Leek has not yet replaced onions from the hearts (and stomachs) of summer residents and gourmets, but is on the way to this. The plant has ceased to be an unusual guest in the gardens, although so far many, even experienced, summer residents do not grow it, fearing a crushing failure. In reality, everything is not so scary as it seems: leek is one of the most non-capricious vegetables cultivated by people in the history of mankind.
- Botanical description
- How to make the right choice
- Early ripening varieties
- Mid-ripening varieties
- Late-ripening varieties
- Growing leeks quickly and easily
- Growing onions in pots
- Moving to a new house
- Care is the key to a successful harvest
- Epilogue, or what can be done from leek
You can, of course, buy a vegetable in a store, but products grown on wow kind of yourself, much tastier and healthier stuffed with chemicals bought, and who does not like to be healthy? If you freeze the crop, you can enjoy the beneficial properties of leeks even in winter.
The description says that leeks belong to the onion subfamily, it was grown mainly in the Mediterranean. This happens to this day, but now a healthy vegetable has spread to other countries of the world. In Russia, leeks are cultivated no less successfully than their summer cottagers “in the south.”
As with other plants, growing and caring for leeks should not be carried out after the sleeves. There are important agrotechnical requirements, without which a good harvest cannot be achieved, no matter how hard you try.For example, as a guest from the warm south, a vegetable dies from frost, however, with hilling and thorough warming, it can survive even severe Siberian winters. He does not like to grow on acidic soil, preferring a neutral environment and, like any other plant, wants to grow exclusively on rich and fertile soils.
The appearance of leek is specific: you can’t confuse it with anything. See how it looks in the photo if you have not seen a vegetable in stores before. He does not have a large bulb – it is usually either tiny, or it does not exist at all. The main “chip” of the plant is the white part of the stem. It is her most often used in cooking. Since this part of the plant grows underground, it must be thoroughly cleaned – washed. Her taste is more delicate than that of onions. The green part of leek should also be used in culinary experiments, for example, added to broths. Sometimes they can be replaced with green onions, using fillings for pies and pies.
In the first year after planting leeks, the root system begins to form. Together with the roots, he releases long sheets, continuing to do this until frost in the fall. With the onset of the second year, the leek begins to form a flower-bearing arrow, and in summer colorful flowers bloom on it. The sweet aroma of flowers attracts winged toilers – bees and bumblebees. Seeds ripen by the beginning of autumn.
How to make the right choice
Choosing a variety in the Russian climate is not an easy task.The vegetable is unpretentious, but does not like the cold, which our winters are so famous for. The frosty season, if it is, is only in shelters, but not all varieties are capable of it.
Early ripe varieties
Early ripe vegetables ripen in a very short time: they It takes no more than 3-4 months. By “quality” the early ripe ones are inferior to the mid-ripening ones, but they are many times superior in yield. The stem of the varieties is thin, and the white part grows up to 30-50 cm tall. The summer resident will decide what to make from the harvest: early ripe leeks are universal, they can be used fresh or canned.
- Goliath has leaves green or grayish color, the stem is medium in height. The variety gives very good crops, which are harvested in the summer. The disadvantage is low resistance to diseases.
- Leek Columbus is considered one of the best choices for summer residents, since its bleached part develops without hilling.
- Vesta is grown mainly on the lands of the Moscow Region, it is appreciated for the sweet taste. You can get the crop 120 days after planting leeks.
- Kilima differs in late ripening compared to other early ripening varieties.
Mid-season varieties are not as productive as the early ones. They ripen in 150-180 days. On the other hand, the “leg” is thicker, the leaves are larger, rich green. They are winter hardy, they can be consumed fresh.The best mid-season varieties:
- The winner is similar to some other varieties, for example, Karatansky. It can be grown as an annual onion, or perennial. It is so frost-resistant that it can be planted in the northern regions of the country;
- Elephant was created by Czech breeders. The properties are the same as those of the Winner. Stems are harvested on the 130th day of vegetation.
Late-ripening varieties have the longest growing season, which can last up to 200 days. Such plants are not suitable for cultivation in the northern regions, as they do not have time to ripen before the onset of frost. However, there are cold-resistant varieties that can be planted even in Siberia or on the land of the Urals.
- Shogun – the new variety is unpretentious and successfully resists frosts. Its height is average, the leaf is blue-green with a waxy coating. The bleached part grows to 25 cm.
- Winter giant. The name corresponds to reality: his “leg” reaches 30 and even 40 cm. Feature, in addition to large sizes – excellent keeping quality.
Growing leek quickly and easily
The cultivation of leeks through seedlings and from seeds directly into the open ground is quite possible. The latter method is suitable for the warm south of the country. In the northern regions, it is better to pre-grow seeds from seedlings at home. How does leek planting occur in seedlings?
The landing is preceded by preparation in the spring, in mid-March. They treat leek seeds the same way as cabbage: they disinfect them in hot (45 ° C) and cold water, moisten a rag and wrap the seeds, then leave them in a warm place. After 3-7 days, the seeds are dried. Now they can be dropped in a box on the windowsill. Leek seeds can be stored dried for 3 years: they will not lose their properties, they will germinate.
In warm southern regions, leeks can be planted immediately in open ground, hidden for safety under a film or in a greenhouse. When planting leeks for seedlings and agricultural techniques depend on how the planting of seeds is planned.
- Sowing leeks in the form of seeds at home is organized in late February – early March.
- It is better to sow onions in the greenhouse in mid-April.
- When April comes to an end, you can plant leeks in open ground under the film.
Growing onions in pots
One of the most common methods is to grow seedlings of leek from seeds. Planting directly in the garden is not possible for every region, while planting plants first in pots, boxes or in the “snail” is suitable for the coldest northern regions. How to plant plants in pots?
- Fill containers with moistened soil and try to seed the seeds at least 5 cm apart.
- Sprinkle with earth, and put polyethylene on top of the drawers, then you need to leave your pots in a warm place so that the temperature is on average 24 ° C. Lighting is very important for growth.
- When the sprout emerges, the regimen changes a little: during the day the temperature should be within 16 ° C, and at night it may be lower – 11 ° C.
- Through week again, change the mode, but at this stage the temperature is set higher: 20 ° C during the day, 14 ° C at night. The temperature is now constant, it no longer changes. The vegetable will grow poorly if the regimen is not respected.
- If the plants are planted too close to each other, after a year they will need to be dived. The pick, however, is not experienced very well by the leek, so it is better to plant the leek rarely rarely or to use peat tablets for planting.
- It is recommended to feed the seedlings. Top dressing consists of compost tea and should be carried out once every two weeks. It is also worth trimming the leaves from time to time so that the young plant spends more energy on the development of roots and stems.
Planting of the grown seedlings of leeks occurs after 8 weeks. By that time, the diameter of the stem had grown by almost a centimeter and 3-4 long leaves had formed. Planting on the garden is usually preceded by shortening the roots and leaves. Pruning is needed to make it easier for the vegetable to take root in a new place and it develops more correctly.
We can’t say that the plant is of one use, it does harm.
It is contraindicated to use it in large quantities, especially if you are going to accustom to the vegetable children.
In a diet for babies, leek should be introduced gradually, by teaspoon. For the treatment of gastric ailments, onions can only be eaten in processed form: stewed or boiled, but not fresh.
If leek was exclusively a medicinal plant, it would not have the popularity that it has now. No need to disdain to use the vegetable for making breakfast, lunch or dinner. They can safely replace other types of onions in a variety of dishes, but it is also good as the main ingredient. You can try, for example, to make a pie stuffed with leek.
After pulling from the garden, the vegetable can lie for 2-3 days in the refrigerator without harm to itself. The main condition for long-term storage is not to wash the harvest.For people who like to periodically feast on soups or adore stewed goodies, the decision to freeze the leek will be relevant. To do this, you need to cut the vegetable into pieces and freeze it, and if you pre-fry it for a couple of minutes or blanch, the onion will be easy to store all year. .