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Leeks, I plan to grow them!

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Leeks, I plan to grow them!

Post  quiltbea on 3/12/2012, 11:59 am

Leeks can grow pretty darn big but I'd like to try them this year.  The most important question is..... How many per square?  Also:   Do you start seeds indoors?  If so, when?  I heard that transplanting them outdoors up to 3 weeks AFTER last frost is a better idea for good, healthy plants.  Please help!


Last edited by camprn on 7/1/2014, 7:26 am; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : corrected title)
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our leeks

Post  curio on 3/12/2012, 12:02 pm

I started ours inside, and planted them out like onions when they got about 3-4" long. I put ours 9 to a square (carrots and onions are 16) If I need to thin them as they get really large, I can use the smaller ones in cooking (same with the onions).
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Re: Leeks, I plan to grow them!

Post  Lavender Debs on 3/12/2012, 12:30 pm

+1 to everything Jan said.

Bea I know you have mini soil blockers. I got a set for my birthday and am using them to start my leeks and onions in the hope of getting easier spacing and transplanting.

One thing I would add, when I transplant leeks I cut the seedlings in half (or even 2/3 if half seems too drastic). I also clip back the roots the same amount (hope I do not have to do that with mini soil blocks) to prevent transpiration. Jan lives fairly close but she is WAY ahead of me in the growing leeks department this year.

Have you got your seed yet? Really skinny leeks have become popular. Some form of "lance" or "spear" seems to be in the name of the skinny leeks. I have been stuck with those for a couple of winters before I realized that it was not my MM but the type of leek I was growing. This year I have a package called "Gigantica" but the label is in Italian. I hope it means the same in Rome that I think it means here.
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Re: Leeks, I plan to grow them!

Post  quiltbea on 3/12/2012, 12:43 pm

Debs....I got some in a swap last year and some I bought but not enough info on the packet: Giant Musselbalgia, Monstrous Carentan and King Richard. They all sound big. I think I'll try a few of each variety to see which I like best.

I thought I'd put 2 seeds in a 2" soil block diagonally and thin to one later if its needed. I hope that works. A soil block is easily cut in half. If they get too large, I'll just put them into 4" pots later.

Thank you friends, for the info.
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Re: Leeks, I plan to grow them!

Post  camprn on 3/12/2012, 12:50 pm

@quiltbea wrote:Leeks can grow pretty darn big but I'd like to try them this year. The most important question is..... How many per square? Also: Do you start seeds indoors? If so, when? I heard that transplanting them outdoors up to 3 weeks AFTER last frost is a better idea for good, healthy plants. Please help!
It depends what variety you choose. I had the King Richard (which don't grow as large as some other varieties) last year and spacing was adequate at 3". I wouldn't bother using soil blocks for these. Start your leek seeds NOW. Very Happy

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leeks

Post  curio on 3/12/2012, 12:56 pm

I believe the Musselburgh and King Richard are both overwintering varieties, taking longer to grow than some of the early ones. That might be one reason they end up so large, having at least half again as long to mature.
Early varieties include Lancelot, Roxton and some others, and usually are ready in 70-85 days. The overwintering (winter) varieties average 105-125 days to mature.
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Re: Leeks, I plan to grow them!

Post  quiltbea on 3/12/2012, 1:26 pm

My Montrous Carentan says 82 days so I guess that would be the spring one. I'll also try the King Richard if its smaller.

I can wait and put Mussell,,, in this fall instead.

camprn.....Can't plant outdoors yet. Too much snow covering the beds. Bob Thomsen of Victory Garden fame states in his 'The New Victory Garden" book that he accidently transplanted 3 wks after last frost one yr and that was the best year he ever had and has been doing that since. He claims the larger transplants do just fine being moved later. I thought I'd try some on frost free date and some 3 wks later to see if it really works.
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later leeks

Post  curio on 3/12/2012, 2:22 pm

planting fall/winter leeks is recommended to be done between June and August.
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Re: Leeks, I plan to grow them!

Post  camprn on 3/12/2012, 4:05 pm

@curio wrote:planting fall/winter leeks is recommended to be done between June and August.
We cannot winter over leeks in my neck of the woods, sadly enough. Sad

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Re: Leeks, I plan to grow them!

Post  camprn on 3/12/2012, 4:06 pm

@quiltbea wrote:My Montrous Carentan says 82 days so I guess that would be the spring one. I'll also try the King Richard if its smaller.

I can wait and put Mussell,,, in this fall instead.

camprn.....Can't plant outdoors yet. Too much snow covering the beds. Bob Thomsen of Victory Garden fame states in his 'The New Victory Garden" book that he accidently transplanted 3 wks after last frost one yr and that was the best year he ever had and has been doing that since. He claims the larger transplants do just fine being moved later. I thought I'd try some on frost free date and some 3 wks later to see if it really works.
QB, what I meant was, sow them inside now for transplanting later. I sowed mine a month ago, you still have time to do the same.

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Re: Leeks, I plan to grow them!

Post  quiltbea on 3/12/2012, 8:00 pm

Oh camprn, duh! Thanks for setting my straight. Yes, I planned to start them indoors today but had to take son to the dr and it was a long testing. Home now and I don't work with plants too well in the evenings so plan on starting my Leeks tomorrow. Thanks again.
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Re: Leeks, I plan to grow them!

Post  camprn on 3/12/2012, 8:08 pm

@quiltbea wrote:Oh camprn, duh! Thanks for setting my straight. Yes, I planned to start them indoors today but had to take son to the dr and it was a long testing. Home now and I don't work with plants too well in the evenings so plan on starting my Leeks tomorrow. Thanks again.

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Giant Musselburg

Post  Noie on 3/12/2012, 11:02 pm

If this helps at all - here's what my Giant Musselburg says:

100 days. Plant in spring as early as the ground can be worked and soil temperature reaches at least 60, optimum 70. Cultivate soil, thoroughly incorporating rich organic matter and a complete fertilizer. Sow seed 1/2" deep. When plants are about 6" high, thin to 4" apart. Plant from early spring to late summer for a continuous crop. Start indoors 4 weeks prior to last frost and transplant into garden when soil temperature is at least 70. To grow tender sweet, white steemed leeks, mound the soil up around the base of the plant as it grows.
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Re: Leeks, I plan to grow them!

Post  Windsor.Parker on 3/13/2012, 12:14 am

@quiltbea wrote:Leeks can grow pretty darn big but I'd like to try them this year. The most important question is..... How many per square? Also: Do you start seeds indoors? If so, when? I heard that transplanting them outdoors up to 3 weeks AFTER last frost is a better idea for good, healthy plants. Please help!
quiltbea,
I started c. a dozen "Good King Richard" on 2/26. I fetched them from my hoophouse to get a couple of pics for you.


They're "Stepping Out" (back to the hoop house) tonight for good!
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Re: Leeks, I plan to grow them!

Post  quiltbea on 3/13/2012, 10:12 am

Thanks for the pics Windsor. I'll be starting mine today. I've been up-potting my arugula and Tokyo bekana greens which could go in the cold frame if it got warm enough but its not so I'm trying to keep them alive inside.

I'll start some King Richard and Montrous Carentan.
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Re: Leeks, I plan to grow them!

Post  BackRiver_SFG on 3/13/2012, 4:09 pm

@quiltbea wrote:Leeks can grow pretty darn big but I'd like to try them this year. The most important question is..... How many per square? Also: Do you start seeds indoors? If so, when? I heard that transplanting them outdoors up to 3 weeks AFTER last frost is a better idea for good, healthy plants. Please help!

I believe you're just north of me. From what I have learned, starting
leeks as seedlings inside will earn you a bigger crop later in the
season. Building up the soil around the base as they grow up with
develop a larger edible portion of the leek too.

I grew 4 in a square last season but would am going to bump it up to nine like previously suggested.

I
am going to experiment with a 2nd batch in deep section. (2x2 foot
upward extension) This area provides a deeper area for potatoes and
carrots too.

I am transplanting my leeks this weekend!
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Re: Leeks, I plan to grow them!

Post  camprn on 3/13/2012, 6:01 pm

I have posted this video before but I cannot find the post.This is the method I used last year , quite successfully, to transplant my leek seedlings. Worked like a charm!

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Re: Leeks, I plan to grow them!

Post  plantoid on 3/13/2012, 7:10 pm

Leeks will take a light frost or two after transplanting out .. they are after all a hardy plant that usually over winters down to about minus 5 centigrade over a couple of days .

That hair cut and toe nail jobby ..... if your using starts , when the plants are about nine inches tall snip off the top of the green to leave around six inches of stem and snip off the roots to leave 1 &1/4 of root length .

Slip them in a dibbered hole that is four inches deep ( mark the dibber with tape so it's easy to get the same depth ) and water them in with a cup of water per plant. Do not pack the soil down around the plant as it needs the air and micro nutirents to strike out with abundant new roots .

If your going to use lifts to increase the depth of soil to blanch the stems don't make the depth of the lifts too deep ,four inches at a time is plenty .

Wrap a bit of corrugated card around each stem if you want to keep the MM / vermiculite out of the stems .
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Re: Leeks, I plan to grow them!

Post  FamilyGardening on 3/13/2012, 7:26 pm

do leeks and onions need to be harden off like other veggies?
we have some leeks growing still out side in a container from last year that we direct sown....this year we started some inside....


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Re: Leeks, I plan to grow them!

Post  quiltbea on 3/13/2012, 8:27 pm

Thanks for all the help. I sowed 20 seeds in 3/4" soil blocks instead of larger ones. The ones that make it will be transplanted into the 2" blocks as needed. Since they are soil blocks, there's not root disturbance. I'll see how this works for me.
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Re: Leeks, I plan to grow them!

Post  plantoid on 3/14/2012, 4:23 pm

@FamilyGardening wrote:do leeks and onions need to be harden off like other veggies?
we have some leeks growing still out side in a container from last year that we direct sown....this year we started some inside....


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Yes , almost everything grown inside will need a gentle hardening off to prevent growth reducing shocks when you transplant things out into the garden. Same applies with the glass house plant raisings .
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Leeks

Post  johnp on 3/24/2014, 8:54 am

The leeks I've planted are doing well under the grow lamp. The shoots are quite long and I've read other posts about onions getting a haircut. This is my first year growing leeks from scratch. Do you cut these back like onions?
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Re: Leeks, I plan to grow them!

Post  FamilyGardening on 3/24/2014, 2:39 pm

John I give mine hair cuts Smile

happy gardening
rose
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Re: Leeks, I plan to grow them!

Post  camprn on 3/24/2014, 7:45 pm

Don't trim them too much. Basically all you have to do is trim off the tip of the growth.

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Re: Leeks, I plan to grow them!

Post  yolos on 3/24/2014, 9:15 pm

Why do you trim them and also some of you have said to trim the onions.  Why
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