Gardeners are always thinking ahead.
Early in the year, just as soon as I could, some leek seedlings were planted into the raised beds. They're a wonderful addition to stews, casseroles, and make really tasty soup for the winter. To see my post on this,how to prepare them, and including my leek/potato soup, please just click here.
But as with all vegetable gardening, there is one challenge with growing leeks. You want the nice tender white part to be as long as possible. That is what you use for cooking. The usual way to achieve this is to dig a little, deep trench, and transplant your seedlings into the bottom of it. As the plants grow, the trench is filled in around them, and even hilled up around them, so the leek leaves have to keep reaching up for light and resulting photosynthesis.
I've tried this. But I've found a lot of dirt gets into the layers of leek leaves. So this year I decided to just transplant the seedlings like any others - right into the top soil of my raised bed. As they grew, I started thinking of all kinds of things I might be able to use to cover the stem up to about 10.”
I thought of cardboard cores, bits of drainpipe, shade cloth tripled and tied. But finally, in the kitchen one day, the answer stared me in the face. One litre milk cartons might just do the job!
It's easy then to make a small hole near the bottom, insert a ground staple, and gently pull the leaves through. They grow quickly, cutting off the light, and blanching your leeks. At least, that's what I'm hoping. Time will tell.
My apologies to the non-gardeners for these growing posts. It can't be helped. Summer is so short. We’re playing catch up after a rainy, cold Spring, and the garden is what's on my mind!
Birthday Giftback project
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