The leek is an ideal food for growing in your organic garden. We only need a guide to know the requirements and needs when cultivating it.
Use these tips to get the most out of your garden when you grow leeks, knowing the climate you need, the soil, irrigation or fertilizer. Also, know all the varieties that you can grow.
BRIEF INTRODUCTION OF THE LEEK
Leek or Allium ampeloprasum var. porrum belongs to the liliaceae family. For those who do not know, they are a type of monocotyledons (1 only cotyledon or primordial leaf) as are garlic and onions.
It has been known for a long time (we go back to Egyptian times) and a great consumer of this vegetable was Nero. After these anecdotes, we went directly to the guild of our profession, the cultivation of the leek!
LEEK CULTIVATION GUIDE IN THE GARDEN
CLIMATOLOGY AND TEMPERATURES
For the cultivation of the leek a sunny climate with mild temperatures is needed . Its optimum temperature for development ranges from 15 to 25º C. It is generally cold resistant, but it will also depend on the type of leek, because we tell you that we can establish a triple classification: summer leeks, autumn leeks and winter leeks.
For its cultivation it is advisable to have deep and spongy soils . The fluffiness of the soil is closely related to the humus content , so you will have to get your hands on that pile of compost that you are afraid to use (in the end you get fond of it). Why fluffy?
Because it is a bulb and does not need growth impediments such as hard or stony soils.
Leek is a basic pH crop plant. We nuance. It does not accept very basic or very acid soils (max. 6).
Regarding irrigation , you have to maintain the humidity of the crop constantly throughout its growth.
We have previously commented on the particularity of the spongy soil for the development of the leek and the relationship with the organic matter content. Now we put dates. Organic matter of animal origin is good for autumn leeks (if not, nothing happens either), however normal compost is added to summer leeks . It is necessary to repeat its application since the cultivation of the leek is quite long.
WHEN TO PLANT THEM IN THE GARDEN
To answer this question we have to differentiate the 3 types that we have commented before, and we will do it in the following way:
Summer leek: they are planted on the terrace in mid-March. Be careful with the low temperatures that are sensitive at the beginning of the crop. Help yourself to plastic bottles (homemade greenhouse), microtunnels, etc. with a 30 cm (row) by 15 cm planting frame.
Autumn leeks: they are sown in spring (early April) or they are planted directly on the terrace between the end of July and mid-August.
Winter leeks: it is sown in June outdoors since there will be good temperatures at that time, or it is planted directly on the orchard between the end of July and mid-August. Once winter has arrived, a series of measures must be established to take care of the plant, although we have already mentioned before that it resists the cold well.
The hilling technique is usually used, which consists of accumulating soil on the stem of the leek to make it more resistant to temperature and to remain white until harvest.
HARVESTING THE LEEKS
Again we divide according to the time in which the leek is sown or planted:
- Summer leek: harvested in June.
- Autumn leek: harvested between September and December.
- Winter leek: harvested until spring.
We can divide between short or semi-cut leeks and long leeks.
Short or semi-short leeks: Rouen Coarse, Electra, Musselburgh, Dactyl, Platina, Arcadia, Malabare,
Long leeks: Romil, Largo de Gennevillier, Alaska, Largo de Meziers, Largo de Bulgaria, Helvetia, Large American Flag, Artaban, Elina, Paína, etc.
ASSOCIATIONS WITH OTHER CROPS
We have it added in our section of favorable and unfavorable associations between vegetables , but here we mention them.
- Favorable associations: carrot, celery, fennel, strawberry, lettuce, onion and tomato.
- Unfavorable associations: beet, cabbage, parsley, chard and pea.