American Flag Leek

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American Flag Leek is a member of the onion family and has thick, fleshy, white 8-10-inch tall stalks that are about 1 inch at the base. Unlike green onions, leeks do not form a bulb and have very wide leaves.  These stems are tender and have excellent flavor, making them ideal fresh or cooked in soups. Leeks have a mild, onion-like taste. In its raw state, the vegetable is crunchy and firm. Leeks can be bunched and harvested early when they are about the size of a finger or pencil, or they can be thinned and allowed to grow to a much larger mature size.

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Plant Name:
Leek, American Flag
Latin Name:
Allium ampeloprasum
Days to Germinate: 7-14
Days to Harvest: 120
Germination Rate: 87%
Test Date: 10/21
Growth Habit: Root
USDA Zones: 2-9
Lifespan: Perennial
Country of Origin: United States
Sunlight: Full Sun, Partial Shade
GMO: No
Pollination:
Heirloom, Open-Pollinated
Fungicide-Treated Seeds*: No
Seeds Packed For**: 2022

*Fungicide-treated seeds protect the seedlings from diseases until they are up and growing. Do not eat treated seeds.
**Seeds are freshly packed for the growing season of the year listed. Seeds are still viable beyond pack date. Store in a cool and dry location such as the refrigerator or basement to best preserve germination rates.


Planting Instructions:

 

Soil Preparation and Fertilizing:


Choose an area with well-draining soil and receives full sunlight each day. When it is dry enough to not stick to garden tools, work the soil. Before seeding or transplanting, remove all rocks and trash from the soil, then dig or plow the soil 4-6 inches deep and rake up several times to break up large clods. Tip: If you live in an area with heavy clay or hard soil, add a 1 inch layer of compost to improve soil texture.

Planting:

Leeks prefer cooler weather and can survive winters to produce again in the spring. To plant leek seeds, it may be preferable to start seeds indoors about 12 weeks before you plan to transplant them to the garden since leeks require a long growing time. Leek seeds need temperatures of at least 50°F to germinate properly.  Or, you may direct sow leek seeds outdoors by planting them 1/2 inch deep. You may use a string line to create a trench if you prefer straight rows, plant, then pinch to cover seeds. Place the seeds 2 inches apart in rows spaced 1-2 feet apart. When the plants are about 2 inches high, thin them to 1 plant every 4-6 inches. You may eat the extra plants as young ramps. 
 

Planting Depth: 1/2 inch
Within-Row Spacing:
2 inches, then 4-6 inches
Between-Row Spacing:
1- 2 feet

 

Care During the Season:

Watering: Watering once a week is usually enough in the Spring. You may need to water more often during dry, windy weather. Slow, deep watering helps the root system grow strong. 
 
Weeding and Pruning: Weeds are easy to pull or cut when they are 3-4 inches tall. Try not to let weeds or grasses grow large because they will compete with green onions for nutrients. If hoeing to remove weeds, be careful not to cut too deeply  as cutting the feeder rooters may slow the plant's growth. It is better to pull by hand when possible.

Fertilizing: When the leek plants are the size of a pencil, you may optionally till around the plants and apply fertilizer to help grow larger leeks. Use about 1/2 cup of fertilizer for each 10 feet of row. Scatter the fertilizer evenly between the rows around the plants. Then water the leek after adding the fertilizer. 
 
Insecticides: Leeks have few insect problems. Many Insecticides are available in garden centers for use if needed. Bt-based insecticides and sulfur are organic options that can be used. Sevin is a synthetic insecticide option. Before using a pesticide, please read the label and always follow cautions, warnings and directions.

Diseases: Diseases may be problem on onions. Brown leaf tips or brown spots on the middle and lower parts of leaves may be caused by plant diseases. Sulfur has fungicidal properties than can help control many diseases. Neem oil and other fungicides are available for use. Please always follow cautions, warnings, and directions.
 

Harvesting:

Leeks may be picked when they are about 1 inch in diameter. Harvest the largest plants first so that those left can continue to grow. You may also cut leeks at the base, leaving an inch above the ground. Leeks will continue to grow at the cut point. Leeks keep for several weeks if maintained at temperatures near 35°F and a relative humidity near 90%.

 

Nutrition Facts:

 

Calories 4
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0 g 0%
Saturated fat 0 g 0%
Polyunsaturated fat 0 g
Monounsaturated fat 0 g
Cholesterol 0 mg 0%
Sodium 1 mg 0%
Potassium 11 mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 0.8 g 0%
Dietary fiber 0.1 g 0%
Sugar 0.2 g
Protein 0.1 g 0%
Vitamin A 2% Vitamin C 1%
Calcium 0% Iron 0%
Vitamin D 0% Vitamin B-6 0%
Cobalamin 0% Magnesium 0%
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.