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Growing Leeks Near St. Petersburg
Growing Leeks Near St. Petersburg

Video: Growing Leeks Near St. Petersburg

Video: Growing Leeks Near St. Petersburg
Video: How to Grow Leeks from Seed 2023, March

Leek (Allium porrum) - tasty and healthy


Leeks are now widespread throughout the world. Until now, its wild forms are found on the northern coast of Africa, some islands of the Mediterranean Sea, in Spain, Italy, Greece and Syria, as well as in the Balkans, Asia Minor and the Caucasus. In culture, leek has been known since ancient times.

Leeks use leaves and a false bulb - a leg for food. It is a valuable vegetable of dietary value. It does not have a pungent smell, its aroma is softer, and its taste is subtler than that of onion.

As a food and medicinal plant, it was cultivated in Ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome. The ancient Egyptians ate leeks as a side dish for meat or eaten raw with bread. He was so highly valued in Egypt that Pharaoh Cheops rewarded his especially distinguished close associates with bundles of leeks. Pliny the Elder in his writings mentions leek as a plant borrowed by the Greeks and Romans from the ancient Egyptians.

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The Romans loved this onion so much that the gardens where it grew were given a special name - "porrinae". It was used as a medicinal plant by the ancient Greek physician Hippocrates (VI-V centuries BC). The Roman emperor Nero used its leaves for the treatment of vocal cords: on certain days he ate exclusively leek, seasoning it with olive oil. The scientist and doctor Avicenna, who lived in Central Asia, included leek among medicinal plants. In his work "Canon of Medicine" (XI century), he reports on methods of treating warts, ulcers on the body, nosebleeds, asthma, bloody diarrhea, etc.

Currently, the leek culture is widespread in Western Europe, North Africa, Western Asia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, North and South America, and Australia. We grow it mainly in the south of the European part of Russia, in the Caucasus and Central Asia. In the North-West and in the Non-Chernozem zone of Russia, it is cultivated in small quantities on personal and summer cottages, as well as on farms.

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Features of growth and development

You can use it for food at any stage of development. Leek is a biennial plant. In the first year, it forms a powerful false bulb, consisting of thickened leaf bases covered with 1-2 membranous scales, a bleached part, which is called a "leg". The size of the false bulb depends on the varietal characteristics, usually reaching a height of 10-20 cm and a diameter of 2-7 cm. In the center of the bulb, under 2-3 juicy closed scales, there are 2 (sometimes 3) buds, one of which is vegetative, the other is generative. The bases of the leaves pass into a false stem, formed by thin leaf sheaths, tightly covering each other and turning into a leaf. The false stem is light green and the bulb is white. The height of the false stem is a varietal trait and ranges from 8 to 80 cm.

Leeks have flat, semi-folding leaves along the central vein, usually dark green, with a strong waxy bloom. The width and length of the leaves of leeks depend both on the variety and on the growing conditions of this crop and, as a rule, reach 3-10 cm in the widest part and 25-60 cm in length. Leaves move away from the false stem in a generally fan-like manner. The number of leaves ranges from 6 to 15.

The flower arrow is elongated, with a large number of conducting vessels, straight, without swelling, usually 1.2-1.6 m in height. The inflorescence is a simple spherical umbrella up to 10-25 cm in diameter, in which 600-800 flowers of lilac or white color are placed in three tiers. If the arrow is damaged or under other unfavorable conditions, for example, during drought, 3-8 silvery-white bulbs (pearl onions) are formed on the bottom. When planted, these bulbs produce plants characteristic of the first year of leek life.

Leeks are characterized by an increased tendency to vegetative propagation. The formation of air bulbs in the inflorescence can often be observed. They produce the same plants as when grown from seed. Moreover, the first two leaves, as in the case of growing from seeds, are tubular.

Requirements for growing conditions

Leek is a cold-resistant crop. Although the seedlings cannot stand frost, rooted plants winter well under deep snow. When grown under conditions of high temperatures, the accumulation of green mass is delayed, and intensive growth begins only at the onset of lower temperatures - in late summer - early autumn.

Leek Carantan
Leek Carantan

Figure: 1. Leek Carantan

Leek plants are light-requiring, require long daylight hours for their development. It should be noted that they react very strongly to its length. Under conditions of short daylight hours, it branches strongly and forms up to 26 branches, while on a long day - 1-5.

Leeks are picky about soil moisture. He needs as much moisture as cabbage. In certain periods of development, it tolerates excess moisture well.

Of all the edible species of leeks in existence, it is especially in need of fertile, well-cultivated, organic-rich soils. The application of manure directly under the leek improves its growth and significantly increases the yield and quality of the leg, but an excess of nitrogen reduces the safety of plants in the trench. The best soils for it are moist loamy and floodplain, sandy and heavy clayey are not suitable. This onion absolutely does not tolerate even very slightly acidic soils. Plants become puny, with hard leaves, bad taste.


Northern European: Karantansky (see Fig. 1), Sizokryl, Brabant, Elephant and others - more early ripening, with a short (8-15 cm) stem, a compact arrangement of dark green leaves with a strong waxy bloom, well preserved in the autumn-winter period buried in storage, and in winters with moderate frosts - in the ground. Of the newly zoned at the same time they are ready for cleaning: Asgeos, Bandit, Bastion, Ginka, Kazimir, Kamus, Merlin, Premier, Pandora, Tango; the earliest: Vesta, Goliath, Jolant, Kilima, Lancelot.

Southern varieties: Bulgarian (see Fig. 2) and others - later ones, have an elongated (up to 50-80 cm) stem, a rare arrangement of leaves, a light color and a weak waxy bloom.

Features of growing leeks

Figure: 2. Bulgarian leek
Figure: 2. Bulgarian leek

Figure: 2. Bulgarian leek

All varieties of this onion are relatively late ripening. The earliest ones are ready for harvesting 90-100 days after germination, so it is grown only in seedlings. Seeds of leeks are sown for seedlings in mid-late March in seed boxes or on beds in a greenhouse in grooves with a distance of 6-10 cm at the rate of 13-15 g of seeds per 1 m². Seedlings appear slowly, so it is better to sow with spiked seeds. The seedlings should be 50-60 days old. Leek seedlings are grown in the same way as onions.

Leeks are placed on fresh manure (6-10 kg / m²) or humus (4-5 kg / m²) is applied. You can grow it in the second year after applying organic fertilizers. It is good to place it after early vegetable, under which manure was applied. With a lack of organic fertilizers, humus or compost is introduced into the grooves made for planting seedlings. In addition to organic fertilizers, 1 m? make 20-30 g of ammonium nitrate, 30-40 g of superphosphate and 15-25 g of potassium chloride. Leek depletes the soil very much, but after harvesting it, it becomes loose.

In Northwest Russia, leeks are grown on ridges or ridges. Seedlings are planted in the second half of May, no later than June 5, preferably in cloudy weather or after rain. It is advisable to land in the afternoon. On the ridges, the rows are placed every 45 cm or with two-line ribbons (50 + 20): 2 cm. On the ridges it can be placed in four lines, with a distance between the rows of 25 cm, or with two two-line ribbons along the bed. Before planting, the leek seedlings are watered abundantly and the leaves are cut 1 / 2-1 / 3 of the length. You can also trim the roots slightly if they are very long.

Seedlings are planted 1-1.5 cm deeper than they were grown, after 8-12 cm in a row. On fertile, well-fertilized soils, seedlings can be placed thickened so that in July-August, due to thinning through one plant, you can get early production. The remaining leeks continue to grow until October 10-15.


Before planting, the grooves are carefully watered to a mushy state, the seedlings are laid out in them, slightly pressing the plants into them, and they are sealed at first with wet and then dry soil. It is necessary to ensure that the roots do not bend upwards during planting. Such plants will be inhibited and stunted. After planting, you can mulch the grooves with peat or humus with a layer of 1-1.5 cm. This will prevent the formation of a crust and dry out the soil.

No later than a week after planting the seedlings, it is necessary to loosen the row spacings that have become compacted during planting. When growing leeks, it is necessary to systematically loosen the aisles, keep the soil in a sufficiently moist state, fight weeds and make 2-3 top dressing.

The first feeding can be done with organic fertilizers (mullein 1: 10 or slurry 1: 3). You can carry out all dressings only with mineral fertilizers (in g per 1 m².): Ammonium nitrate - 50, superphosphate - 100 and potassium chloride - 30 (divided by 2-3 times), or add 50-80 g of nitrophosphate. In the process of growing, you should spud the plants 2-3 times to obtain larger bleached legs. After hilling, their taste improves.

Leeks are harvested as needed - from August to September. Plants destined for fresh consumption are dug up, shaken off the soil, and the roots cut. Leeks intended for long-term storage should be harvested carefully, without damaging the leaves during transportation. By the time of harvesting, the temperature in the storage should have dropped to + 3 ° C. Plants are added in rows every 10-12 cm, in a row they are placed close to each other at an angle of 50-60 °. Leeks are stored at a temperature of about 0 ° C and an air humidity of 80-85% until April. Leek yield in the open ground of the Leningrad region is from 3-4 to 10 kg / m².

Read part 2: Leek - a valuable food and medicinal plant →

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