Growing Leeks

I'm growing leeks for the first time this year, but don't anything about growing them, does anyone have any tips?
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4thFrog


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<http://hgic.clemson.edu/factsheets/HGIC1314.htm
I used to grow Egyptian onions as the fruit was above ground but gave it up after a few years. Just an aside. The above fact sheet has leek culture info.
Bill
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Garden in shade zone 5 S Jersey USA






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I have about 30 growing now, I have had them growing for about a month now, just give them enough room to grow and use plenty of manure. I'm in the Land of Oz.
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And it's summer there. :-)
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Peace! Om

"Any ship can be a minesweeper. Once." -- Anonymous
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As opposed to the Clemson site, you might dig a 6" to 8" trench to plant them in and fill in the trench over a period of time as they get larger. Don't know if one way or the other is better, I just know that it works for me.
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Billy
Republican and Democratic "Leadership" Behind Bars
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In article

Sort of like hilly them in as they grow. I have hilled in plants but this just for temporary protection. Usually for new plants coming at a poor time for me. In a way I am reminded of white asparagus and protecting cauliflower too. Labor intensive but a labor of love.
Bill
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Garden in shade zone 5 S Jersey USA






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4thFrog wrote:

I keep it really simple. They stay in the one place and re-grow from the pups each year. I manure and water them and eat them. That's it.
David
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I have looked up the word pup on two different sites www.garden.org/dictionary/ and www.gardenguides.com/resources/dictionary/ as well as having googled it, and can find no mention of pups in a gardening sense. I did find a reference to pups as being runners from aloe vera but I'm not aware of runners from leeks.
Could you amplify on your statement.
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Billy
Republican and Democratic "Leadership" Behind Bars
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Pups are offsets. :-) A term commonly used for Agave as well.
Leeks and other onion-type plants often produce small sets along side the main bulb.
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Peace! Om

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I'll keep an eye out ;O)
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Billy
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Billy wrote:

The bulblets that grow from the base of the mature plant, sometimes called sets. Mine also seed, just as the heads are dying the new ones appear poking through the mulch.
David
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4thFrog said:

I've got a method that gives you decently blanched shafts with no hilling or otherwise fussing about during that long leek growing season. It's a bit elaborate to start, but no work at all during the rest of the summer.
Start leeks indoors about now for setting out in mid-April. (The last few years, though, I've not started seed but have been mail-ordering leeks for transplant.) You want good, stout transplants. Trim the tops back to keep the leeks no more than 6 inches tall, or there about. They can be grown maybe 10-20 seedlings in a 6 inch pot, to be separated when ready for transplant.
Prepare a bed thoroughly with compost or well-rotted manure and other soil amendments (I am partial to alfalfa and seaweed).
Lay out several layers of newspaper over the prepared bed. Thoroughly cover the newspaper with a thickish layer of straw.
What I do next is to lay out a set of boards across the bed (these being the boards I use to close off the fronts of the compost bins). The boards allow me to spread my weight as I work across the bed setting in the leek transplants, and also serve to mash down the straw. The boards also serve to help space out the leeks across the bed, which will be 6 inches apart in rows about 6 inches apart, with each row offset from the next.
Aiming for something like this: o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o
Now, knock the leek seedlings out of the pot and wash off the soil. Carefully separate the plants, but don't worry if you break the roots; just be careful not to bend or break the shoots.
(Or put your purchased transplants into a container of water just before you are ready to plant.)
To plant: The ideal tool is a nice, long dibble. (You can make one from a wooden dowel or a branch trimming, but proper dibble with a handle is easier to use.)
Punch the dibble down through the straw and newspaper. The hole should be deep enough so that when you drop your leek transplant in, you will just barely see the green leaves. (They will actually be just *below* the top of the straw.) Set them all out, then water them in with a small watering can, right down into each hole. You can use a weak solution of transplant fertilizer (half strength) or, what I prefer, is to use seaweed solution (Maxicrop brand).
The leeks will need no fussing or hilling during the summer. Maybe top up the straw mulch with some chopped straw, or you might want to hit them again with a seaweed spray.
My dibble looks a lot like this one: http://www.highcountrygardens.com/catalog/product/99812 /
Here's one crafted from wood: http://www.gerrysartsywoodstuff.com/dibbles.htm
Of course, if you are growing leeks for competition, that's a whole other story...
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Pat in Plymouth MI

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Here in the UK leeks are a much grown crop by gardeners. Especially in Wales where it is the national vegetable. So we have some experience of leeks.
You may find the following link helpful:
http://www.gardenaction.co.uk/fruit_veg_diary/leeks_1.asp
Good luck!
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Tom W.
Deepest Dorset
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