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Video: Leeks, Varieties And Cultivation Techniques
2023 Author: Sebastian Paterson | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-08-25 05:47
← Read the beginning of the article "Leek, characteristics of culture and useful properties"
Features of growing Allium porrum
On what soil does leek grow better ? It is clear that the rich, well-fertilized. But in our conditions, soils are usually loamy or sandy. In fact, on such lands, he feels good if they are moistened and contain the nitrogen nutrition necessary for onions. If the soil is poor, then the introduction of 3-4 kg of compost and 150 g of complex mineral fertilizers per 1 m² will help to correct the situation.
And here is what the famous agronomist P. N. Shetenberg in 1911 in the journal Progressive Horticulture and Horticulture. “To improve clay soil so heavy that it makes it difficult to dig by sticking to a shovel, it is recommended to add crushed brick.
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Finely crushed brick is sieved through a large sieve, scattered on the ground in a layer of 9-13 cm and then, together with fertilizer, is applied to the soil. By repeating this operation for several years in a row, the soil can be improved. … Digging is loosening the soil to a relatively great depth (from 18 to 22, even 26 cm); hoeing - loosening the soil by 4-7 cm, and sometimes even less. Hoeing is extremely useful for the successful development of plants: it facilitates the access of air to the roots, without which the correct growth of the aerial parts of the plant is completely impossible. Especially on clay soils after heavy rains …”. In general, many recommendations from old magazines have not lost their value even now.
Leek is a moisture-loving plant, but at the same time it should not be poured with water. Here is what the agronomist P. N. Schetenberg: “When watering plants, water quality plays an important role. Where rainwater or pond water can be used, it should be preferred over all other water. River water is also good, but only on condition that it is not polluted by various kinds of factory waste.
As for well water, it should always be used with great care: such water contains lime and other minerals that often cause root diseases, especially delicate plants. Therefore, in those cases when it is impossible to make a choice and have to be content with well water, it is necessary to soften it by artificial methods - best of all by adding a small amount of potassium carbonate or potash. Probably, the water regime of plants largely depends on the water-holding capacity of the soil, which is why it is so important to apply organic fertilizers to the soil, to apply mulching of the planted plants.
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The water regime of the onion root system, however, as well as its nutrition, is affected by the density of planting seedlings in a permanent place. We noticed that when the plants were planted with a planting density of 50 cm between rows and 5 cm between plants in a row, the overall yield was the highest. But the thickest legs of leeks were formed when the distance between plants was up to 10 cm. In early plantings, you can do this: plant thicker, then thin out, using young plants for food already from the first days of July. And between the rows with a width of 50 cm, spinach can be sown as a compactor, its root system does not interfere with the onion.
You can plant leek seedlings as recommended by the National Vegetable Experiment Station in Walesbourne (Warwickshire - remember that leeks are one of the emblems of Wales). Here are her recommendations: “… leek seedlings are ready for planting when the plants become as thick as a pencil and reach 15-20 cm in height. The seedlings are planted in rows with a row spacing of 30 cm. Holes 5 cm wide and 15 cm deep are made with a garden peg, in which seedlings are placed. You do not need to fill the holes with earth. They are simply filled with water, the soil will settle and reliably crimp the plant roots."
Caring for plants in summer consists in loosening row spacings, weeding weeds, if necessary, fertilizing with mineral fertilizers. We feed the onions with potassium nitrate 40 g per 1 m2 and water them; water consumption in a normal summer is 10 liters per three-meter row per week. “In the morning I would not recommend watering at all. Soon after watering, the heat begins, and most of the moisture is lost aimlessly. On the contrary, when watering from 3-4 pm until late at night, the water is completely absorbed into the soil. If, early in the morning of the next day, the watered ridges are slightly loosened with the help of three- and four-toothed hoes or even a sparse-toothed iron rake, the moisture will be protected from evaporation for a long time”- this is the recommendation of P. N. Shetenberg. Although he recommended doing this in 1911, the climate has not changed that much now.
As the onion plant grows, we spud it with moist soil. This technique is desirable, since in huddled plants the false stem reaches a greater length, and its taste is softer. To prevent soil from getting inside the leaf sheaths, the base of the leaves can be wrapped with paper. We hud up the plants until the end of the growing season, when only the tip of the leaves remains on the surface. I note that feeding leeks at the end of summer reduces its winter hardiness, which is important if you leave your onions to winter in the garden. This is possible and should be done if during the season you did not manage to grow it. Leek is a very winter-hardy culture, so small plants can be left in the ground for the winter. It winters well under the snow, and in early spring it will give good vitamin greens.
A few words about leek varieties. They are subdivided into three groups: early, middle and late. The growing season for early maturing varieties is 130 days. Mid-season varieties need 150 days for ripening, late varieties - more than 170 days. Early ripening varieties are ready for harvest in August - early September, mid-season autumn varieties are ready for harvest in October, and late-ripening ones are winter varieties. It is clear that the timing of harvesting largely depends on the timing of planting seedlings. From the early varieties, we can recommend Kilim, Goliath and the Shelton F1 hybrid.
Goliath is early maturing. From full germination to harvest 130 days. The plant is of medium height. The length of the bleached part is up to 28 cm, the diameter is 5.5–6 cm. The mass of the productive part is 150–200 g.
Kilima is an early variety. The growing season is 150 days. The bleached part is up to 25 cm long and up to 5 cm in diameter. The crop can be harvested from mid-summer.
The Shelton F1 is a new versatile leek hybrid. Harvest is ready for harvest in June-July (ripens 12-16 weeks).
From mid-season varieties, Columbus and Lancelot show good results.
Columbus is a mid-early variety. The plant is tall, the leaves are 70–80 cm long. The stem is up to 18 cm long, up to 6 cm in diameter, weighing 300–400 g. The taste is excellent. Forms a productive bleached part with virtually no hilling.
Lancelot is a reliable variety with greyish green leaves. Beautiful, medium-length bleached stem, vertical leaf arrangement. The variety has sufficient frost tolerance. Recommended for fresh consumption, processing and storage up to 2 months.
Late-ripening variety Bandit. It has dark bluish-green leaves with a short white stem. Good cold tolerance, overwinters under snow cover.
What experience suggested
On our site, we grow all the varieties listed above. I will make a few comments on them. We do not huddle early varieties, but plant seedlings under a stake in a hole 15 cm deep, as described in the article.
When planting, the roots and leaves are cut by a third. We have noticed that early and medium leeks develop better and give thicker stems when pruned. But if, before planting the seedlings, grooves with a depth of 10-12 cm are made on the ridge and the roots are straightened very carefully, then you can not cut them. This means that everything depends on the location of the seedling root system. We huddle the Columbus variety 2-3 times over the summer, although you can not huddle it, it gives a good bleached leg.
We get the thickest leg from the Lancelot variety in late autumn even with 30 day old seedlings planted in the ground in early June. This variety loves hilling. We grow the Bandit variety by direct sowing of seeds into the ground at the end of July, it leaves us huddled before winter, and in June next year it gives a harvest. The Lancelot variety can be sown with seeds at the end of October - in November before winter. Under favorable conditions, the harvest can be obtained in June.
Actually, I "discovered" leeks for myself when I was on a business trip in Poland. I was surprised by the scale of its planting. Huge fields of leeks. But when I tried the soup with the addition of this onion, I realized that Poles are well versed in cooking. Leek is primarily used as a condiment for all vegetable soups and vegetables in general. Perhaps Vichyssoise - a cold mashed potato and onion soup - is the most famous leek dish. Contrary to its French name, this dish was created in America, albeit by a French chef at the Ritz Carlton Louis Diat in New York around 1900. According to legend, he created a delicious cold summer soup, inspired by childhood memories of cold milk, which he diluted with too hot soup. In Poland, leeks are widely used for drying and freezing.
Grow leeks on your site, you will not regret it.
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