Growing Leeks

Leeks are a cold weather vegetable that you don’t hear about every day. This cousin to onions has a mild flavor that is perfect for a starring role in soups and sauces.



Leeks are a cold weather vegetable that you don’t hear about every day. This cousin to onions has a mild flavor that is perfect for a starring role in soups and sauces. Leeks are heavy soil feeders and take several months to grow, but they make a nice companion to many vegetables due to their insect-repellant properties.

Plant leeks when soil temperatures are around 50 F–early spring in most regions. Seeds should be covered by 1/2 inch of soil. The soil should be loose and have at least 4 inches of compost or steer manure tilled into the top 8 inches.

Seedlings will take two weeks to emerge, so be patient. Once they germinate, they are easy to grow. Leeks need lots of water during the germination and early growing phase. Water to 18 inches and never let the soil dry out. Also make sure the white base of the plant is always covered with soil. If this part gets sun exposure, the leeks won’t be as tender.

Most leek varieties take 75 to 135 days from germination. You can also start leeks from seed indoors during winter and transplant them in your garden when they are about pencil width to cut the time to harvest by a few weeks.

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