Leeks are a member of the onion family. These easy-to-grow plants are a milder and sweeter alternative to onions. Similar to scallions, the delicate tasting green-blue leaves can be harvested at any stage. So, get growing better leeks with this “How to Grow Leeks” guide.
Leeks are native to the Mediterranean region. Gardeners have been growing leeks for thousands of years.
Leek Trivia: Welsh soldiers used to wear the plants on their hats to distinguish friend or foe in combat.
Botanical Name: Allium Ampeloprasum
You can begin growing leeks as soon as the ground can be worked in the spring. Sow seeds directly into the garden. While the plants are hardy, the seeds need a little warmth in the soil to sprout. So, if you plant them too early, they may not sprout for a while.
Also, to get a jump on the growing season, sow seeds indoors. Then, transplant them when seedlings are big enough to handle. The plants can also
Sow seeds 1/2″ inch deep.
After germination and the plants have grown an inch or more, thin to 8-12 inches apart.
Growing Leeks is easy. The plants take up very little space.
Plants prefer partial sun to shade.
Grow the plants on average to rich, well-draining garden soil.
The plants do not need a lot of fertilizer. Use a general-purpose fertilizer at planting time, and again in mid-summer.
Keep soil moist, not wet. Add extra water during drought and hot weather.
Keep the plants well weeded. Weeds can overcrowd the plants, especially when the plants are young.
Ideal soil pH: 6.0 – 8.0
Gardening Tip: When thinning plants, do not throw any away….use them in cooking or in salads.
Insect and disease problems are uncommon with this plant.
Days to Maturity: Slow-growing Leeks require 130 – 150 days to full maturity. But, you can use them at any stage of growth.
While you are growing leeks, begin to harvest them when the plants are big enough to use. Remember, you can you the green part of the plant as well as the bulb.
To avoid damaging edible portions of the plant, loosen the soil with a spade or garden shovel, before pulling out the leek.
Brush off dirt. Then, trim off excess roots.
Leeks will store for only a short period, in a cool dry place. They will last much longer if stored in the refrigerator
Leek plants are an annual. So, hard frosts and freeze will kill the plant. However, the plants should survive a mild frost. will withstand light frosts.