Starting Leeks Indoors

nutsaboutflowers(2b/3a)January 28, 2011

Marric, I see you grow leeks indoors.

Any tips for starting them indoors? DH loves leeks and I've ordered some seeds. I've never grown leeks before, so I don't have a clue what to expect.

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marricgardens

If I had known how easy it was to start leeks and onions from seed, I would have started long ago! For both I just sprinkle the seeds on the soil (I use ProMix) and lightly cover. Both are now up, it takes about 10 days. When they are about 3", I snip them back by half. I love the variety you can get and they are much tastier than the ones you get at the store. This year I used seed leftover from last year. The leeks were still good but I had poor germinatioon with the onion seed. Glad I ordered new seeds! I know I'm in a lot warmer zone than you but this past winter we decided to leave them in the ground. They have done very well. We had some for supper several times so far. I have noticed that they seem to keep growing in the colder weather but the outside leaves are a bit more 'leathery'. Good luck! Marg

    Bookmark   January 29, 2011 at 9:30AM
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nutsaboutflowers(2b/3a)

Marg, how long before planting outside do you start them? 12 weeks?

Also, from what I've read, they don't mind it being cool, so they can be planted outside around the same time as I direct sow the peas?

    Bookmark   January 29, 2011 at 11:26AM
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marricgardens

I think I started mine Jan. 10. After clipping them back, they were about 3-4" when I plant them out in May. Last year I didn't have a lot of time for them so they weren't hilled the best. This year I think I'll plant them closer to the taters so I remember to hill them better. Just remember that you need to plant them in a trench about 8" and then slowly backfill to keep the bulb white. Marg

    Bookmark   January 29, 2011 at 1:56PM
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nutsaboutflowers(2b/3a)

Thanks Marg. Mid February or so should be good for me then, since we're colder than you. I have an indoor area for them and a nice outside raised bed with good soil, so it should be easy to trench them. Lynn

    Bookmark   January 29, 2011 at 2:15PM
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nutsaboutflowers(2b/3a)

Eek! Marg !

My leeks are up and I only planted them 3 days ago.

What the heck? I thought they were supposed to take a long time? Is it too good to be true?

Hey, maybe it's weeds =:) Do they start out looking really pale when they first sprout?

    Bookmark   March 12, 2011 at 5:21PM
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marricgardens

Mine take about a week. Last year they were up after only a few days. Guess they come up when they're ready. I just cut mine back, they were about 4" tall so I snipped them back by about half. When they first come up mine were a little lighter but they greened up nicely. I fertilize 1/2 strength Miracle Gro All Purpose fertilizer about every 2 weeks. Don't know if that's right or not but it seems to work for me. Last fall we decided to leave them in the ground all winter. They kept growing, getting larger. The outer leaf was tough but the inside was still good. We just dug some up for supper tonite. Marg

    Bookmark   March 13, 2011 at 11:33AM
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don555(3a)

Wow, must be nice digging things from the garden on March 13!! Still two feet of snow over my veggie garden...

    Bookmark   March 14, 2011 at 4:34AM
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marricgardens

Not to rub it in but they were delicious! I thought they might have been a little tough but I steamed them and they were great. I have celeriac out there to but don't think it did as well, the last ones were marbled with brown. I still used it in soup tho.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2011 at 8:43AM
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don555(3a)

That's okay. Just checked my garden again... nope, it's going to be awile... :-(

    Bookmark   March 14, 2011 at 8:56PM
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nutsaboutflowers(2b/3a)

Ha! Don 555

I'll see your two feet of snow, and raise you about another foot where I plan to garden, LOL !

    Bookmark   March 15, 2011 at 2:11AM
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marciaz3 Tropical 3 Northwestern Ontario

Me too!

    Bookmark   March 15, 2011 at 8:46AM
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nutsaboutflowers(2b/3a)

Marcia

I've always meant to ask you where the Tropical comes from in your I.D.

Doesn't look too tropical to me, LOL !

    Bookmark   March 15, 2011 at 11:34AM
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marciaz3 Tropical 3 Northwestern Ontario

I borrowed it from someone from another forum who always said she came from "Tropical Saskatchewan". When i first saw that, i thought it was hilarious didn't think it would matter if i took it, as she never came to gardening forums and wouldn't see it. Over the years, though, she became one of my best online friends so i confessed and we both got a good laugh about it. :)

    Bookmark   March 15, 2011 at 7:20PM
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nutsaboutflowers(2b/3a)

Marcia - That would explain it. Pretty funny that you finally confessed. I've never visted much of Ontario, only small bits, so I wondered if there was some small pocket near the great lakes or something that everyone referred to as tropical.

My leeks haven't done much in the last few days. I've been talking to them, so maybe they're not impressed. Maybe they need some company. I should get the tomatoes planted. Hey, that reminds me. Companion planting. Does anyone know if tomatoes and leeks like each other??

    Bookmark   March 15, 2011 at 7:46PM
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marciaz3 Tropical 3 Northwestern Ontario

I don't know. Google companion planting and i'm sure you'll find out. :)

    Bookmark   March 15, 2011 at 8:07PM
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marricgardens

Try www.ghorganics.com. Lots of great companion planting advice.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2011 at 8:45AM
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