How to Grow Leeks

Hardy and delicious, leeks are a valuable crop for fall and winter, but they need a long growing season and tie up space for many months. 

Hannibal Leeks Long White and Straight Stems

Hannibal Leeks Long White and Straight Stems

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

From: DK Books - Fruits and Vegetables
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Step 1: Plant in Trays

Leek Starter Sets in Seed Trays

Leek Starter Sets in Seed Trays

©2012, Dorling Kindersley Limited

2012, Dorling Kindersley Limited

In spring, sow seed thinly, about ½in (1cm) deep, in a tray on a windowsill indoors. Water the tray well and do not allow it to dry out. When the seedlings are approaching 8in (20cm) tall harden them off.

Step 2: Trim Roots

Trim Roots of Leek Seedlings Before Transplanting

Trim Roots of Leek Seedlings Before Transplanting

©2012, Dorling Kindersley Limited

2012, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Once the leeks are hardened off, fill a large container with multipurpose compost. Gently ease each leek from the seed tray using a dibber or pencil, and trim any long straggly roots with scissors to make transplanting easier.

Step 3: Transplant Leek Seedlings

Transplant Leek Seedlings Evenly Down Row

Transplant Leek Seedlings Evenly Down Row

©2012, Dorling Kindersley Limited

2012, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Make holes 6in (15cm) deep and drop a leek into each. Space plants 4–8in (10–20cm) apart; a wider spacing should result in larger leeks. Pour water into each hole and the compost will slowly fill around the stem to blanch it.

Step 4: Add Soil Around Growing Leeks

Add Soil Around Growing Leeks

Add Soil Around Growing Leeks

©2012, Dorling Kindersley Limited

2012, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Make sure the compost is kept moist and apply a liquid feed every few weeks. Add extra compost around the plants as they grow to produce long, white, blanched stems. Harvest when the leeks are large enough.

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