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Growing leek seedlings: all the nuances and subtleties

 Growing leek seedlings: all the nuances and subtleties


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Leeks are one of the most valuable vitamin crops among green vegetables. The peculiarity of the plant is that it contains a lot of natural water (almost 90%), carbohydrates, proteins and even fats, as well as sugar, starch, organic acids, useful salts and dietary fiber. Leek is rich in many vitamins: C, A, E, B, H, PP. Due to its unique chemical composition, onions have a beneficial effect on human health: gastrointestinal tract, lymph, liver, heart. In addition, it is sweeter than onion, has a more subtle aroma and taste. Leeks take pride of place in cooking.

The origin and characteristics of leeks

Leek has another name - Pearl. It has been known since ancient times, and is considered to be its homeland in Southwest Asia. From there, the leek entered the Mediterranean and spread to European countries. Now it is cultivated everywhere, from North America to Asia. Leek gained enviable popularity in Europe, where it is actively grown and used in cooking. The largest supplier for today is France.

Video: characteristics of leeks

Leek is a biennial plant. In the first year, leaves and a white false stem grow, in the second, an arrow with seeds is formed. Unlike onion leeks, leeks do not form a bulbous head. They eat a white leg and young leaves, the taste of which is not pungent, but slightly pungent. In cooking, leeks are used to prepare first courses, salads, it is fried in batter and pickled.

Unlike onions, leeks have a more delicate aroma and delicate taste.

Fresh onions are stored in the refrigerator for no more than 7 days, and for long-term preservation they can be frozen. Leek propagates by seeds.

Planting seeds for seedlings

In Russia, leeks grow in all zones, regardless of the climate. The cultivation methods differ in small features, but the basic agricultural techniques remain unchanged.

In the southern area, the seedless method is preferable, that is, sowing seeds directly into the ground. In other areas, where the ground does not warm up so quickly, the seedling method is used.

Leek seeds can germinate at 2 ° C, but for normal development they need a temperature of 22-25 ° C and daylight hours 10.5-11.5 hours

Seed preparation

You need to start preparing seeds for planting in the second decade of February.... They are soaked in hot and cold water alternately for 20 minutes. In order for the seeds to hatch faster, they are germinated for three days in damp cotton wool. You can also use gauze soaked in Rostock solution, folded in several layers.

For planting, it is better to use two- and three-year-old seeds, they have the best germination

The length of daylight hours for leeks should be 10.5-11.5 hours, so when planting early seedlings, you should immediately think about whether you can provide the seedlings with the necessary lighting. The most practical and effective in this regard are phytolamps or LEDs with a red and blue emission spectrum.

The choice of capacity and soil

The capacity must be chosen depending on where and how you will grow the seedlings. Boxes are very convenient for leeks, which are easy to place on window sills or on a warm balcony. Sow in rows at 5–6 cm intervals and a planting depth of about 1.5 cm. Therefore, the container should not be too deep so that the walls do not subsequently shade the seedlings. As the plant grows and develops, the soil must be sprinkled in small portions.

Many people use peat tablets as a great alternative to crates. They greatly simplify the planting process, since there is no need to prepare special soil. The tablets should only be constantly kept moist, because they dry out very quickly.

Onion seedlings do not tolerate picking well, so the use of peat tablets is a good option.

To grow seedlings in conventional containers, without peat tablets, you need to prepare a nutrient mixture. Required elements for soil:

  1. Organic:
    • wood ash without impurities;
    • crushed eggshell;
    • peat;
    • moss, the remains of decomposition of leaves;
    • sawdust of coniferous and deciduous trees (necessarily rotted);
    • sod land without larvae, worms.
  2. Inorganic impurities:
    • hydrogel for more effective soil moisture;
    • leavening agents for soil aeration:
      • vermiculite,
      • expanded clay,
      • perlite,
      • crushed polystyrene,
      • coarse river sand.

The most suitable ratio of elements for a soil mixture:

  • 40% of the land,
  • 30% peat,
  • 30% sand.

If necessary, you can add a little ash to the mixture (if your soil is acidic). For alkaline soils, use dolomite flour. Excellent fertilizers for leeks are:

  • urea,
  • potassium salt,
  • compost,
  • superphosphate.

Onions should not be planted in heavy, dense, clayey soils. The seeds either will not sprout, or they will give weak and sluggish shoots, and the plant will not be able to develop normally. You can purchase a ready-made soil mixture: soils for peppers, cucumbers and eggplants are perfect.

Temperature regime

When germinating seeds, it is important to maintain the correct temperature: between 22 ° C and 25 ° C. At home, it is very difficult to fulfill all the conditions perfectly. For example, the optimum temperature for newly hatched seeds is 15–17 ° C during the day, 12 ° C at night. In such conditions, the seedlings need to "live" for a week, then the daytime and nighttime temperatures are increased by two degrees each time. In this mode, the seedlings will grow before planting in the ground.

Since leeks are two-year-old greens, the wrong temperature in the seedling period of the first year of life can cause premature shooting. Excessively warm seedling regime stimulates the ripening of inflorescences in the first year instead of the second.

Sowing seeds

Sowing seeds is carried out in the following sequence:

  1. We process the seeds. To do this, you need to pickle them in a special solution, for example, Rostock. You can prepare a weak solution of potassium permanganate for disinfection.

    It is necessary to disinfect at room temperature, and then rinse the seeds with clean water

  2. We are preparing the container. We fall asleep with special soil no higher than the level of 5 cm.

    When choosing a container for seedlings, it should be borne in mind that it will take 2-3 times to add soil

  3. Water the soil with warm water (36–39 ° C). You can dilute a small portion of mineral fertilizers if you need to additionally fertilize the soil. We sow the dried seeds into carefully prepared grooves to a depth of 1–1.5 cm.

    The distance between the rows for planting should be 5 cm

  4. Seedlings appear, as a rule, on days 8–20, depending on the conditions and quality of the seeds.
  5. As soon as the length of the seedlings exceeds 10 cm, cut off the feather of the onion. This will provide healthier, stronger greens. It is best to prune the leek leaves every two weeks. This will have a positive effect on the development of the root system and the thickening of the stem.
  6. For 7-8 weeks, when the third leaf appears, the seedlings are planted in open ground. Before planting, you need to pinch the root and leaves by a third, this will allow you to get better quality greens, faster rooting.

    The onion root and leaves must be shortened by a third before planting in the ground.

Plant roots can be dipped in a chatterbox - a mixture of clay and mullein, taken in equal amounts. This technique improves the survival rate of seedlings.

Video: how to sow leek seeds

Seedling care at home

Basically, care includes two mandatory procedures: watering and feeding. Timely hydration will ensure the correct development of the plant, it will not lag behind in growth due to drying out. In addition, the onion itself is very fond of moisture (after all, it contains 90% of water), so the soil should always be well watered.

You can periodically spray the foliage with a spray bottle - this procedure will moisturize the plants and eliminate dust.

While young seedlings grow and stretch, you need to have time to feed them. Basically, they do this a couple of times during the entire seedling period:

  1. 2 weeks after germination.
  2. One week before landing in open ground.

The best fertilizer for leeks is bird droppings. It is bred in a ratio of 1:20 with warm water and carefully spilled the aisles without directing it to the feather.

Many gardeners have a problem with planting thickening. In this case, it is necessary to make a timely pick.

  1. Water the seedlings so that you can easily remove the plant with a clod of earth.
  2. Gently use a spatula or fork to separate the seedlings into individual bulbs with a feather.
  3. Plant at a distance of 3-5 cm from each other.
  4. Sprinkle with nutritious soil, pressing down lightly with your fingers to root.
  5. If you want to plant onions in different containers from one common one, use glasses with a diameter of 4 cm.

Video: cutting onion seedlings

Landing in open ground and greenhouses

If you have a warm greenhouse (polycarbonate or glass), then sowing can be done in mid-April on high beds. In this way, leek seedlings will be healthier, stronger, stockier and more resilient.

At the end of April, seeds are sown in open ground, while covering with a film for warming. Planting is accompanied by a denser and deeper rooting of plants than in seedling containers.

Remember that the ground must warm up, otherwise the seeds will still not sprout until it is warm.

At the first time after planting in a permanent place, you should not be zealous with watering, let the plant adapt in the soil and take root. To prevent freezing in the cool May morning and evening hours, you can use a thin covering material that is removed during the daytime.

Video: leek agrotechnology

Features of growing various varieties

It is important to remember that when growing late varieties that are cold-resistant, you may not have time to get the harvest. The fact is that due to the long growing season of 6 months, leeks do not have time to develop as much as possible and give tender juicy greens and white stems (average height up to 15 cm). Therefore, for greater efficiency, the plants should be carefully dug out of the open ground where they grew in summer, planted in spacious boxes and placed in closed glazed or polycarbonate greenhouses. In this way, late varieties are grown:

  • Acreok,
  • Gray wing,
  • Mercury,
  • Winter giant
  • Autumn giant
  • Bulgarian;
  • Karantansky.

Early leeks have a much shorter ripening period of 4 months. Popular varieties of this type:

  • Goliath,
  • Kilima,
  • Vesta,
  • Columbus,
  • Gulliver.

Varieties Karantansky, Vesta are worthy of special attention, as they have good immunity to diseases.

Video: variety selection and harvesting of leeks

Seedling problems and their solution

Onions are a delicate culture, diseases and pests do not bypass such a "delicacy". Leeks are often affected by:

  • onion fly;
  • black mold;
  • cervical rot;
  • rust of onions;
  • downy mildew.

If you are sure that the seedlings are not in danger, then even a simple neglect of watering or temperature conditions can lead to onion disease. Therefore, growing leek seedlings is a painstaking task.

The best way to prevent disease and pest attacks is to take good care of your plants. First of all, do not forget to water and loosen the aisles in time. The next item is the shelf life of the seeds. It is best to use seeds that have lain for two to three years before sowing. Thus, all pests and viruses (mosaic, rust) will die before they enter the soil.

  • The onion fly is very similar to the common house fly. The insect, about 5–6 mm long, lays the larvae in the soil or in the planting material. Pests eat the husk, and then the onion itself. The leaves begin to dry out and wither, the whole plant dies later. The best remedy is to treat the bulbs with a salt solution. Dilute it in a ratio of 350 g per 10 liters of water. The planting material should be soaked for a short time in such a salt bath.
  • Onion rust is a stain that grows like pads. They show the spores of the fungus, which easily pass from plant to plant. The best control method is to remove and burn the infected feathers, and treat with a light solution of any antifungal fungicide.
  • Downy mildew looks like the dying off and drying of the tips of the feathers, and then the entire plant. The color from green and saturated becomes pale gray, painful, whitish. The spots grow quickly. All infected plants must be removed and the rest treated. The best antiviral drugs in this case are copper oxychloride and Fitosporin.

Photo gallery: pests and diseases of onions

The seedling method of growing leeks is an excellent way to get a good harvest. One has only to pay attention to the peculiarities of the variety, so as not to miss the timing of transplanting seedlings into the greenhouse before frosts. And the rest of the success depends on the proper care of the culture. Like any vegetable, leeks require attention and work, but it's worth it.

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Step by step instructions: how to grow leek seedlings

Leeks are a valuable vegetable crop with a unique set of vitamins and minerals. The white part of the plant is highly valued in cooking, has a delicate, sweetish taste without the bitterness inherent in common onions.

The culture is grown mainly by seedling method due to the long growing season, which is about 6 months. The seedless method is used exclusively in southern Russia due to the early spring and warm weather that lasts until mid-autumn. In this article, we will show you how to grow leek seedlings, how to care for seedlings, and when to transfer them outdoors.


Features of growing leeks through seedlings

Many call the leek pearl because of the high value of green leaves and bleached legs. Planting a vegetable is not too difficult if you follow the rules of agricultural technology.

The yield depends on many factors:

  • climatic conditions of the growing region
  • selection of onion varieties for planting
  • preparation of containers and soil for sowing seeds
  • creating conditions for growing seedlings
  • carrying out agrotechnical measures at the seedling stage: watering, feeding, cutting leaves, hardening before planting in a permanent place.


When to plant onions according to the lunar calendar 2021

Auspicious days
January17-27, 30, 31
February1-3, 12-19, 22-24
March2-9, 14-24, 30, 31
April1-5, 7-10, 13-24, 28-30
May1, 2, 5-10, 12-25, 28, 29
June1-8, 11-13, 16-18, 20-22, 28-30
Auspicious days
January16-17, 20-23, 30, 31
February5-9, 17-19, 22-24
March2-9, 14-24, 30, 31
April1-5, 7-10, 13-20, 2224, 28-30
May1, 2, 5-10, 15-17, 20-22, 24, 25, 28, 29
June1-8
July3-6, 17-23, 26-31
August5-7, 9-11
September23-26, 28-30
October1-5, 9-13, 22, 23, 26-28
November4, 6-8, 13, 14, 22-24, 27-29
December10-12

When planting, it is important to allow the soil to warm up to 12ºC

This type of onion has become popular relatively recently. It is grown in seedlings.

  • for the development of seedlings - about 2 months,
  • after planting in the ground before harvesting - about 2.5 months.

Seeds are sown in late February - early March.

When to plant leeks in 2021

In the southern regions, leeks can be sown for seedlings at the end of January.

When to plant for seedlings, plant in the ground:

Auspicious days
January17-27, 30, 31
February1-3, 12-19, 22-24
March2-9, 14-24, 30, 31
April1-5, 7-10, 13-24, 28-30
May1, 2, 5-10, 12-25, 28, 29
June1-8, 11-13, 16-18, 20-22, 28-30

When to plant a bunch of onions in 2020

Sowing with seeds for seedlings and in the ground:

Auspicious days
January17-27, 30, 31
February1-3, 12-19, 22-24
March2-9, 14-24, 30, 31
April1-5, 7-10, 13-24, 28-30
May1, 2, 5-10, 12-25, 28, 29
June1-8, 11-13, 16-18, 20-22, 28-30

These dates are advisory in nature and may have to be clarified by the beginning of the sowing season due to the deviation of the weather from the forecast predictions.

When to plant shallots

Like other onion varieties, shallots are grown from seeds or bulbs.

The bulbs are planted to a depth of 5 cm:

  • middle lane and north: late April - early May,
  • south - at the end of October.


Preparing onions for planting

It is possible to increase the germination of planting material and prevent infection of plants if you plant leek seeds correctly, after preliminary preparation.

When to plant seeds

The growing season of the leek is 200 days from the moment of sowing the seeds. When choosing the timing of planting, they also take into account the ripening time of the variety, the desired harvest time, the climate of the region.

When to plant leek seedlings:

  1. To dive into the leek garden in June, sowing work is carried out in April. This time is suitable for cities with cold climates.
  2. If a pick to a permanent place is planned in May, then seedlings begin to grow in the 20th of March. The method is suitable for southern and central regions.
  3. At the end of February, seeds of late varieties are planted.

Onions are sown on the beds when the threat of morning and night frosts has passed. In warm regions, the first half of April is considered the optimal period. For cities with a northern climate, this method is not suitable due to the short summer.

Place and soil for planting

When growing leek seedlings, containers, soil and drainage are prepared in advance. All elements need to be disinfected. Use a dark pink solution of potassium permanganate, roasting in the oven, boiling water.

As containers, both individual pots or disposable cups and common boxes are suitable. In the latter case, when the seedlings grow up, they dive into individual containers.

For growing onions, a universal soil is suitable. Some gardeners prepare the soil mixture on their own from sand, garden soil, and humus taken in equal proportions. Broken ceramics, small crushed stone, expanded clay, shell rock, chipped brick are used as drainage.

It is important to choose a suitable place for the leek. It should be in a sunlit part of the garden and protected from the wind. It is important that no onion crops have been grown here for the past three years.

The preparation of the beds begins in the fall. The soil is dug up, cleaned of weeds, mixed with fertilizers at the rate of 6 kg of rotted manure, 30 g of superphosphate and 20 g of potassium salts per 1 sq. m. If the acidity is increased, add dry lime.

In the spring, the soil is dug up again. The beds are leveled with a rake, watered with a hot solution of copper sulfate (1 tbsp. L. Vitriol is taken for 1 bucket of water).

Seed preparation

To increase the germination of seeds, to accelerate their germination, to avoid contamination of plants in the future, it is important to prepare them for sowing. This process includes the following steps:

  1. Disinfection. The seeds are soaked for 30 minutes in a light pink solution of potassium permanganate or the antifungal drug "Fitosporin" according to the instructions.
  2. Stratification. It means soaking the planting material in water at a temperature of 40-50 degrees for 4 hours. It is important to maintain the specified temperature at all times.
  3. Germination. To germinate the seeds, they are wrapped in gauze soaked in a growth stimulant, such as Epin. The fabric with the planting material is placed in a saucer, which is covered with a bag and transferred to a warm place. As the gauze dries, it is moistened with warm water.


Growing

Pearl onions are grown in two ways:

  • with the help of seedlings
  • by a reckless method.

The cultivation method depends on the region and climate. The growing season of the plant is 130-200 days, depending on the variety of seeds.

In southern latitudes, where early spring takes place, autumn comes late, and winter is warm and snowless, leeks are sown with seeds directly into the open ground, and in middle latitudes, a seedling method of growing leeks is recommended. In the Urals and Siberia, it can only be grown in special greenhouses.

Landing

To get a decent harvest of gourmet onions, you need to choose the right seeds for your region.

If you live in the south, then you can sow seeds right in the garden. A few days before sowing, mineral fertilizer must be applied to the ground. Then they prepare a place for planting: I make long furrows, the distance between which should be at least 15 cm. Seeds are sown in open ground in the southern regions no earlier than May 15.

For seedlings, seeds are planted in boxes with fertile soil. The term for sowing seeds is February-March. Some gardeners sow seeds even earlier - at the end of January. Grooves are made in the ground, 1 cm deep, the distance between which is no more than 5 cm.The recommended distance between the seeds is at least 1 cm.After sowing, the ground in the boxes is moistened, and the boxes themselves are covered with a film, which is removed every two days and sprayed earth with a spray bottle.

As soon as the first shoots appear, and this will happen somewhere on the 10th day, the boxes are exposed to sunlight, and the film is removed. Seedlings are afraid of cold and drafts, from which they need to be protected. Also, do not allow direct sunlight to hit it.

Plants are transplanted into open ground when the threat of night frost has passed... They make the grooves deeper, fold the earth next to it, deepen the soil with a peg, where the sprout is placed. The distance between the plants is 20-25 cm, and between the furrows - 15 cm. The sprouts are sprinkled with a little earth. As they grow, soil is added until the furrow is level with the surface.

in order to get strong healthy seedlings, before sowing the seeds, the soil in the box is treated with a solution of sodium humate (3 teaspoons per three liters of water). The solution temperature should not exceed 30-33 degrees.

Leek care consists of:

  • in watering
  • weeding
  • hilling
  • dressing
  • mulching
  • treatment against diseases and insect pests.


Water the vegetable as the soil dries up, avoiding stagnant moisture in the beds. Watering is best done in the morning, before sunrise. A detailed description of watering onions in the open field is described at this link.

Do not allow infilling the crop with parasitic weeds... Weeding should be carried out weekly, clearing the soil around the leek from all excess.

In order for the plants to have a beautiful white leg, which is so appreciated by gourmets, leeks are spud three times per season.

Top dressing is carried out 3-4 times per season with fertilizers containing a minimum amount of nitrogen. A solution of cow dung or poultry manure is well suited for feeding.

To make the growing conditions of plants as comfortable as possible, the distance between them is mulched:

  • small straw
  • dry grass
  • dry manure.

If leeks are properly and timely looked after, then it will grow well and will not get sick, but if the disease nevertheless overtook the plants, then it is preferable to treat them not with chemicals, but with natural herbal preparations prepared by hand.

if, before sowing, the seeds of the culture are kept for 6 hours in a solution prepared from water and aloe juice (1: 1), then it is possible to avoid the incidence of plant diseases and the onslaught of insect pests.

Harvested in the fall. For long-term storage, the culture is placed in a basement or cellar. For a month, the vegetable is perfectly stored in the refrigerator. When to harvest leeks is described in this resource.


How to grow leek seedlings at home

Seeds for leek seedlings can be sown in unheated greenhouses or in the ground under a film shelter with the onset of stable warming and lengthening daylight hours. For these purposes, early ripening varieties are used, with a ripening period of no more than 120 days. Fast growing leeks have thin long white stems that are not stored but used immediately after harvest.

Seedlings are fed twice:

  • at the age of one month - with complex fertilizer no more than 1 g per 1 liter of water
  • at the age of 45 days - increase the concentration of the complex fertilizer to 1 tsp per 5 l of water.

Despite the fact that an adult plant can withstand frosts down to -5 ° C, when growing seedlings, they try to prevent sudden temperature jumps. The soil in seedling beds requires constant watering, loosening and weeding.

Only residents of the southern regions of our territories can grow leeks without seedlings, but additional efforts with seedlings from gardeners from regions with a cold climate still do not force them to abandon the cultivation of this crop. And now he is increasingly seen not only beautifully wrapped in transparent cling film in stores, but also in the garden beds. Gardeners achieve success, first of all, thanks to good care, but also because they do not ignore the influence of the moon on plants.


Watch the video: Growing Leeks from Seed to Harvest and Processing