Friday, March 13, 2009

The Taming of the Leeks

It's no secret to anyone that has read this blog before that I have a thing for leeks. I've got a patch of leeks growing in my garden, and of course, they are growing too close together. And of course I probably should have thinned them weeks ago. I haven't had much luck thinning anything in the past so I wanted to do it right this time.

I waited until my Vegetable Gardener's Biblearrived and read up on how to become one with my leeks. I read the leek section several times and decided to take the book out to the garden with me to follow the steps as closely as I could.

You know you're not a natural gardener when your essential gardening supplies consist of reading glasses and a how-to book. But I took the book out there and attempted to cull the herd. Instead of discarding the extras I tried to replant them like the author showed in the book. I now have two very crooked rows that look like they were made by someone slightly over the legal limit for driving and some very sickly-looking droopy leeks flopping over in these rows.

Apparently when you transplant leeks (and I took this to mean the same as thinning) you lightly pull the soil away from their roots and trim the roots to about 2 inches long. I'll admit right now to skipping that step. I forgot to bring scissors and I only know where a pair of green plastic safety scissors are kept so I knew they wouldn't work. The roots were all about 2 inches long anyway, so I'm convincing myself that skipping that step is acceptable.

Then you dig a trench about 8 inches deep, bung in said scraggly, trimmed baby leeks, cover with soil and mound it up a bit, water and viola - transplanted leeks.

I am completely convinced that they won't take root and will just droop, turn brown and die off. This is not negative thinking. This is my gardening reality. I do keep moving forward though.

The baby leeks that did not survive my uprooting are sitting in my fridge. I don't know if you can eat tiny little baby leeks, but I'm going to give it a shot. Many of them are skinnier than a pencil, but they smell like leeks and look like leeks so I think I'll wash them and chuck them into the Beef Stroganoff I'm making tonight and feel content in my vegetable growing power.


engineeredgarden said...

Kate, I saw that book at the bookstore today. The author has another good one about growing vegetables in self-watering containers too. I showed a couple of your posts to my wife last night, and she thought they were really funny! She wants to join the sweaty hoe club. :-)


Daphne said...

Yes you can eat your baby leeks. In fact there are some varieties that are grown to be eaten as babies. Errr not that I'm a baby eater mind you, just thought you might want to know.

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