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Planting Leeks - Belgian style

Aug 16, 2010
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 Today, my mother-in-law (known as "Mami" to our sons) and I planted leeks which should be ready for harvest as of mid October. Leeks are a very popular crop in Belgium so much so that it's hard to find a family kitchen garden without them. Belgian gardeners, in general, start their leeks from young plants as opposed to seeds. The slideshow below shows the 3 simple steps involved in planting: stringing a line to form straight rows, digging 8 inch holes (which we did with a custom made fork but which you can do with a hand trowel), and planting one leek per hole. As the leeks grow, you can hill them up (push soil up around the base) to encourage the plants to produce long white stems.

Comments

Thank you for these wonderfully lucid views of planting leeks where they are familiar fare. Recipes to follow in season, we hope. I wonder how long that leek-planting fork design has been in use? It reminds me of wooden seed-stripping tools I saw in Bavaria that I have also seen in woodcuts from a French encyclopedia of farming, circa 1534. I think your wooden fork was probaby hanging on the wall back then.
Glad you like it. The bright side of Belgium's famously overcast sky is that it's very easy to take clear photos with nicely saturated colors.
Hi Roger I thought i had seen most things in gardening but that 'Multi Dibber' is a new one on me. I imagine it will really speed up the planting process. I think you would struggle to find one in a shop, it looks like a home designed tool. When planting leeks they say not to backfill the holes with soil. When the leek is dropped in the hole just pour a little water into the hole from a watering can. This will wash sufficient soil around the roots to allow the leek to grow and fill the hole. Glenn
I think the tool looks like the head of an adze...
Planted leeks from six pack last year and now harvesting. Six pack had 4-8 3-inch high seedlings, so just planted them like that. The leeks have generally made room for each other, so am harvesting six clumps of 4-8 full-sized leeks. I see these leeks are being planted 1 per hole, and they look pretty big. How old are they? How are they produced?
These plantings are 1 per hole, and fairly large starts. How are these starts produced, please.

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