Growing Leeks

allium porrum : Amaryllidaceae / the onion family

Jan F M A M J J A S O N Dec
  S S                  
      T T              
      P P P            

(Best months for growing Leeks in USA - Zone 5a regions)

  • S = Plant undercover in seed trays
  • T = Plant out (transplant) seedlings
  • P = Sow seed
  • Easy to grow. Grow in seed trays, and plant out in 4-6 weeks. Sow seed at a depth approximately three times the diameter of the seed. Best planted at soil temperatures between 8°C and 30°C. (Show °F/in)
  • Space plants: 10 - 20 cm apart
  • Harvest in 15-18 weeks. Loosen with a fork rather than pull by hand..
  • Compatible with (can grow beside): Carrots
  • Almost ready to use
  • Leek

A member of the onion family. Looks rather like a large spring onion (scallion). Grow in seed trays or punnets until about 20 cm (8 in) tall. They look rather like large blades of grass at that stage. Then plant out into trenches or individual deep holes. The aim is to blanch the stems while the plants are growing. Trenches should be about 20 - 25 cm (8 - 10 in) deep. Set the seedlings 10 - 15 cm (4 - 6 in) apart then add enough soil to just cover the roots. As the plants grow fill the trench. Otherwise - make holes with a dibble or suitable stick 15 cm (6 in) deep and 3 - 4 cm (1.5 - 2 in) wide. Drop a seedling in each and water enough to cover the roots with soil. As they grow, watering will gradually fill the hole.

Leeks prefer moist clay soils. Keep soil moist and loose, mulch will help.

Culinary hints - cooking and eating Leeks

Trim off the roots and any damaged leaves.
Young ones can be used whole with some of the green leaves.
Wash thoroughly as the earth tends to get inside.
Chop and fry in butter (or olive oil) until tender.
Can be added to casserole meals, allowing time to cook through.
Leek and mushroom make a tasty combination for a tart filling.

Your comments and tips

15 Sep 23, Dorothy (USA - Zone 5a climate)
do leeks survive winter in the ground
29 May 23, Dave (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
I have stopped trying to grow ordinary leeks and now grow perpetual ones. They absolutely thrive in our subtropical garden and continually keep making side shoots so I never have to plant seeds. I thoroughly recommend them for people if they want to set and forget
31 Mar 23, Ethel Mashadi Matjane (South Africa - Summer rainfall climate)
Is it the right time now to plant leek. How long does it take to harvest?
19 Apr 23, (South Africa - Summer rainfall climate)
Read the planting guide and notes. A bit late but you could try -
05 Apr 23, (South Africa - Semi-arid climate)
Read the plant guide and notes here.
28 Nov 22, doug williams (USA - Zone 7a climate)
What is the best leek variety for zone 7 in Alabama?
04 Dec 22, Anonymous (USA - Zone 9a climate)
Do some research on what varieties grow in your area/district. It doesn't make much difference probably.
23 Aug 22, Antoine Scriverner (New Zealand - cool/mountain climate)
Bertie, Try some keiserite.(magnesium sulphate) Its magic. But don't forget a good side dressing of super + blood & bone.
19 Aug 22, NewbieGardna (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
I planted teeny li'l leek seedlings a few weeks ago. They are now starting to look like li'l leeks. Hope they keep growing.
07 Apr 22, Murray Patterson (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Hi Annette, It appears that you may have Cutworm problems. I have had these in my garden and they cut the small plant at the base. I have now got around this by planting my small plants in toilet rolls which I place in the ground and have about 5 cm above ground. Around this I have cut a hole in some tinfoil paper and placed it over the toilet roll so it has what you could call a skirt over the ground and this has cured my cutworm problem. They do not seem to like it at all. As they come out at night to eat I think the foil has deterred them. Murray
Showing 1 - 10 of 140 comments

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This planting guide is a general reference intended for home gardeners. We recommend that you take into account your local conditions in making planting decisions. Gardenate is not a farming or commercial advisory service. For specific advice, please contact your local plant suppliers, gardening groups, or agricultural department. The information on this site is presented in good faith, but we take no responsibility as to the accuracy of the information provided.
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