Leeks are one of the vegetable crops that has been known since ancient times. Today this kind of onion is spread almost all over the world. Especially much it is grown vegetable growers of Western Europe, America. And although the cultivation of leeks does not cause any particular difficulties, few of the farmers who know me have it on their plots, believing that its useful properties are no better than the usual onions. But this is not so..
- Useful properties of leeks
- Distinctive features of leeks as plants
- How to grow leeks
- Storage of leeks
In Belgium, for example, 10 kg of leeks are grown per capita, in France - 6 kg, in Norway, and in Finland - 3-4 kg. It is also grown in Russia, but the volume of cultivation is very limited, compared with Europe.
In the Kuban, unfortunately, the leeks have not found much recognition yet. Even in fans of exotic plants, it can be met very rarely. And in vain! After all, this type of onion is superior to the widespread on many indicators. It is more yielded than the bulbous one. With normal care, you can easily get 400-500 c / ha (4-5 kg from 1 square. m).
The leek is not affected by peronosporosis (powdery mildew). The onion, especially in wet years, is strongly affected by peronosporosis, which reduces the yield - this bow is poorly stored.
The leek does not form a real bulb, like the onion. For food, he uses the bottom bleached part before branching the leaves, which is called a leg or a false bulb.
European cuisine uses leek in soups, stews, and fresh. It is a good source of dietary fiber. One hundred grams of onion contains only 125 calories.↑ to the contents ↑.
Useful properties of leeks
The leek contains 10-12 times more vitamin C than the onion bulb. In addition, its leaves contain 13-15% of dry matter, so in winter it can be stored with leaves. If all vegetables, fruits, when stored in winter, lose nutrients, spend them on breathing, other processes of vital activity, then leeks - The only vegetable culture that, when stored, increases the percentage of nutrients, keeping them in the snow-white pedicle due to outflow from them leaves.
So, when laying leeks for storage, the leg contained 50-60 mg% of vitamin C, and after 3-4 months of storage it was 60-70 mg%. That is, its useful properties have increased.
Leeks are a cold-resistant plant. Its leaves withstand frosts to -7-8 °, and therefore in the Kuban it can be used for eating from open ground until late autumn (November-December) or early spring, as soon as the soil is thawed. Thus, using leeks from the open ground, from storage sites, you can make up for the lack of vitamin C in early spring, when there is an acute shortage of it. Have not you decided to cultivate leeks yet?
The leek has a high content of salts of potassium, calcium, sodium, iron, phosphorus, sulfur, vitamins C, B1, B2, E, PP, carotene. This plant contains an essential oil, which includes sulfur, which determines the specific flavor and peculiar taste of this dietary vegetable.
Due to the high content of sugars (, %) - glucose, fructose, sucrose, maltose, - the leek has a sweetish taste. Essential oil of onions does not irritate the respiratory system, does not leave a heavy onion odor after eating. Therefore, some gourmets call leek a noble bow, since after its consumption it is not a shame to go to the theater, cinema, to a concert..
Presence (up to 260 mg%) of salts of potassium stimulates activity of kidneys and promotes deducing of a liquid from an organism of the person. Due to the favorable ratio of mineral salts, vitamins, enzymes, the use of leeks increases the secretory function of the glands of the digestive tract, improves the activity of the liver, increases appetite, helps in the treatment of nephrolithiasis, rheumatism, atherosclerosis, obesity, physical and mental overwork.
Leek contains a unique combination of flavonoids, sulfur-containing substances.
Doctors of antiquity highly appreciated its medicinal properties. So, the ancient Roman doctor Amidovlat Amasiatsi writes the following: "Leek has welding and opening properties. It stops nosebleeds, opens a blockage of the liver, which arises from the mucus. Strengthens the male power with sexual potency and makes the seed abundant. But it is harmful to people with a hot nature. "↑ back to content ↑
Distinctive features of leeks as plants
This is a perennial plant with a two-year development cycle. In appearance it is similar to broad-leaved garlic. In the first year after sowing, leeks form a rosette of leaves and a grocery organ - an elongated stem (stalk) of light green or white color. The height of the stem depends on the variety and can vary from 10 to 80 cm, 2-7 cm in diameter. The length, width of the leaves, their number depends both on the growing conditions, as well as on the variety. The length of its leaves varies from 25 to 60 cm, and the width from 3 to 10 cm.
Usually the leek, when grown in the Kuban, forms 10-15 leaves. Leaves accrue from the central point of growth. Passing, like garlic, inside the tubular bases, form a dense stem - a leg. Leaves move away from the false stem in one plane in a fan-shaped manner. The average mass of a single plant is 200-300 g.
In the second year of life, after wintering in the ground or storing the uterine plants, planting them in the field, the leek forms a tall straight flower stem with a spherical umbrella. The number of flowers can reach thousands of pieces. Coloring the corolla of the flower can be from white to dark purple. Blossoms usually in July-August, seeds ripen in late September-October. Seeds are smaller than in the case of a large one.
At the base of the peduncles bulging bulbs of silvery-white color (the so-called pearl onion) are formed. Of such bulbs planted in the soil, again formed plants - the same as in the first year when growing leeks of seeds..
All variety of varieties, forms of leeks, which can be grown in the Kuban, is divided into two groups: the North-European and the South-European. Two varieties of the north-European group - the Karantanskiy, Sizokryll - are regionalized in our Krasnodar region. They are distinguished by a relatively short period of vegetation (autumn forms). They are characterized by a thick short (15-20 cm) leg with a compact fan arrangement of leaves of green or gray-green color with a strong waxy coating.
These varieties of leeks are well preserved in the winter in storage or refrigerator. In the Kuban they also have a good winter in the open ground. They can be cleaned as needed in late autumn and early spring, as soon as the soil is thawed. When planting in autumn to leaves, plants can withstand frosts down to -20 °..
The southern European group (it is often called the Bulgarian group) includes varieties with a high false stem (stalk) - up to 60-70 cm, cylindrical. The total height of the aerial part of the plant reaches, meter. Their leaves are narrow, light green in color, the wax coating is weak or completely absent. The leaves are loose, that is, there are gaps between the next leaves on the false stalk. The leeks of this group are not winter hardy. In the Kuban they are grown as an annual culture, cleaned in the autumn, before the onset of frost. We know the variety - Bulgarian.↑ back to content ↑
How to grow leeks
It is not only a cold-resistant plant, but very demanding for moisture, soil fertility. He responds very well to the introduction of mineral, especially organic fertilizers. Since the leek does not have a rest period, and the vegetative mass grows until the autumn, water consumption is especially great in autumn. The optimum soil moisture should be at least 70-75% of the APV (limit-field moisture capacity). Irregular irrigation, soil drying is unacceptable when growing leeks.
In contrast to the on-site, allocated for planting, cultivating leeks, for plowing (digging), 100-120 tons of manure or 40-50 tons of humus are applied per 1 hectare, or, respectively, 1 square meter. m - 10-12 kg of manure or 4-5 kg of humus.
In addition to organic fertilizers, mineral fertilizers: 3-4 tons of phosphorus, 2-3 tons of potassium, -2 tons of nitrogen per hectare, or 40, 30, and 20 g per 1 square. m.
When introducing mineral fertilizers, one must know that higher doses of nitrogen fertilizers, although they increase the yield, but decrease storage when stored-plants are less likely to overwinter in the ground.
Leeks can be propagated in a vegetative manner, as well as seeds. During vegetative propagation, it is possible to plant spotted bulbs (pearls) or air like on many-tiered onions, which are sometimes formed when growing seeds. During seed propagation, it is possible to grow seedlings or directly sow seeds in the soil. Seedlings are used when they want to get a leek crop earlier. Or in the north of Russia, when from the seeds sown in the ground, by the time the commercial plants do not have time to form.
Seedlings are grown in greenhouses, hotbeds, under temporary film shelters. When growing seedlings in greenhouses and greenhouses, the age of seedlings should be 60-70 days (2-3 real leaves should be formed).
Seed sowing is carried out in the first decade of February. Seeds of leeks swell for a long time, because of which shoots appear when sowing with dry seeds later than other types of onions. Therefore, it is desirable to sow the seeds with seeds, then shoots appear after 6-8 days.
At 1 square. m sow 12-15 grams of seeds. Before emergence, the temperature is maintained at 20-25 degrees, and then reduced by day to 18-20, at night to 10-12 degrees.
During the cultivation of seedlings, it is fed 2 times at the rate of 20 g of ammonium nitrate and potassium chloride per 30-40 g of superphosphate. Since superphosphate is difficult to dissolve, 3-4 days before top dressing is done. 7-10 days before planting, temperature-light hardening is carried out.
And 1-2 days before the planting, the seedlings are watered abundantly so that the root system is better preserved when the greenhouse or the greenhouse is sampled from the soil. The selected seedlings are cut by 1 / 3-1 / 2 leaves. Plant the seedlings on, -2 cm deeper than it grew in the greenhouse.
Schemes of planting seedlings in the cultivation of leeks may be different, but the width of rows should be at least 40-50 cm, because to obtain a gentle bleached leg, it is necessary to carry out hilling. The distance between the plants is 10-15 cm.
To get a leek crop for autumn consumption and winter storage, seed sowing should be done in early spring at the first opportunity to enter the site. If the sowing is carried out by a seeder, the best growing scheme is a three-row tape (40 +40 +60): 3, or one row at 45 cm, as well as two-line tape (50 + 20): 2. The seeding rate is 6-7 kg per 1 ha. During the formation of 2-3 true leaves, a breakthrough of 5-7 cm is carried out. According to our data, with this sowing scheme it is possible to obtain a high yield with good commercial qualities.
Leeks can be sown in summer - until July inclusive. By autumn, the plants will have 4-6 leaves, the diameter of the stem, Pre-bitten by the earth, the leek hibernates well. The next year in May-June, you can harvest.
Care for leeks consists of propolis, regular watering and loosening of rows. In the second half of the vegetation, it should be bored 1-2 times. This event will allow you to get a long, gentle, well-bleached foot.
Plants in the first period of life develop very slowly. Therefore, it can be sown together with more early-maturing crops (radish, salad, watercress, etc.). Well justify themselves, for example, a seed mixture of leeks with onions. At 1 square. m, a mixture (1 gram of seeds) of leeks and early varieties of onion is sown (Apogee, Early Yellow).
At the end of July they remove the onion on the greens. The leek, which grows relatively slowly until this time, receives a sufficient area of nutrition, and, therefore, begins to develop intensively.↑ back to content ↑
Storage of leeks
It is laid for storage both for food purposes, as well as mother plants, for obtaining seeds. In the Kuban, November is the best time for harvesting. The plants are digged with a shovel or pitchforks, shake the earth off the roots, put them in boxes.
It is desirable that during the performance of these works, soil particles do not fall between the leaves. The collected plants remove damaged, dirty leaves, pruning the roots, leaving them 1 -
You can store leeks in the vegetable store, basement or fridge. When stored in the vegetable storehouse or basement, plants are placed in rows close to the boxes at an angle of 50-60 degrees, interlacing each row with moist sand a layer of 4-5 cm.
When stored in a refrigerator carefully select healthy leeks, cool to storage temperature, then pack in plastic bags of 5-7 pieces (1 kg). Store at temperatures from minus 1 to plus 1 degree. At this temperature, retarded development of putrefactive microorganisms, slow processes of breathing and evaporation of moisture.
If you put non-cooled plants in plastic bags, when the temperature drops, condensation drops appear on the inner surface, and this is a favorable environment for the development of diseases.
A short time, leeks can be stored on the balcony, not allowing the temperature to drop below 4-5 degrees below zero. But even if the plants are frozen, they are still suitable for cooking.
From leeks you can cook many dishes. It is a great addition to any dish. See how easy it is to make an ornament for any leek salad..