the MM and fill it with more , dibber your holes in at the rate suggested by Mel if you want to harvest thin leeks .. of go to the four inch spacing if you want long thick leeks .

For the latter add the second lift or third when the leek body comes four inches above the top of the lift.

You can gently wrap some one sided corrugated carboard round the leak stem and gently tie it in off a bow using wool or soft hemp string .. tie in a bow so you can undo it easily , as when the stem expands it may need untying and leaving in place . These collars can be added one over another as it is only to keep slugs , wood lice & MM out of the leeks. The leeks done like this will have a long blanched whitish body and great green leaves .

You can eat both parts though for some unearthly reason lots of people do not use the greenery ....which I think is a crying shame as is really the best part if cooked in 3 inch long bits.
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Post  camprn Wed 21 Mar 2012 - 17:25

Here are links for a few other threads about leeks

Link 1

Link 2

Link 3

Leeks Growing fact sheet from UMN

Very Happy Yum Yum! LEEKS!!!!

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Post  Tamara Calero Wed 21 Mar 2012 - 22:27

Thanks for the help
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Post  jdepce Sun 15 Apr 2012 - 16:14

will those instructions count if you grow leeks from seed?
I have them growing about 6" high. My neighbor told me just to put the seed in and wait for eternity but he never said to pool up the dirt around the base.
How the heck do you water them?
Thanks, Kitty[b]
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Post  camprn Sun 15 Apr 2012 - 16:19

@jdepce wrote:will those instructions count if you grow leeks from seed?
I have them growing about 6" high. My neighbor told me just to put the seed in and wait for eternity but he never said to pool up the dirt around the base.
How the heck do you water them?
Thanks, Kitty[b]
I am not quite sure what you are asking...

Did you start your leeks from seed in the garden bed and they are now 6 inches tall?

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There are certain pursuits which, if not wholly poetic and true, do at least suggest a nobler and finer relation to nature than we know. The keeping of bees, for instance. ~ Henry David Thoreau

https://squarefoot.forumotion.com/t1306-other-gardening-books



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Post  jdepce Sun 15 Apr 2012 - 16:55

Yeah, and they have about 4 onion like leaves on them, but do I need to put dirt around that or will they just grow down into the soil?
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Post  camprn Sun 15 Apr 2012 - 17:22

Let them keep growing where they are for a few more weeks so they can get a little bigger. Basically you can transplant the leeks back into the same bed.
If it was me, I would lift them gently the way to do this, take a garden fork and slide it into the soil, under the roots. While holding the green tops, in a bunch in one hand, push down on the fork handle with the other hand, this should gently lift the leeks and loosen the soil around the roots. Gently pull up the plants and put the roots in a jar of water.

Level out the soil in the bed, then use a dibble to poke holes 4-6 inches deep into the bed, as seen in the video above. Gently separate the leek seedlings and place one seedling into each hole. Water the hole, and over time the hole will fill in. Let the leeks grow there for a few months and then you can start harvesting...
I know it sounds complicated, but really, it's not. What a Face

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There are certain pursuits which, if not wholly poetic and true, do at least suggest a nobler and finer relation to nature than we know. The keeping of bees, for instance. ~ Henry David Thoreau

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Post  jdepce Sun 15 Apr 2012 - 17:45

The video was an eye opener.
It does seem like too much trouble but when you make cauliflower and leek mashed potatoes, it's all worth it. I'll wait another 2 weeks and dig mine up. Now that I see how big they should be and how to dig the hole, this should be really fun.
Thank you, Kitty
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Post  Lavender Debs Mon 16 Apr 2012 - 7:06

Cauliflower and leek mashed potatoes? I'll be at the computer store with planetoid for a new keyboard if, like him, I keep drooling on it.

jdepce it seems like you are describing what I used to do as a dirt farmer. I would plant a nursery bed of leeks in the fall (thank you Steve Solomon) to transplant into their big-girl bed (or row) in spring. As camp advised, loosen the leeks from the bed with a fork. Then lift the leeks (anywhere from threads to finger width and everything in between)

I used to clip the roots and tops back, not for greater growth (quicker? is that even a word you use when discussing leeks?) but to prevent transpiration. After reading planetoid I no longer clip the tops BUT still feel compelled to clip roots back about 2/3rds. I do not want to force the rootlets to J-up when I set them in. Mine are doing fine (but they are leeks, cousins of onions and difficult to kill)

My "dibbler" is a weeding tool used to up-root tap-root weeds like dandelions. I made a video on using it but sadly, put my body in front of the camera so you do not get to see how I use it. Maybe next year. Basically, I plunge the tool into the MM and tip it sideways. The leek is dropped into the hole with the tool. When the leek is where I want it I lift the tool out. Sometimes I tamp the MM a bit with the tool to keep the leek upright. This works with thread size leeks as well as the bigger babies.
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Post  jdepce Mon 16 Apr 2012 - 9:32

You substitute a head of cauliflower for the potatoes. Use about 2 large leeks. Chunk the vegies into boiling water (salted if you're still able to have it) and cook for 15 minutes on med Hi. Drain and then add all the same ingredients that you use in mashed potatoes like milk or cream, salt, pepper and paprika, butter, etc. I always put in some fresh dill. Smash with a hand mixer. Be careful of how much liquid you use as the cauliflower can hold too much if it's not drained real well.
They taste so close to potatoes that the kids who hate cauliflower may not even know what their eating.
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Post  Fantasma Thu 26 Apr 2012 - 13:00

My favorite leek recipe is Creamed Corn with Bacon and Leeks. You'll have to Google it since I can't post links yet, but it can be found on MyRecipes.com. I made up a huge batch last night. Yummmm.
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