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how to bulk up leeks

Independence, MO(Zone 6a)

I'm trying to grow leeks this year. They sprouted in cells just fine and a week or 2 ago I transplanted the 3"-long darlings into 6" pots. They're under grow lights 16 hrs/day, in a room that tends to be about 65 degrees. I check their water every day and they're not drying out, nor do I believe they're getting too much water. I've been using a weak Miracle-Gro solution to feed them about once a week. According to Burpee's book on vegetables (my bible), I'm to plant them outdoors after frost (2-4 weeks from now) when they're the thickness of a pencil. But they're still thread-like and don't seem to be growing in any dimension at all -- not longer, not wider. Can anyone help? Thanks!

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

how many leeks in each 6 inch pot?

Independence, MO(Zone 6a)

6 leeks in each 6" pot, but at present they all have plenty of room. Really -- buttonhole thread is thicker than these babies. 5 around the outside and one in the middle.

Efland, NC(Zone 7a)

Sounds like you are doing fine with them for now. Leeks are very slow growing and right now any growth being made will be mostly roots with very little top growth. I feed mine fish emulsion when young but when planted out they really love compost or well-aged manure. (Not sure you want the fragrance of fish emulsion in your house though!)

With young leeks, patience is a virtue.

Happy Growing!

Shoe

Independence, MO(Zone 6a)

Thanks for your help! I will be patient. I can endure fish emulsion in the house but I'm not sure the cat can. She's already utterly enamored of the bag of potting soil I have waiting for the tomatoes (t.b. transplanted from cells into pots this weekend). For fish emulsion she'd chew thru the door. Meanwhile, about 2 of the leeks per pot actually stood up yesterday, so they may be recovering from transplant shock at last.

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

First time with anything is a learning experience. I have a couple annuals busting down my door already, to go outside, that I shouldn't have started yet!
Be careful not to get them too wet. With that much soil, they have a lot of reserve moisture.

Independence, MO(Zone 6a)

Actually not my very first time with leeks. I tried them over 20 years ago, but I sowed them in the ground alongside my potatoes. They sprang up and fell over and that was the end of that. I'm handling them much more gingerly this time.

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