Leeks have historically been an excellent accompaniment to any soup. It imparts incredible flavor to many dishes and many recipes include it. Also, leeks are close relatives of garlic and onion. One of the best things about leeks is that they can be grown all year long. So if we want to grow leeks in the garden, we can not be afraid of high temperatures or cold in winter. many people wonder when are the leeks harvested once they have been cultivated.
For this reason, we are going to dedicate this article to telling you when leeks are collected, what aspect must be taken into account and how they can be preserved correctly.
where leeks are planted
Leeks need sunlight. They are a hardy plant that grows well in most climates. It is very resistant, so it will survive the winter without any problem. We can start planting in early spring or July-September. In any case, as with any plant, the warmer and more pleasant temperatures (between 18º and 25ºC) allow leeks to grow more vigorously. If summer is hot and not very rainy, be sure to water the leeks more.
Requirements for cultivation
The leek is a crop that hardly needs moisture. It does not like heavy, dense and hard soils. Therefore, before using a power hoe or digging by hand, if the soil is very hard, light watering should be done to loosen the soil. It is also helpful to remove any stones that may be present.
Leeks do not like manure or compost. So if we use organic matter, we’ll make sure it breaks down well. It can be quite useful to use a stone on which some things such as lettuce or lamb’s lettuce have been previously grown.
The contribution of nitrogen that we can provide will greatly benefit the leeks. So we can give them comfrey, compost or manure tea.
The ideal option is drip irrigation. Except in summer, we should not worry too much about watering these plants. In summer, we must pay attention so that they receive enough water and keep the soil moist at all times. Joints need water most of the time, and if they don’t, they suffer.
How are they sown?
Leek cultivation, either because we have a small urban garden or because we have interesting land to grow leeks, this is an option that interests us because they are not too difficult to grow and harvest.
Leek seeds, like onion seeds, are very fragile. We recommend buying already grown seedlings, it is much easier. With a planting template and some compost, the way to harvest the leeks will be easier.
However, if you have seeds, start by sowing leeks in August and September. We bury the seeds to a depth of about 10 cm, water lightly and make well-decomposed compost. We must constantly control the humidity around the leek plants. Either when they are starting out or when they have grown a bit.
When we grow seeds or transplants, we will leave a distance of about 10-15cm between the plants. Mulch with straw or any other organic composition that covers the soil and retains moisture is excellent for them. Spread a layer of straw on the ground, which is best suited for growing leeks.
The first and most important thing we have to pay attention to in our plantations is weeding, which often presents strong competition to our crops, along with monitoring possible pests or diseases.
When are the leeks harvested?
The leek can be harvested when it grows between 15 and 20 cm. The ideal is to do it when they are at their fullest, although it is okay if we pick some up in advance to eat and try. They are collected after 5 or 6 months of planting. It will be done when they are big enough and in such a way that we stagger the harvest.
Basic tips for storing leeks throughout the season: Immediately after digging, place the leeks in a well-ventilated room to dry. Remove damaged, dry and yellowed leaves. Remove broken, rotten, and damaged plants. If signs of disease appear during drying, such samples must be removed immediately so as not to infect the rest. When raw, they should only be stored upright, having been previously cut on both sides. The stems are removed by 2/3, and the roots by half.
Optimal conditions Storage room for leeks: refrigerator, cellar or basement, balcony, storage room. The temperature and humidity must be constant (+0…+4°C, 40–50%) and the room must be well ventilated and dry.
What pests and diseases do we find?
Your worst enemy is the leek bug. It is deadly because it lays its eggs on leek leaves and on the ground. We will be able to see how the leaves take on a yellowish tint until they finally rot.
Carrots or celery planted near leeks do a good job of repelling egg-laying butterflies. Also, leeks repel carrot flies. If you plan to grow leeks or carrots, remember that they get along well and it’s a good idea to grow them at the same time. So they are a very useful association.
As we have already said, carrots and celery are excellent companions. But it’s also great with tomatoes and strawberries. We do not recommend eating it with onion, since the pests that attack it will also attack the leeks.
We do not recommend planting next to beans, lettuce, radishes, beets, and peas.
Like garlic, leeks also have excellent nutritional properties. The leek is a healthy plant that we should always have in our kitchen.
We can highlight the following properties:
- Embalming and digestion.
- Emollient, laxative and tonic.
- In addition, it is rich in vitamins A, B, C and PP.
- Contains Sulfur, Bromine, Calcium, Zinc, Sodium, Phosphorus, Magnesium, Iron, Copper and Chlorine (as you can see, many minerals).
There is no doubt that these plants are good for our health. Especially if we can grow them ourselves and we know they haven’t been sprayed with any chemicals.
I hope that with this information you can learn more about when leeks are collected and what their characteristics and cultivation are.