Leek & Onion

Growing Leek & Onion

Leek

A hardy vegetable which has many uses. Young plants are raised in a seed trays and then transplanted to their final growing position.

Sowing:

Sow thinly 15mm deep in rows 30cm apart throughout most of the year apart from the hottest and coldest months. Sow at fortnightly intervals for a succession of produce.

Growing:

Thin seedlings to approximately 4cm apart. The plants are ready to transplant when they are about 20cm high and the thickness of a pencil. Water well the day before lifting and transplanting. Prepare the plants by trimming off the root tips. Make 15cm deep holes with a dibber 15cm apart in rows 30cm apart and drop a plant into each hole. Fill the hole with water to settle the roots. Top up as necessary for the plants to establish.

Varieties:

Carenten F1, Lyon Prizetaker.

Harvesting:

Start picking when the leeks are still quite small to ensure a long harvest period. Gently lift from the soil using a fork. Leeks can remain in the ground through the winter until they are needed.

 

 

Onion

Onions are one of the most versatile vegetables and are quite easy to grow from seed. To ensure you get good results, it is important to choose the right variety of onion for the time of year you’re planting. Onions are generally classified as either short day, intermediate day or long day. The main planting season for onions is Autumn, but they can also be Spring planted in cooler regions.

Sowing:

Onions can be sown direct or in seedling trays. Prepare the bed well as you would for carrots & sow the seeds approx. 6mm deep into dark damp soil. Cover with compost and water gently.

Growing:

Water if the weather is dry and feed occasionally with a general liquid fertiliser. A light feed of sulphate of potash in April / May will help ripen the bulbs. Mulching the soil will help conserve soil moisture and keep down weeds. Stop watering and feeding once the onions have swollen and remove any mulch or soil to expose the bulb to the sun. Remove any flower spikes as soon as they are seen.

Varieties:

Early Californian Red, Gladalan White, Hunter River Brown, Paris Silverskin, Pukekohe Long Keeper.

Harvesting:

Harvest onions when the foliage turns yellow and starts to topple over. The practice of bending over the foliage or gently lifting the bulbs to break the roots is no longer recommended.