Sunday, April 10, 2016

Helen talks about Leeks

Photo by Helen

It's April in Oz and it's autumn. Time to get those winter produce planted.  April is a splendid time to be planting members of the allium family which includes, leeks, onions, garlic, chives.  Today I'll be talking about leeks.

Leeks are a much milder in flavour to the onion. There's nothing nicer than a fresh leek as a simple vegetable to go with roast pork or as the main ingredient of a delicious leek and potato soup.  Leeks are not hard to grow but you do need to do a little soil preparation first.

To give your leeks a good start you need to pick a sunny spot and then dig over the planting area . To improve the structure of your soil add plenty of good garden compost and some animal manure, or blood and bone.  I like to throw in a handful of lime too to sweeten the soil.  

Planting leeks is an easy process and I just dig a hole and drop the leeks in all the way down to the middle of their leafy tops.  Leeks do like a good feed of liquid organic fertiliser about once a fortnight. If you feed your leeks regularly you will promote a good strong and healthy plant that is delicious to eat.
Photo by Helen

Now, some people recommend hilling up your leeks as they grow in order to get those stems white, but I don't do that. The method I have adopted and it works for me is, when the leeks have grown a bit I dig them up and replant them deeper again and that's where they stay till I harvest them. The plants are strong and the shanks remain white.

Leeks are really delicious when you pick them younger, so why not plant yourself some leeks this autumn and don't forget the other alliums - you can find my tips on garlic here: Growing Garlic

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