Growing Leek

Growing Leek

Lancelot Leek

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Leeks are a hardy, cold-tolerant vegetable related to Onions. Instead of a bulb, Leeks produce long, thick stems with a delicious mild flavor. Seedlings can be planted at the bottom of trenches 6 inches deep and wide. Fill in the trench to just above the white portion of the stem as plants grow to produce large white shanks. Direct sow in the garden 3 to 4 weeks before the last spring frost or start indoors 6 to 8 weeks earlier. Space plants 4 to 6 inches apart with 12 inches between rows. Cover seed with ½ inch of soil. Can also be sown thickly like scallions and finger-size "baby" Leeks harvested when thinning plants to their final spacing. For late season harvests, plant in early summer to early fall. 

Maintenance

For full sun in moist, well-drained soil with a good organic matter content. Blanching can be done by to produce longer shanks by hilling soil around the bases of the plants or mulching thickly with organic material. Mulching with 10 to 12 inches of organic material in fall before the ground freezes allows Leeks to be harvested into mid winter in most climates.

Fertilizer Recommendations

Use full rates of Algoflash All-Purpose Liquid Fertilizer 6-6-6 (51085), Nature's Source Plant Food Concentrate 10-4-3 (51012), or Neptune Fish & Seaweed Fertilizer 2-3-1 (51221).

Alternative Products

Onions, Shallots, and Chives are related vegetables with a similar flavor.

Complimentary Products

Leeks are heavy feeders that benefit from regular fertilization. Use Sluggo Plus (50192) to control slugs.

Leek Facts

Usually free of serious problems. Slugs and leaf rot occasionally occur. Leek roots can be replanted in the garden after the stems are harvested to produce a second crop. Simply cut off the bottoms of plants about an inch above the base. Wash the roots and trim them back to an inch long. Plant with the cut portion of the stem slightly above the soil surface. Cut pieces benefit from some shade while becoming established. They can be planted indoors or directly in the garden.

Growing Tips