Leeks are a member of the onion family and are an ideal alternative to be used in the winter season. The white base of the leeks is the most important part, which is widely used in the culinary world. And if not grown properly, the entire leek plant will become green.
Even though the green part is also edible and can be used in soups and stocks, the white base is the vital part. Learn how to grow leeks in toilet rolls to get the proper white base with our easy instructions.
Growing leeks in toilet rolls might seem an odd idea, but the trick behind it is that it covers the leeks’ base and blocks out the sunlight. It gives leeks their white and tender base that You can use in various dishes. Follow this article to learn how to grow leeks in toilet paper and some bonus tips for taking care of leeks.
How to Grow Leeks in Toilet Rolls
If your leeks have long green stalks and no white base, it is most likely that your plants are getting too much sun exposure. The trick here is to cover the leeks so they do not get direct sun, and their bases stay white, tender, and delicious. If you don’t want your leeks to turn into long green stalks, then follow our simple guide to learn how to grow leeks in toilet rolls.
Using toilet rolls is completely safe for the environment as they are made of cardboard paper and are compostable, making them eco-friendly. If you plan to cultivate leeks, begin collecting toilet rolls in advance. You don’t have to worry about it as you will only need it when the leeks start growing out of the ground. You can also easily buy toilet rolls in bulk at very cheap prices.
- Step 1: Prepare the Soil
- Step 2: Planting the Leeks
- Step 3: Filling the Burrows
- Step 4: Watering
- Step 5: Prepare the Toilet Rolls
- Step 6: Placing the Toilet Rolls
- Step 7: Watch Them Grow!
Items You Will Need
- Leek seeds or bulbs
- Toilet rolls
- Potting mix/soil
- Large American Flag Leek Seeds | NON-GMO
- Type: Heirloom |Size at Maturity: 8" to 10" long
- Light Requirement: Full Sun
- Sowing Method: Indoor Sow
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- Down to Earth Vegetable Garden is a five pound box of all natural fertilizer with 4-4-4 formula
- This veggie fertilizer provides the perfect start for your sprightly spring greens, it gives your summer tomatoes super-powers, and it's fantastic for growing your favorite frangrant herbs
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- Ideal for use throughout the growing season
Step 1: Prepare the Soil
Start by preparing the right mix of soil for the healthy growth of your leeks. A good potting mix with equal soil and sand ratio is an excellent choice. Add compost to your soil to enrich it with healthy nutrients required for growth. Avoid using fresh manure.
Take out your digging tools and dig about an 8 inches hole in the soil to plant leeks. Make sure to choose a location that receives plenty of sunlight. Make several furrows around 7 inches deep in the soil and leave about 12 inches of space between each.
Step 2: Planting the Leeks
Now that you have prepared the soil, it is time to plant the leeks. You can either use leek bulbs to plant them or use seeds. Plant your seeds about one inch deep in the soil. If you are planting seedlings, it is important to plant them just as deep as they were planted in their original container. Maintain the distance while planting to ensure there is sufficient place to grow.
Step 3: Filling the Burrows
After planting the seeds or the seedlings, cover the top layer of the soil. In the case of seeds, lightly cover their top entirely, while for seedlings, leave their green parts out.
Step 4: Watering
Now water the seeds thoroughly but avoid overwatering. Water regularly to ensure healthy growth. Keep the soil lightly moist but prevent it from waterlogging. Once the seeds start sprouting, you can add a layer of mulch. Wait until 6 weeks at least, and watch if the sprouts have grown two leaves before you add mulch. Mulch will help retain the moisture in the soil.
Step 5: Prepare the Toilet Rolls
Take some toilet rolls and cut them in half to get a size of 2 to 4 inches. You can use a single roll for two leek plants. You can also use kitchen paper rolls. Since they have large sizes, you can cut them into three or four parts.
Step 6: Placing the Toilet Rolls
Once you have prepared the toilet rolls of appropriate sizes, it is time to place them in the soil to cover the leeks. Gently slide down the toilet rolls on the leek; make sure you are very careful not to harm the young plants. As you put the toilet rolls on the leeks, push them down about half an inch in the soil. Don’t push too deep or too hard so as not to disrupt or damage the roots.
Step 7: Watch Them Grow!
Now you are all set and done. It is time to take care of the leeks as you normally would and watch them grow into big healthy plants. Keep applying fertilizers between once every week or every two weeks. It will result in a good healthy harvest that is delicious and enriched with nutrients.
How to Harvest Leeks?
After taking care of them and nourishing them for months, your hard work will be paid off with a bountiful harvest of leeks. Leeks will be ready to be harvested in late summer or early autumn. It is quite simple to harvest the leeks. When fully grown, gently pull them out of the ground.
It is best to loosen up the soil around the leeks to make the process easier and avoid damaging the harvest. Frost can make it especially difficult to harvest the leeks, making the soil very hard. In such a case, using sandy soil will help.
Common Leek Diseases and Pests
Leek is the favorite target of slugs, so be wary of them. They might chew off the leaves of your plant. Some other pests commonly target leeks are thrips, onion maggots, and leaf miners. The best organic remedy to get rid of and prevent any pests and diseases is using neem oil. If a pest infestation occurs, remove the affected plants immediately to prevent pests from spreading to other leek plants.
Leek is most commonly affected by diseases such as blight and leek rust. These diseases often occur during the humid season. To avoid these diseases, make sure you do not overwater the plants and ensure good air circulation. If you see any blight or leek rust signs, remove those leaves as soon as possible.
You can easily leave your leeks in the ground if you do not want to eat them right away. They can be stored in the ground till next spring.
If you don’t want to leave them in the ground, harvest them and store them in a cool place, like a refrigerator or cold storage. Under the right conditions, leeks can be stored for several months.
Growing your vegetables can be very rewarding, and the taste and quality can be much better than the store-bought vegetables. Leeks are widely used in various cuisines, and their bulb can also be used as a replacement for shallots. If you are growing your leeks, you might face the issue of having long green stalks with no good edible parts. It most likely occurs due to direct sun exposure.
We have taught you an ingenious method to avoid this issue and grow perfect leeks. Now that you have learned how to grow leeks in toilet rolls, it is time to enjoy your harvest. We appreciate your feedback!