If you wish to grow the leeks thick and big, and also without pests and diseases, then you will want to know how to do it.
There are 3 essential tips that I want to share with you.
Quality Soil Plays the Most Important Part
The first point is about the soil for growing leeks. However, leeks are very adaptable to most of the soils, whether it is clay, sand, loam, or any type of soil. Leeks have no problem growing on them.
But although it can grow in different soils, it has a lot to do with the soil quality.
To grow leeks, proper soil is still very important. Only with proper soil can the roots of leeks grow well.
Once the leek is well raised, the roots will grow thick and long while the leek leaves will grow one after another.
It is best to use soil that is:
- rich in organic matter
- has a strong moisturizing
- has strong fertilizer retention capabilities
- is well-drained
Sandy loam is the best choice among all the soils that feature all the above-mentioned characteristics for you to grow leeks.
In addition, don’t plant leeks in the soil that is sterilized, or soil that is too acidic. For example, less acidic and neutral soil is more suitable, where the pH value is between 6.0-7.5.
For the soil that I use to plant leeks on my vegetable farm, its pH value is 7.0.
Apply Fertilizer At The Right Time
If you want leeks to grow well, fertilizer is another important factor. You cannot simply apply fertilizer at any time. You need to fertilize follow different times and seasons.
For example, there is no need for you to fertilize during winter because leeks grow very slowly in winter and are in a semi-dormant state.
In the spring, since the weather is just getting warmer, you can fertilize once in the spring.
In summer, when leeks grow fastest, you can apply fertilizer two or three times.
Then comes the autumn. Before the autumn enters the winter, you can topdress the leeks again to prepare for winter cultivation and nutritional supplementation.
So what kind of fertilizer do you use to fertilize leeks? How to apply specifically?
For me, I usually fertilize after the leeks are harvested.
I normally will use scissors to cut the leeks, and some people will use a knife to cut it, this is a completely personal habit and anyway will do.
After harvesting the leeks, the ground is so bare. If there are weeds, you can pull the weeds by the way.
Note that this is not the best time to fertilize the leeks yet, because the wounds on the rhizomes of the leeks that have just been cut have not healed, and they are still relatively wet.
Fertilizing at this time may allow the bacteria to invade the leeks from the cut wound. So it is best to wait two to three days before fertilizing.
Two or three days later, you can take a look at the leek cuts. You’ll find that the cut wound has dried out and started to grow new leek leaves.
After five days, they may have grown three or four centimeters and it is the best time for you to fertilize the leeks now.
If there is soil compaction, you can loosen the soil near the leek roots.
So what kind of fertilizer is suitable to fertilize the leeks?
It is always recommended for you to use organic fertilizer if you want to grow organic vegetables.
Secondly, since we mainly eat the leaves of leeks, the most important fertilizer will be nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, and calcium. Having these ingredients in your fertilizer will help to make the roots develop better and improve the immunity of leeks against diseases and pests.
Can You DIY Your Compost?
If you are an eco-friendly person who doesn’t want to throw away your kitchen and garden waste, you can DIY your compost.
However, if you got nothing for making your compost, you can also buy a bag of fermented compost. It won’t cost you too much money.
For example, cow, sheep, or chicken dung can be used to make compost. But they cannot be used right away. They need to be fermented before use.
There is organic compound fertilizer for vegetable and fruit trees available on the market. This type of fertilizer is having natural organic ingredients in it, which are safe, nutritious, and comprehensive.
Generally, it contained bone manure, and some are fermented with organic substances such as seaweed. Moreover, it is made into powder and granules, which are very convenient to use.
I used to use manure and compost to fertilize the leeks. My compost generally contains chicken manure, grass, fish, and dried leaves. It is full of nutrients.
But recently I ran out of manure at home. Therefore, sometime I will buy the organic compound fertilizer and apply it to my vegetable garden.
You can mix the compost and organic compound fertilizer. If you don’t put compost and only apply organic compound fertilizer without compost, you can mix it with soil.
After fertilizing, the next step is very simple. You just need to sprinkle the leeks that have just grown little new leaves.
Don’t forget to add some water at the end, so the overgrown leeks will grow faster, thicker and longer.
After 15 days of fertilizing, you can harvest another crop at this time.
If you fertilize the leeks in summer when they are growing the fastest, you will be able to harvest them just about 20 days away from your last harvest.
However, if the temperature is relatively low in spring and autumn, it cannot be harvested in such a short time. It will take about a month or so for you to harvest again.
When harvesting leeks, it must be harvested when the leeks are clean and tender. Otherwise, if it lasts for two days, the leek moss will become hard and won’t be so good to consume.
If your leeks have not been harvested in time and have grown old, and are about to bloom or have already bloomed, you may just leave them and let them continue to bloom so that you can harvest some leek seeds.
Transplant the Leeks Every Two to Three Years
Maybe some people know about the first two points as mentioned earlier, but many people may not know about this third trick to make leeks grow well. That is, leeks need to be transplanted every two to three years.
The method is to dig out the roots after harvesting the leek leaves and plant them in other areas.
Why Need To Do So?
There are three reasons behind it:
1. After the leek roots have continuously planted for several years, they will gradually age, and the vitality of growth will not be as good as before. At this time, you will need to dig out the plant and prune the old roots before planting, which can promote the issuance of new roots.
2. a few years later, the roots of the leeks will be very dense and crowded, which will affect their nutrient absorption.
3. If the same crop is planted for several years in a row, many bacteria and pests will accumulate in the soil, which will cause diseases and pests to the leeks.
This is why many people say that the leeks they planted had grown well in the first two years. After that, many budworms have suddenly appeared, and they have grown thinner than before.
When this happens, it tells you that you need to transplant. Usually, I will transplant the leeks into another vegetable bed in the third year.
It is not so difficult for you to carry out the transplant job. All you need to do is just harvest the leek leaves, and then use a small shovel to dig out the leek root. When you dig the root out, you will find that some leeks are growing on one root. If so, you can break off the root, called root splitting.
As more and more root splitting you are doing, the more and more leeks you can plant. After some time, you will have a large area of leeks in your vegetable garden.