Leeks, part 2

Today I spent re-potting leeks — fussy work indeed, but worth every minute because this is such a wonderfully tasty vegetable. I plant leek seeds in a tray with no inserts, then wait until they’re a few inches tall and transplant into 1-inch cells (72-cell flats).  If you don’t need that many,  seed something else in the extra cells. Leeks are slow-growers.

            By re-potting I can pick out the best seedlings and compost the rest, because without exception, with onions and leeks, the largest seedlings will be the largest mature plant. And a beautiful display of leeks, with their leaves snipped back to form a fan sort of, is a beautiful display a the farmer’s market.

            When you repot, drop the long root to the cell bottom, and fill in with potting up past the bulblet. It doesn’t bother them. The greens will droop every which way, but don’t try to stand them straight, sorry-looking as they may be. They’ll straighten up in a day.

            Leeks thrive right into winter, and form the basis of many a soup. The word porridge, in fact, meaning a hearty vegetable soup, is derived from the Latin, porrum, meaning leek.

About lifegrower

Peter V. Fossel has been gardening since he was nine, and has been an organic farmer for the last 20 years. His most recent book, “Organic Farming, Everything You Need to know” was published by Voyageur Press, Minneapolis, 2007. He’s written numerous gardening articles for Organic Gardening, Horticulture, Country Journal, Out Here, and American Profile among others. He was Gardens Manager for The Hermitage, home of President Andrew Jackson in Tennessee before returning to Cape Cod to start his newest organic venture, Swan River Farm in Dennisport, MA.
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