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Step By Step Guidelines For Leek Cultivation in India

Leek Cultivation is an ancient crop and is native to the Eastern Mediterranean and the Middle East. The Leek plant is related to the onion and has a mild, sweet, onion-like taste. These vegetable stalks are often used in European stews and soups, especially as a complement to potatoes, and you can cook it as a vegetable. Farmers cultivate the leeks for their flowering stems and leaves. It is a biennial plant, eaten as a salad and used in flavouring soups.

In the procedure of growing leek, farmers need the most prominent equipment that is the tractor. Therefore, we recommend the New Holland 3037, Massey 241 tractor. Other than this rotavator, cultivator, tillage is also important in farming.

How to Grow Leeks?

Farmers grow leeks for their thick, succulent stems. They are a mildly flavoured alternative to onions. Leeks require a long growing season – up to 170 days. Therefore, they grow best in cool, mild climates.

There are two kinds of leeks: Long-season and short-season:-

Long season – leeks have thick, cylindrical stems. They take about 170 days to ripen. Long season leeks are harvested in late summer through winter.

Short-season leeks have thin stems. They mature in about 120 days. These short-season leeks are harvested during the summer. They are less hardy than long-season leeks. 

Where to Plant Leeks

  • Grow leeks in full sun. However, leeks will tolerate partial shade.
  • Leeks grow best in well-draining soil rich in organic matter. Add two inches of aged compost or commercial organic planting mix to the planting bed in the spring before planting. Make the soil 12 inches deep.
  • A pH of the soil is  6.0 to 6.8 is best for leeks.
  • Farmers Grow leeks where legumes have been grown recently. They can benefit from nitrogen in the soil.
  •  Farmers sow or transplant the leeks into trenches. Trench-planting is one way to make the stems more tender and flavorful.
  • Prepare a trench 6 to 8 inches (15-20 cm.) deep and 4 to 6 inches (10-15 cm.) wide. You should transplant seedlings to the bottom of the trench. As plants grow, backfill soil around the plants until the trench is eventually filled.
  • You can also white the leek stems through wrapping the plastic tube and paper around the stem.  

Leeks Planting Time

  • This plant needs 120 – 170 days for harvesting, depending on the variety.
  • Leeks grow best in temperatures between 55°F and 75°F (13-24°C). Warm weather will slow growth.
  • You can grow leeks through transplants indoors or sow the seeds directly in the garden.
  •  Farmers should sow leek seeds indoors in early spring; Begin sowing seeds indoors 10 to 6 weeks before the last expected spring frost.
  • You should transplant the seedlings into the garden 4 – 5 weeks before the expected spring frost when they are about 4 inches (10 cm) tall. Farmers should plant seedlings in the garden no earlier than the beginning of summer for an autumn harvest.
  • Keep the tops of the plants 4 inches (10 cm) tall until they are transplanted into the garden to encourage stocky stem growth.
  • In mild winter climates, start sowing seeds indoors or directly in the garden 12 weeks before the first frost in autumn to harvest in late autumn or early winter.
  • Leeks can tolerate hot temperatures, but growth will slow down.
  • Mature leek vegetables can tolerate cold and will survive under an insulating blanket of snow.
  • Plant 12 to 15 leek plants per family member.

Planting and Spacing Leeks

  • Sow leek seeds inch (12 mm) deep.
  • Seeds germinate in 10 -14 days at 70°F (21°C).
  • Thin or transplant leeks 4 to 6 inches (10-15 cm) apart. Space rows 12 to 16 inches (30-40 cm) apart.
  • Staggered leeks in double rows; This will give the fan leaves more room to grow.
  • Leeks can be sown or transplanted into a trench 5 to 6 inches (12-15 cm). Trench planting allows the soil around the stems to fill back in as they grow; This is a method of blanching the stems. (Boiled stems will be white and tender)
  • If farmers transplant a seedling into a trench, fill the soil back inconsistently to cover it all but the leaves’ top 1 or 2 inches (2.5-5 cm).
  • The trenches are filled gradually during the growing season.
  • You can also allow water to naturally collapse the soil around the plants you fill in the trenches.

Caring for Leeks

  • To develop large, white, succulent galls, blanch the lower part of the stem by raising the soil or mulching around the stalk to block out light from developing. You can also allow the trenches to fall just around the stems. Blanching will make the stalks long and tender.
  • Move around the stalk just below the leaf junction. Do not add mulch higher than the leaf junction; This will help prevent soil from getting between the leaves and the stem.
  • Add 12 inches or more of straw over the plants as the weather nears freezing. You should protect the leeks from cold temperatures.

Harvest and Storing Leeks

  • You can harvest the leek as soon as they are big enough to use and when they are shallot size. 
  • Leeks will be close to their mature size when the stems reach 1 to 2 inches (2.5–5 cm) in diameter, and the leaves are 12 to 18 inches (30–45 cm.)
  • For leek growth, cut off the top half of the leaves about mid-summer.
  • Plants taste better once a light frost hits.
  • Pick leeks during the winter as you need them but harvest before the ground freezes.

Health Benefits of Leek Vegetable  

Leeks provide flavonoids, and especially one called kaempferol. Flavonoids contain antioxidants and may have anti-diabetic, anti-inflammatory and anticancer properties and other health benefits. However, definitive evidence of these health benefits of leeks will depend on future studies with humans. Other health benefits of leeks Vegetable include: 

Cancer Risk Reduction

Plants in the Allium family may be associate with a lower risk of certain cancers. Cancers of the prostate, stomach, colon and oesophagus are rare in people who consume a lot of garlic, shallots, chives, onions and leeks. Researchers believe that the antioxidants present in allium vegetables repair damaged DNA. In addition, several studies have found evidence of a reduced risk of colorectal cancer. An analysis of 16 studies found that all vegetables in the allium family provide these health benefits.

Strong Bones

Leeks contain vitamin K, which may reduce the risk of osteoporosis. Some studies show a link between a higher intake of vitamin K and denser bones, a lower risk of hip fractures. In some parts of the world, health officials have approved vitamin K for osteoporosis. However, the Drug and food administration has not endorsed it in the United States.

Healthy Eyes

Leeks contain zeaxanthin and lutein, two substances that protect the eyes. These substances, known as carotenoids, reduce the risk of cataracts and age-related macular degeneration. These two eye conditions can seriously impair vision and negatively affect the quality of life. They are common in older people.

Weight Management

Leeks are a low-calorie food; that’s why it is considered a weight management program. The fibre and water in leeks can give you a feeling of satiety. Leeks also add a lot of food flavour and make eating healthy dishes enjoyable.

Farming requires the most prominent kind of equipment, which plays a major role in agro-processing. Therefore, equipment, harvesters, and tractors are the major ones in Leek Cultivation. Hence, we recommend the New Holland 3600, Mahindra 275 tractor, which is better for increasing efficiency in the field.

For more information regarding Leek Cultivation Business in India, stay tuned with us.

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