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Trimming leeks

Trimming leeks

Trimming back leeks is really satisfying. Here, I’m doing the first planting. With most indoor veggie seedlings and my two-lamp fluorescent fixtures, it’s lots of tray rotating and light height adjusting to keep the stretching to a minimum.

Leek can reach all they want: at three inches (7.5cm) or so, I snip them back to about an inch (2.5cm). What could be simpler?! This goes for the onions coming up as well.

With nice low seedlings, the light can be better concentrated across the trays, and cutting back may ensure stockier growth, which is generally a good thing when it comes to seedlings (update: I read a pretty definitive-sounding study that disproved the growing-stockier part; either way, it’s worth trimming just for keeping them closer to the light).

This is the first year of starting both leek and onion indoors from seed (in the past, it’s been direct-seeded leek, and onion sets)—I’ve not actually DONE this before—so there’s the usual slight bit of reservation with trying something new. Seeing is believing. Fun (easy) so far!

Elsewhere, we got what looked like a foot of snow overnight. No problem, no extra work, except the lane, barnyard and path to the greenhouse had to be plowed again…



  1. Robin

    Do they smell good when you trim them?

  2. What is it about photos like this that stir us so inside?

    Seed starting time is one of my hands down favorite things in life. I wish I could figure out how to capture and bottle the exuberance and optimism in the room (mine and theirs!) when seedlings start asserting themselves. I think it might change the world!

    You take gorgeous photos. Thanks for them…and for all you do.

  3. Robin: They smell like…green onions.

    DJ: I agree, seed starting is excellent. I’m sure I’d love it in any situation, but since my gardening life started with tiny farming, I find particular pleasure in how easy all those hundreds and thousands of little plants are to manage, compared to when they get out in the field! ;)

  4. Rob

    It’s leek trimming day. I’m back to be sure I this right before I start.

  5. […] Trimming onion and leek seedlings | Tiny Farm Blog Tiny Farm Blog folks trim their onion and leek seedlings so the lights can stay low over them. (tags: onions leeks seedlings) […]

  6. This is my first year doing leeks and green onions. Do you keep cutting them back to 1 inch until they are transplanted outside?

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