How To Grow Vegetables

How To Grow Leeks

Leeks grow well in a cool climate, requiring a long growth period of 120 to 170 days from sowing to harvest. They are often grown from seed indoors and then planted out when more mature.

You should start Leeks indoors and plant them in the garden in early spring 4 to 6 weeks before the last average frost when they are about 9cm tall. In milder temperatures you can transplant Leeks into your outdoor plot in autumn or late winter.

Leeks are a hardy biennial plant which is grown as an annual, having thick white stalks topped with green fanning leaves similar to oversized spring onions, but with a milder flavour. Each plant will yield 12 to 15 leeks each. Sow your Leeks in full sun, in rich well-drained soil.

Prepare your planting bed a in advance by digging in aged manure. In preparation for sowing Leeks prepare trenches 15cm deep and plant out your transplants at the bottom of each trench. As the Leeks grow fill the trenches in gradually around them. Planting from seed outdoors - Sow the seeds 5mm deep, thinning out or transplanting them to 6 to 9 inches apart as they grow. Sow in rows 12 to 18 inches apart.

When transplanting from indoors plant the Leeks into trenches 5 to 6 inches deep as described above. Watering will naturally collapse the soil around plants and fill in the trenches. Keep the soil around leeks just moist not over watered, and water only when the surface becomes just dry.

Leeks can be interspersed with similar plant types such as carrots, celery, garlic, onions. If you want to grow large, white, juicy Leeks, you will need to blanch the lower part of the stem by piling up soil around the stalks as they grow. Pile up soil around stalks to just below the leaves but no higher. If the temperature looks like giving frost then add straw above

Leeks are relatively easy to grow as they have no serious disease problems.

Harvesting Leeks.

They require around 170 days from sowing and 80 days from transplanting to reach maturity when the stems will be around 1 to 2 inches in diameter and the leaves 6 to 8 inches tall. Then simply lift leeks as you need them but ensure the Leeks are all harvested before the first frost.

Storing and preserving leeks.

Keep your leeks in the garden until you are ready to eat them as they will only keep in the refrigerator for around one week, or store them in a cold, damp place for 2 to 3 months.

Find out more about Leek Pests And Diseases

By Richard Allen -

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