Leek cultivation

The leek is a plant similar to the onion, but it does not produce a bulb and its lower part, which is edible, is formed by a set of sheathed and tight leaves. The leaves of this plant are very similar to those of garlic, it has a mild flavor, it can be eaten raw, cooked in soups, used as a condiment and also dehydrated.


There are summer, autumn and winter varieties.

Summer varieties are very sensitive to cold. The varieties differ according to their vegetative period, their adaptation or preference for a certain climate and the greater or lesser thickness of the base of the plant.


Similar to the onion, it is less sensitive to the length of the solar day. It requires cool to moderately cold weather during the period preceding bulb formation, and moderately high temperatures during development, harvest, in which a relatively dry environment is also convenient. The optimum temperature requirements during cultivation are in the range of 15-21ºC.


In general, it can be grown in a wide range of soils. The ideal type of soil is of medium consistency, easy to work and that does not offer much resistance to deep growth, as well as having adequate moisture retention around the roots of the plant. It must be fertile, with a good content of worm castings. Very compact and sandy soils lacking cohesion have to be discarded. This crop tolerates little acidity, grows better in soils with a neutral or weakly alkaline reaction. The optimal reaction is a pH of 6 to 6.8. Excessive acidity can cause the death of the seedlings, in adults it gives rise to a partial coloration of the tips of the leaves.


It requires an adequate supply of nitrogen to stimulate vegetation and accelerate plant growth. A balanced foliar fertilization allows to obtain a normal development of the crop.


One gram of seed contains approximately 360 seeds (seed smaller than onion seed). Germination in the field, with suitable conditions, averages 75% or more emergence.

Sowing can be “direct” or “seedling and transplanting”. In general, direct seeding is preferred, taking into account the growth habit and the state in which the leek is consumed. The plants require little space on the growing lines and it is easier to achieve higher density in double rows (10 cm apart) and paired at 25 cm. on a cultivation table of 90 cms. wide, that is, 4 rows per table (a couple of double rows). In this case, the dose per hectare is 2.5 to 3.0 kgr. seed.

In the seedling and transplant system, the spring seedlings will give product in summer and autumn, those in autumn will do so at winter outings and in spring. A dose of 6 to 7 grams per square meter of seedling should be considered. The transplant, similar to that carried out in onion, the seedlings should be located on both sides of the furrow, and 8-12 cms. about this.


The green plant is harvested “on the branch”, in a tender state. .

via ocioloshuertos

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