18) Growing early leek

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In this tip:

  • Introduction
  • Buying leek seeds (in the summer)
  • Protection against the leaf miner fly
  • Sow indoors on moist toilet paper, replant mini leeks later.

Introduction

When you want to grow few early leeks, you can buy small leek plants in a garden shop, from March (early spring) on. Plant them in the garden soil. See also   tip 36  .

When you want to grow many leeks, you can sow and grow leek yourself. Let the plants grow bigger until the stem is as thick as a pencil (or thicker). Then plant them separately in the garden soil.

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Buying leek seeds (in the summer)

In winter, fresh leek seeds are not (always) for sale. Buy fresh leek seeds in the summer and store them in the closed package indoors between 10 and 20 C (50 and 68 F). Open the package right before sowing, seeds have a good germ power then.

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Protection against the leaf miner fly

Leaf miner flies lay their eggs on the leaves of leeks. They do that in spring and in late summer/early fall.

  • Leeks that are attacked in spring have curled and odd growing leaves. I don’t want that. You can grow leeks in a fly-tight greenhouse. My tunnel greenhouse has closed flat perspex plates at each end. More info in   tip 4)    at B3).
  • Attack in late summer/autumn shows many brown pupae (“oblong grains”) in the leeks. I don’t want that either. In    tip 4)  at B3) you can read that shortening the leaves helps a little. Much better: grow leeks under fine mesh.

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Sow leeks indoors on moist toilet paper, replant mini leeks later.

This procedure in short;

  • Sow leek indoors on moist toilet paper. Let the leeks on moist toilet paper grow to about 5 centimeters (2 inch) high (I call them “mini leeks”).
    • Replant the mini leeks in a “shove tray” in compost. Let the leeks grow bigger indoors. Put the block of compost with small leeks in the garden soil under a closed (tunnel) greenhouse….. or
    • …. or replant the mini leeks in the garden soil under a “double” (tunnel) greenhouse.

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Below step by step description with photos;

 Germinating:

  • Lay one folded sheet of toilet paper on the bottom of a 250 grams margarine box.
  • (Or fold a small gray plastic plate in the folded sheet. Germinating process is better visible then. See also    tip 2)  nr 26  ).
  • Use water to moisten the toilet paper.
  • Lay leek seeds on the moist toilet paper.

(on the photo above, there are about 35 seeds on, that’s too much).

  • Put a well fitting lid on the box. You may “click” as long as there is a narrow air opening.
  • Leek germinates better in the dark. The lid on the box ensures the dark environment.
  • Let germinate indoors and warm (20 to 25 C, 68 to 77 F).
  • Now and then lift the lid, check the germination, and put the lid on again.

  • When most seeds have a short root, don’t put the lid on anymore.

(This is an other box than 2 photos back, with less (24) leek seeds).

  • Put a plastic transparent box (mushroom box) over the margarine box.
  • Put the whole indoors before a window at about 15 to 25 C (59 to 77 F).
  • Mind that the toilet paper is moist; add or spray water when needed.
  • Let the leeks grow bigger.

  • Big and small leek plants on moist toilet paper. The biggest ones are big enough to plant out.

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Remarks:

Don’t lay too many leek seeds on moist toilet paper. Many seeds causes a “mess”. Sowing about 25 seeds goes well.

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Instead of mushroom boxes you can put such a transparent box on the top edge of the margarine box. In tip 2)  number 7  there are details about these boxes.

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The biggest mini leeks are big enough to replant. There are 2 ways of replanting;

  1. Replant mini leeks in a “shove tray” filled with planting soil in January (early to mid winter). Let the leeks grow bigger indoors before a window. Put the whole block of planting soil with small leeks in the garden soil under a (tunnel) greenhouse.
  2. Replant mini leeks in the garden soil under a (tunnel) greenhouse in March (late winter).

Below a detailed description of these 3 procedures.

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Replanting mini leeks in a shove tray (and replanting under a tunnel greenhouse later)

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A “shove tray” combination. Info about making and use in tip 2)  no 68.

  • Sieve compost through the bottom holes of a flowerpot.
  • Mix with fine grained manure and agricultural lime.
  • Put this mixture in a shove tray combi.

  • Make (11) round planting holes in the soil in the tray.
  • Useful: use a mat with holes and a pencil.
  • But you can also make the holes “by eye”.
  • The pitch between 2 holes is about 3 centimeters (1.2 inch).

  • Spray water on toilet paper, that eases the release of the mini leeks from the toilet paper.
  • Pick a big mini leek between index and thumb and lift it from the paper.

  • Use sharp scissors to shorten the (white) root of the mini leek. This eases replanting in a planting hole.

  • Widen and deepen a planting hole (use the stem of a tea spoon).
  • Put the mini leek in the planting hole.
  • Shove planting soil around the mini leek in the planting hole.

Continue replanting until there are no more big mini leeks. Let the remaining small mini leeks grow bigger on the moist toilet paper.

  • Tap the tray with mini leeks on a hard surface (lift the tray a few centimeters (about 1 inch) and drop it).
  • This makes the planting soil more compact and makes the mini leeks standing more firm in the soil.

  • Spray water on the planting soil and on the leeks.

  • Put a plastic transparent box over the tray.
  • Put the whole indoors at a light place at 15 to 25 C (59 to 77 F).
  • Remove the transparent box when the first leeks (almost) touch the top of it.
  • Let the leeks in the tray grow bigger indoors at a light place.

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Remark (sand on top):

  • You can use a tea spoon to scatter dry sand between the leeks on the soil. Do that when:
    • the leeks grow “high”(the roots are visible),
    • there are small weed plants between the leek plants,
    • there are green algae deposits on the soil. 

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Remark (seeds don’t germinate):

  • After a while, there are only some “slow” leek seeds on moist toilet paper. These seeds germinate very slow (or never).
  • Advice: empty the tray and (when desired) put new seeds on new moist toilet paper.

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Remark (against toppling or a crooked growth):

Big grown mini leeks can grow crooked in the tray.

  • At a big (450 grams) margarine box, remove (cut) the bottom.
  • Cut open one corner.

  • One tray with leek plants next to an cut open bottomless margarine box.

  • Put the box with leeks from above into the cut open bottomless box.

  • Slide (lift) the cut open bottomless box along the sides of the tray with leek plans.

  • Put the cut open bottomless box on the planting soil in the tray.
  • Push the cut open bottomless box a little in the planting soil.
  • Make sure you don’t pinch off leeks during this step.

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Growing leeks (continued)

Put the blocks of planting soil with small leeks in the garden soil in (under) a (tunnel) greenhouse.

  • Put a (tunnel) greenhouse over an area of loosened garden soil.
  • The soil under the greenhouse can heat up (during a few days).
  • Remove or open the greenhouse just before replanting.
  • Make a planting bed; scoop (shovel) garden earth to a depth of a few centimeters (1 to 2 inch). Put this earth “somewhere else in the garden”.

  • Scoop 5 to 10 centimeters (2 to 4 inch) more from the bottom of the planting bed.
  • Put this earth in a bucket.

  • Add fine-grained manure and agricultural lime to the earth in teh bucket and mix.

  • Put the mixture from the bucket into the planting bed.
  • Use a wooden board to spread (to distribute) the mixture in the planting bed.

  • Pour water in the box with small leeks; the planting soil gets moist and sticky (doesn’t fall apart so easily).
  • Press on top of the planting soil in the box (next to the leek plants).
  • Lift the shove tray (with planting soil and leeks) from the combination.
  • Put it on the garden soil. 

(the next photos show other blocks of planting soil with bigger leek plants, replanted in an other planting bed)

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  • Put a putty-knife in the tray under the block of soil with leek plants.

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  • Carefully lift the block of planting soil out of the shove tray.

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  • Lay (put) the putty-knife with the block of soil at the desired place on the garden soil.

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  • Hold back the block of soil (using a shove tray, piece of wood or so) while pulling the putty-knife away from under the block of soil.

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  • The block of soil with small leek plants is on its right place.
  • (Put all blocks of soil with small leek plants in the planting bed).
  • Use the putty-knife to shove garden earth against the blocks.
  • Scatter garden earth in the openings between the blocks.

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  • Put the (tunnel) greenhouse over the planting bed with leek plants.
  • At each end of the tunnel greenhouse put a flat perspex plate.
  • Put a bamboo stick, iron pen (or a slanting stepping stone) against each end plate to close the greenhouse fly-proof.

On the photo above, the front tunnel has closed flat end plates.

  • Regularly water the leeks in the (tunnel) greenhouse.
  • Let the leeks grow bigger in the greenhouse.
  • Remove the (tunnel) greenhouse when leeks are big.
  • Replant the leeks separately in the garden soil when they are pencil thick.

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Early leeks in a transparent cylinder.

In March, (late winter, early spring), you can replant small leeks in a transparent cylinder in the garden soil. Put a small perspex plate on top of the cylinder. In this “vertical” greenhouse, leeks can grow big.

Sprinkle garden earth around the plants in the cylinder to get “white leek shafts”.

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  • Put a block of soil with leek plants (or purchased plant leeks) in manured garden soil.

Use a piece of transparent corrugated plate, about 60 centimeters (2 ft) long. Roll it in a cylinder shape. Put 2 pieces of nylon cord around the cylinder.

  • Put the cylinder over these leek plants. Lay a perspex plate and a brick on.
  • Let the leeks grow bigger in the cylinder. Regularly water the leeks.
  • Each week, scatter a little garden earth in the cylinder around the leeks; to form white shafts at the leeks.
  • Remove the perspex top plate when the leeks grow above the cylinder.

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  • Let the leek plants grow bigger in the cylinder.

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  • Remove the cylinder before harvesting.

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  • Take the harvested leeks apart.

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  • Rinse the leeks and cut into slices.

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Remark: bigger cylinder

When using 2 pieces of transparent corrugated plate, you can make a bigger cylinder to grow more leeks in. See below.

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Build the cylinder and cut or saw out a well fitting piece of perspex.

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April 15 (early spring). Plant (8) leeks in the garden soil. Put the cylinder around, put a perspex plate on and a brick on top.

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May 1 (mid spring). Bigger grown leeks. The perspex top plate will be removed in one week or so.

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June 1 (late spring). Even bigger leeks. No top plate on.

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June 19 (end of spring). Harvest; 8 good looking leeks with white shafts (after rinsing and shortening leaves).

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Planting mini leeks under a double (tunnel) greenhouse

Plant mini leeks in the garden soil under a double greenhouse in January to March (mid to late winter). A double greenhouse is a normal transparent tunnel greenhouse over a small transparent tunnel or over a transparent cover.

Under a double greenhouse, it’s warm there and the leeks are growing well. Remove the small tunnel when the leeks grow against it. Let the leeks grow big in the “normal” tunnel greenhouse.

Description:

  • Mini leeks on moist toilet paper, big enough to replant.

  • Determine where to plant the mini leeks in your garden.
  • (A few days before planting leeks, you can put a greenhouse on (over) the soil there to warm up the soil).
  • (Remove or open the greenhouse).
  • Loose the garden soil at the planting site, 
  • Mix the garden soil with manure and agricultural lime,
  • Flatten the garden soil.

  • Spray water on moist toilet paper for easier releasing of the leeks.
  • Take a mini leek (between thumb and index) from the moist paper. 
  • Use scissors to shorten a long root of the mini leek. This eases replanting.

  • This is how you can plant a mini leek in the garden soil (general info);
    • Use a fork to shove garden earth aside to make a planting hole,
    • Hold the mini leek at the right height and position in the planting hole,
    • Meanwhile shove garden soil against the root of the mini leek.

In stead of a fork you can use the stem of a spoon or a fork, or a narrow putty knife.

You can plant the leeks in a group or in a (double) row.

In a group:

  • Spray water on the soil and on the replanted mini leeks. After spraying, leek leaves can be stuck in the soil. Use a fork to lift or releases these leaves.

  • You can put a transparent cover over the group of mini leeks.
  • Put the (tunnel) greenhouse over this cover.
  • In this way you have a double greenhouse construction.

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In a (double) row:

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  • Make one or two shallow furrow(s) in the garden soil.
    • At 2 furrows, distance between the 2 furrows is about 15 centimeters (6 inch).
  • Plant mini leeks in the furrow(s) as described above.
  • Plant the leeks in each furrow in one row or in a zigzag row (/\/\/\).
  • Spray water on the soil and on the mini leeks in the furrow.

(On the photo above, the leeks are in the garden soil for 2 weeks already).

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  • Put a small tunnel over each row of mini leeks.
  • Put a small flat perspex end plate at both ends of the small tunnel(s).
  • One small end plate can close the ends of 2 small tunnels).

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This photo shows 2 end plates after removal of the small and normal tunnel(s). There is 1 small end plate before 1 big end plate. And 1 small end plate at the end of 2 furrows with leeks.

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Below info about making the small tunnels;

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  • Use a (new) transparent corrugated plate of the same dimensions as the normal tunnel greenhouse plate to be put on later.
    • For example 183 centimeters (6 ft) long and 66 centimeters (2 ft, 2 inch) wide.
    • Use a handsaw for wood and a “workmate” to saw the plate into 3 equally wide strips of 22 centimeters (8 2/3 inch) wide.
    • Shorten each strip for about 5 centimeters (2 inch). So they can fit well under the normal tunnel greenhouse.

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  • Bend each strip in a n-shape.
  • Near one end of the strip, tie a nylon cord around it.

Find out how tight this cord must be around it to make a good, well fitting small tunnel. The photos above show a “wide” tunnel (top photos) or a “narrow” tunnel (bottom photos).

Put a nylon cord every 30 centimeters (every ft) to form a small tunnel.

Tip:

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Use a round object (e.g. a round cap) to tie a nylon cord tight around. Take off the round loop of nylon. In this way you make round loops of equal size.

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Two small tunnels next to each other. Each one with nylon loops every 30 centimeters (ft). The width at the bottom is about 12 centimeters (5 inch).

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Putting a “normal” tunnel greenhouse over

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See the photo above, the front tunnel greenhouse.

  • Put a normal tunnel greenhouse over the transparent cover or the small tunnel(s).
  • Put a big flat perspex plate “tight” against each end of the normal tunnel.
  • Put a stick or an iron pen or a slanting stepping stone against each end plate.

Under the fly-tight double tunnel greenhouse it is warm by day and the soil does not dry out so fast. Regularly open (or remove) the greenhouses to water the leeks and the soil. And to check if the small leeks touch the small tunnel(s). Then rebuild and close the tunnel again to make it fly-tight.

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  • When the small leeks touch the small tunnel(s), remove the small tunnels.

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See the photo above, the front tunnel greenhouse.

  • Put the normal tunnel greenhouse over the leeks.
  • Put the big flat perspex plate “tight” against each end of the normal tunnel.
  • Put a stick or an iron pen or a slanting stepping stone against each end plate.

From then on, let the leeks grow bigger under the normal fly-tight tunnel greenhouse. Regularly open the tunnel greenhouse to water the plants and the soil and to remove weed plants. Then rebuild and close the tunnel again to make it fly-tight.

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My experience:

The leeks grow well under the tunnel. The temperature under the tunnel does not get too high; the leeks don’t suffer from that.

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  • Remove the tunnel green house when the leeks touch the top of the tunnel.
  • Let the leeks grow bigger in the open air.
  • When leeks are pencil thick, they can be replanted in the soil separately.

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New photos:

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March 1 (late winter): One row of zigzag planted mini leeks in a furrow.

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March 1 (late winter): One small tunnel over the mini leeks. At left a small end plate and at right a transparent cover and a plant saucer with water.

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March 1 (late winter): One normal tunnel over the whole. And big, closed transparent perspex end plates.

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April 1 (early spring) (after removal of the normal tunnel): Two furrows with zigzag growing small leeks. The small tunnels have been removed.

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April 1 (early spring): There is a normal tunnel over. With big end plates. At this side with 2 bamboo sticks and a stepping stone slanting against the sticks (for fly-tightness).

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May 1 (mid spring) (after removal of the normal tunnel): Two rows of bigger leeks.

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May 1 (mid spring): There is a normal tunnel over. With big end plates. At this side with 2 bamboo sticks and a stepping stone slanting against the sticks (for fly-tightness).

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June 1  (late spring): The normal tunnel has been removed because the leeks are too big. Many leeks from the right side row have been replanted separately in the garden soil.

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June 1  (late spring): These are the separately planted in my garden soil.

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Mini leeks in a small “normal” greenhouse

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You can replant mini leeks in a small greenhouse.

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Loosen the garden soil and mix the earth with manure and agricultural lime. Replant the mini leeks in plant beds in the soil. Spray water on after planting.

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Put transparent covers over the plant beds with mini leeks.

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Close the greenhouse.

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3) Replant leeks using replanting tubes:

You can plant leeks in the soil using replanting tubes of tip 41). Before replanting, make sure that the soil around the (small) plant leeks is moist. Otherwise garden earth can fall from the root ball.

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  • Plant leeks from this row are replanted into the soil. There is a round hole in the soil (from replanting the previous plant leek).

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  • To use the replanting tubes, the round hole must be filled with garden earth. Use  a garden trowel to do this. 

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  • Use scissors to shorten the leaves of the plant leek before replanting.

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  • Put the replanting tubes over the plant leek.

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  • Push the outer replant tube into the soil.
  • You have to push hard, to cut the roots of the plant leek.
  • Meanwhile turning the outer replanting tube can help to get the outer tube deep enough (until the rubber band touches the soil).

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  • Turn the outer replanting tube to release the roots of the plant leek (from the garden soil). 

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  • Lift the replanting tubes (with plant leek) out of the soil.

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  • At the new postion, use a plant hole tube to make a round plant hole in the soil.

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  • Put the replanting tubes in the planting hole.
  • Push on the inner tube to push the plant leek out of the outer tube.
  • Meanwhile lift the replanting tubes out of the planting hole.

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  • Pour water in the plant hole to wash garden earth around the root ball.

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  • Many plant leeks in the garden soil.

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Plans in 2022:

  • Plant mini leeks in the garden soil under a double greenhouse tunnel (as described at 2). Put perpex plate around the plants and on top. Put garden earth on the soil to form white shafts. Variety: summer leeks and autumn leeks.
  • Plant mini leeks in the garden soil under a double greenhouse tunnel (as described at 2). Variety: summer leeks, autumn leeks, winter leeks.
  • Replant more leeks using replanting tubes.

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A)# Jerry’s method. Sow indoors in a tray, replant in small flower pots or in a plastic tray.

Below a description and photos of early leek growth using Jerry’s method.

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A1) Sowing

  • Sow leek in a tray (margarine box) filled with sowing soil.
  • Let the leeks grow bigger indoors.

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A2) Replanting mall leek plants in flower pots or in a tray filled with compost

  • Leek seeds were sown in 2 (lowered) plastic margarine boxes filled with sowing soil.
  • Leek plants have grown for 8 weeks at about 20 C (68 F). The plants are big enough for replanting.
  • The leek plants in the left side box have been thinned out. The leeks in the right side box have not been thinned.

  • Submerge the box with sowing soil and leek plants in cold water.
  • Or pour much water in the box with sowing soil.
  • Squeeze the sides of the box to loosen the plants in the muddy sowing soil.
  • Carefully pull the leek plants out of the muddy sowing soil.

  • These small leek plants have been thinned out when growing in the tray. After thinning, the leek plants grew seperately in the sowing soil for some weeks. The ruler next to the plants indicates centimeters (1 inch = 2.54 centimeters).

  • These leeks grew seperately or in groups of 2 or 3 plants in the sowing soil. These leek plants have not been thinned out. The ruler next to the plants indicates centimeters (1 inch = 2.54 centimeters).
  • There is no (big) difference between the thinned leeks and the not thinned leeks. The leeks in both groups have approximately the same size.
  • When desired use scissors to shorten the roots of the small leek plants to about 2.5 centimeters (1 inch).

  • Mix sieved compost, fine grained dry manure and agricultural lime in a tray (ratio 20:1:1).

  • Put an insert in a small flower pot.
  • Put some mixture (compost, manure, lime) in the flower pot with insert.
  • Lay the roots of a small leek plant on the mixture in the flower pot.

  • Hold the leek plant straight.
  • Put some more mixture in the flower pot.
  • Press on the mixture in the flower pot, next to the leek plant.

  • Mind that the “heart” of the leek is well above the mixture in the flower pot. The “heart” of the leek is where the leaves split. Is the leek plant too deep in the mixture (the heart is below soil level), the plant can die.

  • You can put this “support” next to each leek plant. The leeks grow straight up than and not crooked.

  • You can plant small leek plants in a plastic tray with round holes, in the same mixture. And put a support next to each plant.
  • Put the flower pots or the tray with leek plants indoors before a window. Temperature between 15 and 20 C (59 to 68 F). Leeks can grow bigger for some weeks.

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A3) Putting flower pots or a tray with leek plants on the garden soil under a greenhouse tunnel.

From the end of January or beginning of March (end of winter) on, you can put the flower pots or the tray with leek plants in (on) the garden soil. In a greenhouse or under a greenhouse tunnel.

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Preparing the garden soil

The same actions as described (above) at Preparing the garden soil in Z).

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Putting flower pots or a tray with leek plants on the garden soil

  • After a few weeks of growing indoors before a window, the leeks are big enough to plant in the garden soil. The pots have been put in the garden soil under a greenhouse tunnel.
  • The pots with leek plants are at the left side of the photo above. Photo date is April 13 2015.  Click for wide screen.

  • These trays with leek plants have been put in the soil at March 11 (late winter, early spring). Click for wide screen.

  • Leeks at May 1 (mid spring). Only the far left tray with leek plants is still under the tunnel. The other leek plants in the trays have been planted in the garden already.  Click for wide screen.

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A4) Taking leeks out of flower pots or tray and planting in the soil

When the stem of a leek plant is as thick as a pencil (or thicker), the leek can be planted individually in the garden soil.

These leeks with big root balls have been taken out of the tray and planted in deep round holes in the garden soil at April 13. More info about planting leeks in the soil in tip 36. Date of this photo is May 1.

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B)# Method on Dutch video. Sow indoors in a big plastic flower pot

This method is not so handy for early leek plants. In January, February and March (end of winter) you have a big heavy flower pot indoors before a window. In   tip 36  you can read that the leeks do not grow fast in the soil mixture as advised in the video. Leeks will grow faster when you use a richer soil mixture in the flower pot.

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C)# Diana’s method. Sow indoors in a tray. Lift the block of sowing soil with all leek plants + roots from the tray.

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C1) Sowing

  • Fill a tray with sowing soil.
  • You can put a piece of rubber sink mat on the sowing soil. Handy to sow leek at fixed distances.
  • Use a “sowing stick” to make sowing holes in the soil.

  • Drop 2 or 3 leek seeds in each sowing hole. Use tweezers or a shift fall tray to drop the seeds in the sowing holes.

  • Strew a thin layer of dry sand or sowing soil on the seeds.
  • Let the seeds germinate and let the leek plants grow bigger indoors at a temperature of about 15 to 20 C (59 to 68 F).

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C2) Thinning

  • Thin the leek plants in the sowing soil;
    • Use scissors to cut leek plants right above the soil.
    • Or pull the leek plants out of the soil.
  • On the photo above: before thinnning (left photo) and after thinning (right photo).

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Let the leeks grow bigger indoors. Or put the big tray with small leeks in the garden under a (tunnel) greenhouse. Let the leeks in the tray grow bigger.

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C3) Lifting and depositing a big block of sowing soil with big, thick leek plants

  • Let the leeks in the tray grow bigger until their stem thickness is about 3 millimeters (1/8 inch) or thicker.
  • Lifting the block of sowing soil with thick leeks is much easier to do.

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Preparing the garden soil

The same actions as described (above) at Preparing the garden soil in Z).

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Lifting the block out of the tray and depositing on the garden soil

  • Put the tray with leeks in the furrow to check if the furrow is wide and deep enough.
  • Take the tray out of the furrow.
  • Put the tray next to the furrow.

  • Grab many leek plants with one hand.
  • Use the other hand to hold the tray on the soil.
  • (Or lay 2 bricks on 2 edges of the tray, so the tray keeps on the soil during lifting)
  • Carefully lift the block of sowing soil with leeks out of the tray.

  • (After lifting you see that there are many roots at the bottom side of the block. So the block will not fall aparts so easily during handling).

  • Put the block of soil with leeks in the furrow.

  • Shove garden earth against the sides of the block of sowing soil with leeks.
  • Spray water on the leeks and on the soil.

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C4) Lifting and depositing a big block of sowing soil with small thin leeks

When you do want to lift and deposit a big block of sowing soil with thin leeks, you can use a “bottom plate” and a “bed of nails”.

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Needed:

  1. A “bed of nails” (a wooden board with wire nails hammered in). The points have been made blunt by file.
  2. A plastic tray with holes in the bottom (the holes corrspond to the nails),
  3. A thin plate of cardboard in a plastic bag (same size as the bottom of the tray). The plastic bag keeps the cardboard plate dry.

  • The wire nails fit in the holes in the bottom.

  • The plastic bag with cardboard plate can lie on the wire nails.
  • The plastic bag is longer than the size of the tray. It has a “loose end”.

.

Operation:

  • Put the tray (with soil) on the bed of nails.
  • Push the tray downward.
  • Now the block of sowing soil is on the bed of nails.

  • These photos show how the plastic bag with cardboard plate and a block of soil with leeks is on the points of the nails.
  • The short sides of the tray have been lowered to ease the lifting (picking up) of the plastic bag and block of soil from the nails.

.

Lifting the block out of the tray and shoving it on the garden soil

  • Put the tray with leeks in the furrow.
  • Check if the furrow is wide and deep enough.
  • Put the tray next to the furrow again.

  • Put the “bed of nails” next to the furrow.
  • Put the tray with sowing soil and leeks on the nails. With the loose end of the plastic bag towards left.
  • Slowly push at 2 opposite edges of the tray. Push the tray downward.
  • The plastic bag with cardboard plate and block of soil is now on the points of the nails.

  • Put the fingers of both hands under the plastic bag with cardboard plate and block of soil.
  • Carefully lift the whole from the nails.
  • Lay the whole on the soil in the furrow. The loose end of the plastic bag is towards left.

  • Fold the loose end of the plastic bag towards the bottom of the furrow.
  • Hold a small wooden board against the left side of the block with leek plants.
  • Carefully pull the loose end of the plastic bag to the left. In the mean time hold or push the block of sowing soil with the wooden board aside to the right.

  • The block of sowing soil with small leek plants is now on the bottom of the furrow in the garden soil.
  • Shove garden earth against the sides of the block of sowing soil with leeks.
  • Spray water on the leeks and on the soil.

.

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Remarks about the above described methods;

  • Leek plants in flower pots or in a tray in the garden soil grow slower than leek plants that grow “free” in the soil.
  • Compost in flower pots or in a tray dries out faster than a block of compost in the garden soil. Under a tunnel, one day after watering, the compost in the pots or the tray is dry, while the garden soil is still moist.
  • In flower pots or in a tray, the roots of the leek plants can’t go far down to search for water. The bottom of the pots or of the tray limits the vertical growth of the roots.
  • At the flower pots (or at the tray) no water can get in from the surrounding moist garden earth. In the free soil, water can also flow aside.
  • In pots or tray the leeks can have some growth stops. In the free soil the leeks grow on.

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