The Content Of The Article:
- Location and ground
- Harvest and storage
- Mixed culture partner and crop rotation
- Diseases and pests
Leek (Allium porrum), also known as leek, belongs to the family of the Amaryllis family like the onion and garlic. The two-year herbaceous garden leek, which can grow up to eighty centimeters high, forms no onion in contrast to the wild form. Leek is characterized by its dense root system. In the area of the white to light-green stem, the leaves are similar to the tubular onions rooted together. At the upper end, they are belt overhanging and have a blue-green hue.
The leek known to us today probably came from the middle of Italy from Italy to Central Europe and is a cultivated form of field lily (Allium ampeloprasum). As early as around 2100 BC, the green leek prickle was very popular because of its delicious flavor - even the pyramid workers in ancient Egypt are said to have eaten it as food. The vegetables spread early throughout Europe and is for example the main ingredient of the Scottish national dish "Cock-a-leekiee", a chicken soup with leeks. The Welsh also liked the root vegetables so much that they immortalized them on their coat of arms.
With just 61 calories per 100 grams, leeks are a very healthy, low-calorie vegetable. 100 grams contain - based on the daily requirement - 45 percent vitamin K, 100 percent beta carotene and 25 percent vitamin C. The very high inulin content has a positive effect on the intestinal flora, vitamin K is important for bone formation and prevents osteoporosis. Containing beta-carotene has antioxidant properties and protects against harmful free radicals. The essential trace element manganese, which ensures an increased intake of vitamin B1, can also be found in leeks. It provides strong nerves and works against depression and dementia.
Leek prevents cardiovascular diseases and has a detoxifying effect. It was formerly used to stimulate kidney activity and to prevent kidney stones. Also for the treatment of bronchial diseases, the vegetables were often used.
Winter leek is frost hardy and can be harvested until spring
Leek is also available year round in the supermarket and at the weekly market. From June to September, summer lilies are offered and from September to spring, the stronger and sharper autumn and winter vines. In June, the small seasonal hole is usually bridged by leek grown under foil. The vegetables should have firm and green leaves as well as a white stem. Slight-looking and damaged rods are better left. Another indication of fresh goods is the discoloration of the root hairs: white roots indicate fresh, brown on already older leek.
Location and ground
Allium prefers a sunny to half shady, moist location. Heat and cold tolerate the vegetables quite well. Winter-hardy varieties can even hibernate outside, they suffer damage only in too strong bald frosts. To counteract this, beet covers made of brushwood or fleece are ideal. The soil should be rich in humus and nutrients, a deep soil is beneficial for leeks.
Before you buy leek seeds, you should consider when exactly you want to harvest the vegetables. From January, you prefer to have a summer leek in the greenhouse or on the window sill. From March, you can use the cold frame or another sheltered outdoor area. Usually, the cultivation takes place in shallow dishes. If you put out two of the angular black grains in Erdpresstöpfen or pot plates (three to four centimeters pot diameter), you spared the pikieren. Tip: By pre-treating the seeds with a self-made decoction of valerian, the germination of leek begins faster.
If the plantlets are just pencil-thick, is the optimal planting date. From May onwards, in the open air, winter sprouts can be sown directly on the spot, for example between the rows of celery or early cabbage. Anyone who would like to avoid the cultivation of leeks can alternatively buy seedlings from the gardener or at the weekly market. These are placed at intervals of about 15 to 20 centimeters in rows of 40 to 60 centimeters distance. During summer planting, the leaves of stronger plants are cut by about one-third in order to reduce evaporation. You put the plants in about 15 centimeters deep grooves or planting holes, making sure that the plants are vertically in the ground and no soil falls into the leaf axils. Then the young leeks are well-infused, so they are thoroughly slammed in with soil and stable.
Between the rows, you should hack more often and pile the leeks with soil. In addition, the plants need a steady supply of water to bring good yields.The piling ensures smooth, white shafts and protects Winterporree from freezing. You loosen the soil between the rows with the hoe and gradually fill up the plant furrows. Later, you push the crumbs carefully to the shaft. Tip: Stir your leeks more often and just to just below the leaf axils, so that no earth gets between the leaf rings.
A generous composting in the bed preparation provides the Mittelzehrern for a good start. In addition, organic gardeners inject a shot of comfrey or nettle into the irrigation water every two to four weeks. Instead, you can also sprinkle some organic vegetable fertilizer and rake in the shingles superficially.
Another bleaching method is the hole planting: Here you punch with a planting wood twenty centimeters deep holes in the ground and put the plants into it. By sprinkling with water, the roots get close contact with the ground and the leeks continue to grow. Then it is piled up with earth twice at intervals. The result is about 40 to 50 inches long, delicate and pale shafts.
When leek "shoots", the stem axis stretches and the plant forms like the ornamental leek a large terminal flower ball (right). The shooting is triggered by a cold in winter. Plants that form flowers in the first season are not suitable for seed production!
Harvest and storage
From the beginning of July to the end of August, summer free-range is harvested, depending on the variety, from autumn September to December autumn leek and from December to the end of May winter leek. If winter leeks are not to remain on the bed, it is possible to dig it up and keep it in the cold frame, in a sheltered spot in the garden or in the cool cellar room in soil or sand and store it.
Seed-proof winter varieties such as 'Freezo' are also suitable for your own seed harvest. Choose strong plants, let them stand over the winter and admire the beautiful globular flower balls in early summer. The dried stems are cut off in summer, the umbels are dried in a warm, airy place and the seeds are threshed.
Nestled in soil or sand, leeks are best stored in a cool cellar. Even in the fridge - wrapped in a plastic film or bag - it stays fresh for several days. Another advantage of this method is that the onion-like odor can not be transferred to other aroma-sensitive foods such as butter. You can freeze the root vegetables just as well. Then it should be noted that the vegetables are processed in the best case deep-frozen, because the thawing change texture and taste to the negative.
To harvest, they cut the strings with a digger fork and then shake the soil from the roots
Mixed culture partner and crop rotation
Leeks can be grown well after early potatoes in the same bed. Cucumbers, carrots, radish, celery, kohlrabi, marjoram and various kinds of salad are perfect neighbors for a mixed culture. Bushy and runner beans as well as peas and beetroot are less suitable.
The outermost, not so beautiful layer, the root disk and the upper ends of the green leaves are removed during preparation. Then the vegetables can be rinsed thoroughly under running water. The green parts of the plant are much stronger in taste than the bleached ones.
Cooked, stewed, stewed, blanched or sautéed: There are many ways to prepare leeks. Whether as a vegetable garnish, in soups, quiches, stews or in casseroles - the vegetables are versatile. Even with a small amount, for example raw in a salad, leeks are impressive with their impressive spiciness. If you prefer a fine taste, you should resort to summer lilies. The following applies to the preparation: the gentler the cooking method, the more substantial the leek remains, as important vitamins and elements are retained. Many people throw away the leek green, but that's not necessary: even the tart-tasting part can be used up to 15 centimeters above the white shaft. By the way, leek harmonizes particularly well with the following spices: chervil, caraway, tarragon, lovage, parsley, thyme, nutmeg and chilli.
With a very diverse range of varieties, Sommerporree is suitable for cultivation in the greenhouse, cold frame and outdoors. Varieties such as 'Albana', 'Alma', 'Bavaria' and 'Tropia' are very popular here. As an autumnal pear with conditional hardiness, the varieties 'Ducal', 'Elephant', 'Gino' and 'Autumn Strenghts' are recommended. Well-known Winterporree varieties are 'Blue-green winter', 'Natan', 'Genita' and 'Siegfried'.
Diseases and pests
Leeks are attacked by the same pests as onions and garlic: onion flies, leek moths and nematodes complicate the cultivation, but also fungal infections are more common. The most widespread, however, is the leek fly: The larvae eat small courses in the tops of the leek leaves, which is unfortunately often noticeable only at harvest.As a result of the injury, there is often a rot inside the Porreestange, this eventually dies. The best way to prevent pests is to use fine-mesh vegetable protection nets, which are stretched over the bed like a foil tunnel just after planting.