Leek and its seeds

leek and its seeds Blog

Leek is a valuable food product, tasty and healthy. It favorably affects digestion, the activity of the liver, kidneys and gallbladder. Young leaves and a bleached false stem, called a leg, are eaten. Young leaves are edible fresh, they are used as a seasoning, garnish, as well as in canning vegetables.

Leek leaves contain many useful substances: vitamins, sugars, fiber. High nutritional value and the possibility of almost year-round use in fresh or fresh-frozen form contribute to the growth in popularity of this vegetable crop everywhere.

In the first year of life, leeks produce flat, long leaves and false stems. It does not form a clearly defined bulb, but from the leaves folded in the lower part it forms a leg, the height of which, depending on the variety and growing conditions, ranges from 8 to 80 cm.

In the second year of life, the plant throws out a flower arrow 120-160 cm high, ending in a spherical umbrella. It blooms with lilac or white flowers arranged in three tiers. Each tier blooms for 7-10 days, and the inflorescence as a whole – about a month. In zones with a short growing season, leek seeds do not ripen.

If you open the box – the fruit of a leek, then we will find six black seeds in it. Seeds are angular, elongated and laterally compressed, dull. The mass of a thousand seeds is 2.7-4.0 g. Germination lasts up to three years.

leek seeds
leek seeds

Aerial bulbs sometimes develop on the leek inflorescence.

The best temperature for seed germination is 20-22°C, and growth requires 16-18°C. Young seedlings tolerate cold snaps well, and even under snow cover, when they hibernate, they withstand frosts up to 15 °.

Leek has a strong fibrous root system , consisting of numerous weakly branching roots. After harvesting, it leaves a large amount of root residues that sweeten the soil. This means that leek is a good predecessor for other crops.

The root system of this onion is easily renewed, making it easy to transplant when grown through seedlings.

Leek is best planted on fertilized soil after tilled or vegetable crops (except onions). The soil is dug up in early autumn, in floodplain areas – in spring. The culture is very responsive to fertilizers.

With a seedless culture, leek seeds are sown in early spring in shallow furrows or on ridges. There are 150 plants per square meter.

In central Russia, leeks can be sown in summer in July or autumn. In the latter case, it is important to get seedlings with 2-3 real leaves before frost. Seeds are buried to a depth of 3 cm. Remember, if the soil cools down to 5 – 6 °, the seeds will not germinate. Leek shoots do not tolerate frost, but in a more developed state they winter safely.

Leek care comes down to loosening the row spacing, backfilling the plants with soil in order to get the bleached part of the stem longer. Spud plants 2-3 times during the summer. During the period of increased growth, watering and top dressing are necessary. The leek growth period is 170-180 days. Seedlings are grown in greenhouses, film greenhouses or insulated ridges until four true leaves appear. Seeds are usually sown from 5 to 20 March.

After planting the seedlings, the area under the leek must be watered.

Leek responds positively to nitrogen fertilizers. That is why it is good to fertilize the bed with manure, and in the summer also give 2 – 3 fertilizing with slurry diluted with water 1: 4, or with mineral fertilizers.

For the northern regions of the country, we recommend varieties with a short stem and a compact arrangement of leaves. A strong wax coating on onion greens contributes to a good overwintering in the ground in a mild winter. The most suitable variety for these conditions is Karantansky.

Varieties of the South European group form an elongated (50-80 cm) false stem; their leaves are sparse, slightly covered with a wax coating. This group includes varieties Bulgarian, Brabant, French Summer. In general, 20 varieties of leeks are cultivated in our country.

While the onion is growing in the garden, and this lasts from May to the end of October, the gardener repeatedly uses the products when thinning. Already in the first year of cultivation, some leaves reach 60-70 cm, and the length of the stem is 7-8 cm. Such plants are good for the table and for canning.

In varieties with an elongated stem, the average weight of the bleached part reaches 200 g by the end of September. In varieties with a short stem, the weight is 140–160 g.

Add a comment