Leek

Family: Alliaceae
Common Name: Allium Porrum

The leek was cultivated as early as 2500 BC by the Sumerians and was probably introduced to England by the Romans. However, it is the Welsh with whom it is generally associated as it has been part of their culture since the 12th century and is still their national symbol. Mostly treated as an annual, it is grown for its stem, which has a mild, onion-like flavor. The French have immortalized the leek in dishes like vichyssoise. Allium porrum is a bulbous plant, similar to the onion, but the leaves are broad and flat and the bulb is a tubular shape. A good seed catalogue will list numerous culti­vars.

Cultivation

Propagate from seed sown in early spring, either in an outdoor seed bed or in mod­ules in a heated greenhouse. Plant out when seedlings are 6-8 cm (2½-3 in) tall. For long, well-blanched stems which will he very tender, plant in deep holes so that only the tops of the leaves are showing. Water in well. Space plants about 20 cm (8 in) apart, in rows about 45 cm (18 in) apart. Leeks like a rich, loamy soil and plenty of water in dry periods in the growing season. Keep weeds controlled and apply a complete fertilizer in bands along the rows at a rate of about 60 grams per metre (two ounces per yard).

Climate

Zone 6.

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Lavatera      Lemon