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09. June 2018

Planting leek in dry soil

It's so dry and hot outside! Does this mean that you won't be able to grow your favorite vegetables right now? Of course not! This post is about planting leek in dry soil, but I use this method for many other vegetables too.

Ett knippe med purjolök i små plantor ligger på jorden.

It's really easy to separate the tuft, simply pull the plants out, either one by one or in clusters.

 

I feel so sorry for the soil in my garden right now! It's so dry everywhere, except the spots I covered with mulch. I haven't even planted some of my pre-cultivated vegetables yet simply because I know that I won't be able to give them enough water. A few of the best spots in the garden are still empty. But it's just too dry so I decided to wait for rain before I get going.

 

Planting leek in dry soil

There's one exception though: My leek. It can't wait much longer. I managed to produce a nice batch but I need to put it outside so it can start growing larger.

I managed to find a temporary solution for now. I'm going to let my leek grow in little clusters in a pallet collar until we get some rain. I have a few spots in mind where I can plant my leek in a week or so.

 

En hand håller ett knippe med små purjolöksplantor.

I sowed this leek in late spring and I've kept it outside since. It looks really nice considering that treatment! Your leek will grow nicely in the shade or partial shade if you decide to start in late spring.

 

Leaving your leek in the polytunnel

I sowed this leek in late spring, around April. I've kept it in my polytunnel since. I put the sowings I don't want to spend too much energy on in troughs right on the ground, between other vegetables (for example tomatoes and cucumbers.) Push the roots through the holes in the bottom of the trough so that it can absorb some water and nutrients from the soil underneath. It works like a charm! This is how my leek has managed to thrive so far. As you can see, I haven't cut it. Simply because I forgot to. But my leek doesn't seem to mind that much!

 

Working in dry soil

The soil in this pallet collar is tightly packed and very dry. I decided to loosen the soil with a small shovel. After that, I put the leek in little clusters of about 3-6 leeks. I planted the clusters in four pits, four in each row along the short edges.

Putting your vegetables in little pits like these is a really good idea if you're planning on planting them in dry soil. When I water my leeks, the water gathers around the bulbs and then flows into the loosened soil around the plants. This is much better than having it just flow out to the sides of the pallet collar. Your row might get a bit thin with these pits but I'm fine with that as long as the vegetables survive! I hope I'll get that lucky now that I'm using so little water.

 

Närbild på purjolöksplantor som är satta i en lite grop, det står vatten runt plantan.

This is my favorite method for planting leek in dry soil. Just look at all that water surrounding the plant! You can use this method for other vegetables too, for example, cabbages, chard or potatoes.

 

Use fertilizer

I need to use some extra fertilizer now that the soil is so dry. After that, I'll cover the soil with grass clippings. When the soil is this dry, there's really no point in covering it straight away. This will just make the mulch absorb moist from the soil when it starts to decompose. Instead, try to water the bed a few times so that the soil gets a chance to absorb the water before you add the mulch.

My leek is still quite small here and there's a risk that the grass clippings will fall on top of the plants. I'll put the grass here anyway, especially around the edges of the pallet collar. Adding mulch to your pallet collar beds really makes a huge difference when it's so warm and dry.

I planted my leek early in the morning (I usually do this early in my free time, before the rest of the family wakes up) and watered it at the same time. The first day, I also watered the leeks at night and added a bit of diluted urine. My plan is to water the leeks one more time tomorrow morning before I add the mulch.

 

 

En pallkrage fotograferad ovanifrån.

This is what my pallet collar looks like after I've watered it. The water is gathering in little holes around the plants and spreads to the soil surrounding the roots.

 

Planting leek in dry soil is really easy if you do it this way, in clusters in little pits in the soil. You can use this method for many other vegetables too! I'll post more articles and videos on this subject soon. Good luck planting leek in dry soil!
/Sara Bäckmo

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