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Growing Leeks

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

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

S = Plant undercover in seed trays 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 46°F and 86°F. (Show °C/cm)
  • Space plants: 4 - 8 inches 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 scallion or spring onion Grow in seed trays or punnets until about 20cm (8in) 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 20-25cm (8-10in) deep. Set the seedlings 10-15 cm (4 - 6in) 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

20 Apr 19, Derek R (New Zealand - temperate climate)
I have just lifted a fantastic crop of leeks. They grew so easily which I didn’t expect through the summer months but so happy they did. Would it be ok to replant leeks in the same soil for winter.
24 Mar 19, Bertie (New Zealand - temperate climate)
My leeks never fatten up. I wonder why.
20 Feb 19, Helena (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
What type/variety of leek is best suited for Sydney South West area?
22 Feb 19, Michael (Australia - temperate climate)
Look up some varieties on the net and pick one and try it.
08 Feb 19, Charlotte (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
I have grown leeks but found that they often have a hard inedible inner stalk when harvested. What have I done wrong?
11 Feb 19, Oliver (Australia - temperate climate)
Have you let them flower? My experience is once they send up that flower stalk.. that is the woody centre stalk. You need to harvest before this happens. Otherwise you just have to slice along the leek and pull this stalk out and use the softer outside bits in a stew or tart. Leek and fetta tarts are awesome:)
10 Feb 19, Mike (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Could be dryness. Try and have a consistent soil moisture. Check plant and harvest times.
08 Jan 19, michelle (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Hi have just dug up leeks as they seemed to go woody and flower so quick this year. I found lots of bulbs underground are just like elephant garlic, some with babies. Do they behave like garlic? or am I just finding previous elephant garlic bulbs left behind that have sprouted or maybe none of them were the leek plants at all that I purchased ? confused Michelle
10 Jan 19, Mike (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Sounds like you planted them late in the season. Look at the guide here - maybe plant seed March and transplant 4-6 weeks later. Then harvest 11-13 weeks later. They should look like a leek not garlic. Do some research on the internet - how to grow leeks.
03 Dec 18, Genevieve Radley (New Zealand - temperate climate)
What season are leeks harvested in NZ? Thanks :)
Showing 1 - 10 of 112 comments

I have grown leeks but found that they often have a hard inedible inner stalk when harvested. What have I done wrong?

- Charlotte

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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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