Friday, May 1, 2009

Leeks and Garlic

As I was planning my garden, I remembered that when I planted leeks last year, there were some helpful things that resulted from them.
  • We enjoyed fresh leeks from the garden all winter by keeping them in the ground.
  • Leeks are a natural insect repellent. I planted them next to the cucumbers, and they kept away the Japanese beetles. We always had a problem with the Japanese beetles' LOVING to eat the cucumber leaves, but not last year!
Leeks are large onions that can be an inch wide. Their white part can be 3 inches tall. Elephant garlic, which is thought to be garlic, is a leek.

The wild "onions" that normally pop up in most people's yards are actually wild garlic. You can use the tops of the wild garlic like chives. A friend of mine told me that she uses the top green part chopped up for people to put in soup.

Another additional way to extend a harvest of garlic, is to cut off the unopened flowers, called scapes. They are located on the tips of the garlic plant. You can sauté them with mushrooms, or add them raw to your salad.

2 comments:

  1. I just learned a few things:

    I did not know that elephant garlic was a leek. Just thought they were in the same famiy.

    I've never used the tops of wild onions, but always thought you ought to be able to eat them!

    That is interesting to know about your experience with the leeks repelling the Japanese beetles. Something to keep in mind.

    Thanks for the info.:)

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  2. Anna, wonderful post!
    I am wondering if wild garlic will repel Japanese beetles from cucumbers as well.

    I have dug up wild garlic from random places around town (abandoned land) and replanted in my own backyard, near my compost bin. It grew all over town even during the winter (it was a mild winter here this year). The garlic is not very large in it's shoots!

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