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

Hannibal leeks are one of the best selections of leeks and give an excellent crop of thick medium to long length. Great for soups and many other dishes. Start sowing from mid January to March and harvesting from mid July to January.

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Step 1: Plant in Trays

Leek Starter Sets in Seed Trays

Leek Starter Sets in Seed Trays

Sow leek seeds in spring in tray on windowsill. When seedlings reach 8 inches, harden off and plant outside.

©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

Once leeks are hardened off, gently ease out leek from seed tray using a dibber. Trim any long roots with scissors to make transplanting easier.

©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

Space leek seedlings about 4 to 8 inches apart when transplanting. Pour water into each hole and the soil will slowly fill around leek stem.

©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

Add extra compost around leek plants as they grow to produce long, white blanched stems.

©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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