Welcome to my website in which I show you how I grow great organic vegies in a water conserving raised garden bed with the help of a built in worm farm and pest exclusion devices. I also show you how I rotate these vegies in a 4 year 4 bed cycle. Check out my website 'Gardening with Ecobeds' which shows you how Ecobeds are made and how they grow food without using poisonous chemicals....................John Ashworth 27th July 2015.
Latest Update 8th July 2016.
leaves make a fine addition to soups and
casseroles etc, and I like nicely blanched leek stems steamed with a little
seasoning as an accompaniment to fish dishes.
Leeks are best cooked as soon as they are harvested. They are slow growing and can be harvested as required over a few weeks.
They are an excellent source of vitamins, minerals and dietary fibre.
Clear a space for leeks and add a 60mm layer of home made compost, then cover with 50mm of fresh straw mulch.
Leave the bed for 4
weeks to build up microbial activity before planting the first crop.
Sow leek seeds in Februaryon the surface of an organic seed growing mix in a punnet, and lightly cover with sieved growing mix.
the punnet for an hour in a tray containing 10mm of water (preferably
rainwater). The water will wick up into the soil without flooding it.
Sink the punnet to its rim in a Propagator. This will
keep the soil moist until the seedlings are ready to
transplant. Protect them against frost.
When the seedlings are about 200mm tall, remove their punnet from the propagator and
sink it into the prepared soil up to its rim. Leave it there for a few
days to harden off before separating and planting the seedlings in the prepared bed.
Use string lines to mark out rows 150 mm apart, and plant the seedlings at 150 mm intervals along each row.
a hole for each seedling about 100 mm deep with a dibber and plant the seedling so that about 1/2 of the
stem is visible above the surface. Backfill with soil and water in well.
Apply a foliar spray of aerated compost tea every 4 weeks at the same time as all the other edible plants.
Mulch around the leeks in spring as the weather warms.
Sow leeks in August in the propagator ready for planting about 6 weeks later.
Protect the seedlings against extremes of weather.
When the seedlings are about 200mm tall, remove their punnet from the propagator and sink it into the prepared soil up to its rim. Leave it there for a few days to harden off before planting the seedlings in the bed. Water them in well.
Leeks should not be grown more than once in the same patch of ground each season. Follow one of the other light feeder group instead.
Harvest and Storage
Harvest the leeks in August and February.
They ready as soon as they are big enough to use.
Cut them off at ground level and leave the roots to decompose in the soil.
They don't store well so harvest them as needed in the kitchen.
Leeks should be protected against slugs and snails using self adhesive copper
tape bonded around the base of your Ecobeds.
these molluscs get into your Ecobed as eggs laid in your compost, kill
them with organically approved iron based snail pellets as soon as you
discover them. You should only need to use a small number of pellets.
Aerated compost tea improves the plants resistance to blackfly damage.
Adult blackfly usually mate in autumn and the eggs are laid on the leaves of leeks and other alliums. They overwinter in situ and hatch in spring, so you need to look for them as the weather starts to warm.
infestations by spraying your crop thoroughly with organic horticultural
oil (Eco-oil in Australia). This smothers the insect, but as you need direct contact make sure you spray them thoroughly.