Thursday, April 28, 2011

Leek Lucky Mate

My Leek confession:
1) I can't remember my first taste of leek but it must be in Japan when I buy ready-made set for nabe ryouri, ignorant that the cut veggies in the pack is leek. I must have eaten leek many times in Japan when I dine outside with friends but not paying attention on what I am eating.  My first taste of leek will be when I am already adult which is just a few years ago;-).
2) Leek is a new vocabulary to me. I know what leek is when we bought our first leek seeds through catalog last year because we wanted a new variety in the garden growing well in cool season.
3) My cousin Lenay has never known Leek until we grow them in the garden and had her first taste of leek from our home-grown.
4) I have never bought any leek since I married my husband.
Leek is very easy to grow and almost pest free. Don't need much water. Grow in full sun. Great as companion to other vegetables. Not sure about peas and beans though, I have never tried growing them together because so many companion planting referance said that allium family and beans don't like each other.

Leek grows well with pansy or viola in the garden. This combination make the garden look more ornamental. I really like growing leek in the front yard because combination of leek with any vegetables makes the garden more pretty.Pansy help cover the leek stem like blanching. At the back of leek are carrots and onion grown from sets.

Carrot and leek is a well known combination of companion planting.
This is an odd companion gardening , Europe and Asian fusion~chives, leeks and water spinach in the same pot. These allium help to reduce water spinach pest attack.
What is "Companion Week" and Seed Give-Away visit this post for more information.
Thank you for linking.

20 comments:

Cat-from-Sydney said...

MKG dear,
We read somewhere that the French ladies keep their figure by eating heaps of leek. Well, it is diuretic. Perhaps that explains it all. purrr...meow!

Alison said...

I love leeks! And I love how you have yours planted with pansies in front!

~Holly~ said...

My first taste of leeks was this year. I stayed away from them because I thought they tasted like onions. I don't like raw onions. I was pleasantly surprised by their flavor and sweetness. Now I'm a big fan!

Mark Willis said...

I like eating leeks (and many of our traditional British recipes include leeks), but I don't grow them. The reason is I believe that have a poor "Value for Space Rating" (VSR). They take a long time to grow, and we can buy them very cheaply in the shops. I have experimented with growing leeks in the past, but the yield was poor for the amount of effort involved, and the amount of time for which they occupied the ground.
Have you tried eating leeks raw, very thinly sliced? They are nice that way - especially the blanched white bits.

shaz said...

Thanks for the great tips! Never tried to grow leek before but I will give it a go, they look so good, and I love the taste :) (I remember eating the smaller version of leeks in Malaysia. I think they call them pencil leeks here?).

One said...

I've never thought of growing leek and have never cook it before either. Since you said it is easy to grow and that it looks good too, maybe I should start as well. Where did you get the plant from? Can we buy them from the supermarket and grow them like that? I'm increasing the varieties of veggie I have. Thanks for sharing.

Phoebe said...

I like the leeks with pansys! Im growing Sweet Alyssum with the veggies over winter to help with pollinators and attract the good bugs.
I find leeks really easy to grow! I just start them off in toilet rolls and then transplant really deeply and thats it! I do pick them young though and use all the greens...
Love your work Diana!

kitchen flavours said...

Love your leeks! I have been looking round for the seeds for ages, can we plant them from the leek that we buy from the market, usually with roots? I need to experiment on that! I love leeks! Since they grow well with carrots, this is even better. Thanks, Diana, for sharing this great info! Have a lovely weekend!

Stephanie said...

Leek is nice! Yours look really tasty. Love them in vege soup and cook with duck meat. Have a great weekend.

Bangchik and Kakdah said...

I am not sure I have eaten leek, but I cant remember Kakdah consciously bought leek for the kitchen. Almost like onion leaves...

Malay-Kadazan girl said...

Cat-from-Sydney~ You are motivating me to sow some more leek this fall. As in winter it is so easy to eat and eat and eat. Hopefully leek will help to keep us in good shape.

Allison~ We plan to inter-plant pansy and leek again this year in certain patches as it add some colour in the garden during winter.

Holly~ I was surprised too when I first tasted leek and found it sweet. I like to add leek in Korma.

Mark~ Oh I will try it raw. Carrots have poor VSR rating here as it is so cheap to buy and home-grown takes a long time to harvest. But nothing beats fresh things from the garden. Leek does take a long time to grow. I was thinking not to give a special patch for leek this year but inter-planting them with other vegetables or grow them in deep containers. I tried growing leek last spring in container and it work well.

Shaz~ Maybe your feral pest wont bother leek. pencil leek? Don't know lah, I have never bought or saw them in Malaysia market:).

Malay-Kadazan girl said...

Kwee Peng~ I grow them from seeds. I think some leek produce bulbil as well but I am not quite sure whether this will produce reliable leek produce or not.The leaves can be eaten but the stem is where all the juicy stuff is. For spring onions you can grow them back if they are root attach on the bottom part of the plant. However, with leek I don't know whether this method can be used or not.

Phoebe~ Leek is the most easiest plant to grow in winter as you plant them, you don't have to take care of it anymore providing we have enough rain and sunshine. Totally agree with you.

Joyce~ I am not sure about leek growing from root because I have not tried it before. But you can try. Leek grows really slow, must have the patience for it;-).

Stephanie~ Leek are really good in soup. But they taste good in korma and curry too!

Bangchik and Kakdah~Leek leaves are much similar to garlic.

Mr. H. said...

Sure wish we could grow leeks that look as nice as yours do...they struggle to grow large enough for us though, but they still taste good.:)

Jennifer@threedogsinagarden said...

I had not thought about growing leeks-maybe i should give them a try in my new vegetable garden!

Green Lane Allotments said...

I'm afraid that here the leek moth is heading across the country and allium leaf miner which affects onions and garlic too.

milka said...

Leek is one of the auspicious dishes for lunar new year, it has the meaning of 'calculating of wealth' (increasing the wealth). I love them stir-fry with beef! - Never show in my garden yet.

catmint said...

Dear MKg, I love leeks, and I especially love the photo of the vegs with the pansies in front. Look forward to getting sunflowers like in the photo of the post below. cheers, catmint

fer said...

Leek is great! I saw them growing it along with the strawberries at the ichigogari, they do very good against pests.
There are so many things I never realized about the food I had eaten for so many years until I got to Japan and more into gardening, is always great to learn more things

Malay-Kadazan girl said...

Mr. H~ I have been growing leek in different location in winter and spring to see which patch will leek grow best and fast. Hopefully with this observation, my plan will go well with leek this fall.

Jennifer~I hope you try leek in your new vegetable beds and maybe in the flower bed too;-). They give lovely foliage.

Sue~I wonder how it all begin. This moth is immune to allium scent? Adaptation...

Milka~Oh like this have to eat a lot of leek to increase wealth and hope I have more space to grow them...hehehe...you planted leek?

Catmint~I hope those sunflowers will be very cheerful in your grandson and your patch too.

Malay-Kadazan girl said...

Fer~ I took vegetable for granted for so long until I start gardening. Since many Japan vegetables are similar to my country that I did take notice of them until I come living in Australia where many veggies were not familiar to me.