Green Food



How to Grow Leeks

The leek is an outstanding vegetable in its own right and should not be regarded as merely a flavouring for soups.

In the north it really comes into its own and the mammoth leeks grown for exhibition are as excellent in leek puddings or as a vegetable as they are sources of energy and admiration. In common with brussels sprouts the leek needs a long season of growth to get really good specimens and no matter how big a leek may be it loses none of its flavour and succulence. Whilst size is not a criterion of flavour, anyone who disparages size in leeks is only crying sour grapes. Confusion often arises as to the difference between "trench leeks" and "pot leeks"; actually there is no dilTer­ence, it is merely a question as to the method of growing them. True, by constant vegetative reproduction and expert selection, the pot leek has become a characteristic of the northern counties of Durham and Northumberland, but it is just as possible to grow pot leeks in Essex or Surrey as it is in Durham.

The cooler climatic conditions of the northern half of England favour the growth of a vegetable that requires slower, steady con­ditions of growth. Like every other plant, the better and richer the soil the better the resultant crop will be but provided the soil is not tightly compacted, the large and vigorous root systems will ensure a decent crop even on poor soil.


There are three ways of propagation: seeds, pods and olTsets; the last two methods are purely vegetative which means that a part of the parent plant is used so that the resultant plants retain the characteris­tics of the parent. Thus, if it is desired to perpetuate a characteristic of an excellent strain it can be ensured only by these methods. Such methods have their limitations, so growing each year from seed is the most convenient for most people.     
how to grow leeks

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