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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
    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

08 Jun 17, Shane Cave (New Zealand - temperate climate)
I live on a sand dune but with raised vegetable beds with added topsoil and lots of home made compost - made from kitchen and varied garden waste - but my leeks wont thicken. How can I get better leeks?
09 Jun 17, John (Australia - temperate climate)
Leeks prefer a moist clay type soil. I suggest you keep building your soil up with heavier soil, if you can get it, and plant your leeks closer together, making the most of smaller leeks in the meantime. Maybe leaving them in the ground a bit longer will help them to thicken.
15 Mar 17, Nicki (Australia - temperate climate)
Can leeks be grown together with lettuce and spinach?
15 Mar 17, Jonno (Australia - temperate climate)
I don't know of any reason why not. It really amounts to the quality of the soil but 'stacking' plants is a good way to increase yield in a given space. The lettuce and spinach would be long harvested by the time the leeks are ready. You could also plant radishes as they only take about 4 weeks to harvest. I probably wouldn't plant other members of the onion fmily like this as they are susceptible to fungal problems and need an open spot with good air circulation.
11 Mar 17, Lorraine (Australia - tropical climate)
When do I plant leeks in WA climate
12 Mar 17, John (Australia - temperate climate)
Leeks prefer temperatures between 15 and 25 degrees C. The WA Dept. Of Agriculture says they ca be grown all year round in Perth. Seeds take 2-4 months to be ready for transplanting and will take about 5-7months before they are ready for harvest. Leeks are often planted in trenches which are backfilled as they grow to produce long white shanks. They are delectable and are worth the wait if you have the available. All the best.
19 Jan 17, Kathy (Australia - temperate climate)
G'day !! I planted my Leek seedlings at the start of October '16, it is now January '17 and my leeks are still thin and they look like spring onions. What have I done wrong and how can I grow fat leeks ? I've followed all the steps on the label that came with my punnet of Leek seedlings, please help I would honestly appreciate it. Thank you .... " Cheers "
16 Feb 17, karen (Australia - temperate climate)
Hi kathy, Same problem, I'm in coastal southern NSW and after 6 months... I had lovely Leek Flowers & gave up. About to replant in late Feb more leeks, hopefully will not fail again.
13 Sep 17, Matteo (Australia - temperate climate)
Hi karen and kathy, Leeks need to be pumped with plenty of organic fertilizer Blood n bone, chook/cow manure etc ,water well, also they love Magnesium (epsom salts ) apply via a water can or direct then water well
06 Sep 17, Irene (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Same here. Sunshine Coast Qld
Showing 1 - 10 of 92 comments

Hi karen and kathy, Leeks need to be pumped with plenty of organic fertilizer Blood n bone, chook/cow manure etc ,water well, also they love Magnesium (epsom salts ) apply via a water can or direct then water well

- Matteo

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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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