A gardener can use the leek offcuts from the kitchen for growing leeks. When making a dish using leeks one normally cuts off the bulbous base with roots on it and throws it away. Such a pity, for they regrow easily. Plant them in the garden, regularly watered compost works best. Immerse them in soil to cover the root bulb and leave some stem exposed above the soil. They resprout from the root section and within days you will see the inner circles of the new leaves at the core outgrow the outer, older leaves. Not only do you save on waste, using a resource you would normally throw away or compost, but leeks grown this way grow much faster than growing leeks from seed, an added bonus.
These leeks re-sprouted from kitchen offcuts soon yield leaves for harvesting. We chop them up in soups or use them in herb combinations for various purposes. As you can see in the picture from a few years back, they can regrow completely and even reach the point of producing their beautiful and unique looking pompom flowers and making seed. Click on the link below to see pictures of the beautiful diversity of colours and sizes of Alliums flowers. The Allium family often have these lovely pompom shaped flowers, and add beauty to your vegetable garden. Onions are also easy to re-sprout, but more of that on another page, as it works a little differently.
I practiced sowing Allium seed, both leek and onion, two weeks ago at the farm where I do my informal internship under Karen Parkin, the expert in permaculture seed saving. Allium seed look like small roughly 3x2 mm squarish flat parcels, dark in colour. These were black. Scatter the seed thinly straight from the packet so they are peppered around about 1-2cm apart. Then scatter loose soil on top about 2mm thick and tamp lightly. We used a fifty fifty mix of sand and fine sifted compost for the cover layer, and to fill boxes that had become depleted of soil due to planting out. As a planting container you could use a six pack, a plug tray or a single box of soil as we do in the seed frames we use on the farm.
The leeks came up very well, like hairs on a dog’s back, but the Australian Brown Onions were a bit patchy in germination.
Here you can see labelled seedlings (always label when you sow, and include the date) coming up in these lovely wooden frames designed and made by the land owner’s daughter. The frames are also excellent for cuttings like lavender. They can be made to order.
Please let me know if you have any questions, comments or stories to share on gardening, permaculture, regenerative agriculture, food forests, natural gardening, do nothing gardening, observations about pests and diseases, foraging, dealing with and using weeds constructively, composting and going offgrid.
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