Characteristics of leek
- Type: vegetable plant
- Height: up to 60cm
- Flower color: bluish white
- Desired exposure: sunny
- Type of soil: drained
- Sanitizing: no
- Diseases: the moth
Origins and characteristics of leek
Belonging to the genus allium, the leek is a herbaceous plant of the liliaceae family. Native to the Mediterranean basin and the Middle East, it has been cultivated in all areas with a temperate climate since Antiquity. Indeed, it is said that the Roman emperor Nero himself consumed large quantities. France produces 31% of European production with 200,000 tonnes per year.
The leek (Allium porrum) consists of a kind of long, fairly thick white cylinder, surmounted by several long, flat leaves with greenish undertones. Leeks are highly prized for their taste qualities close to those of vegetables such as onions and asparagus. It is indeed used in the preparation of dishes such as pot-au-feu or certain pies and can be eaten as an accompaniment.
Very rich in fiber and vitamins, it contains essential oils and have some digestive, diuretic or even laxative properties.
Sowing and planting the leek
The leek (Allium porrum) is a fairly rustic plant which develops on deep, drained and rich soil.
It easily withstands winter temperatures, but prefers the sun. A temperate, mild and humid climate suits him perfectly. Rustic, it can withstand temperatures up to -20 ° C depending on the variety.
Sowing can therefore be undertaken from February until May. Planting in early February allows harvest from June.
When planting them, for planting in the vegetable patch online, you can use a rope stretched between two pieces of wood. It takes 20 centimeters between two rows.
When the plants are the size of a pencil, take them out of the ground and let them dry for a few days in the sun. This eliminates ringworm eggs. This precaution is useless if they are summer leeks.
Before transplanting, shorten the leaves a few centimeters above the bole and the roots to 1cm. Dig a furrow about 10cm deep and dig holes at the bottom of the furrow with a dibber, about every 10cm.
Leek cultivation and care
Leek is a relatively easy plant to grow.
So that leek growth (Allium porrum) is optimal, it is necessary to prepare the ground well. It will be carefully loosened with a spade and enriched with compost, especially if the soil is poor. Leeks are enjoyed in soils rich in organic matter.
Leeks (Allium porrum) do not need to be watered regularly, except in extreme heat and drought. Nevertheless, it is advisable to regularly abut the foot of the leek especially before the appearance of the first winter frosts. The harvest can be envisaged about six or seven months later depending on the variety.
Enemies and leek diseases
Parasites can attack him (onion fly, leek leafminer fly) but he is particularly afraid leek moth. This gray butterfly lays its eggs on the foliage of the plant. The larvae then dig galleries in the leaves and then arrive in the barrel, until hatching. The barrels are then rotten.
In prevention against the attack of leek moths, it is recommended toalternate rows of leeks, carrots and celery. Also place insect nets over your plants during egg laying: April-May, June to early August and then from late August to late September.
Cryptogamic diseases can also affect it: leek mildew, leek fat and leek rust. As prevention, we can regularly apply nettle manure.
Harvesting the leek
Harvesting leeks takes place about 5 months after planting. To harvest them, all you have to do is push in a spade fork just next to the leek, then lift the vegetable in stages to yield the roots.
During the winter, if your soil is too frozen at harvest time, pour lukewarm water at the foot of the plantations. If your leeks seem frozen after harvest, let them rest in an unheated room before eating them.