It is an onion like plant raised for its pungent leaves and long leaf stems. The leek (Allium possum) belongs to the lily family (Liliaceae) and is closely related to onion and garlic. Its stems are usually branched and both the stems and leaves are used as flavouring in soups and stews. The stems are also eaten raw as in salads or boiled and eaten like asparagus.
The leek is a hardy biennial believed to have originated in the Mediterrenean region. It is now grown in many parts of the world. Propagation is by seed which is often sown in early spring in a greenhouse or hot bed. The seedlings are then transplanted to a field in late spring. Sometimes the seed is sown directly in the field.
A deep loamy soil well supplied with moisture is essential for a good crop. The plants are spaced 3 to 6 inches apart in rows that are 15 inches apart. During the growing season, soil should be built up gradually around the stems of the plants to ensure branching. Too much soil around the young plants may cause the leaves to decay. The wild leek grows up to 10 inches tall and has onion-scented leaves and bulb and an umbel of white flowers. Leeks are very rich in vitamins A, B and C. It also contains iron in plenty.
Benefit and uses of Leeks.
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