Growing Great Leeks
Time to Plant
Traditional planting time for Leeks is between Christmas & New Year. Planting leeks in succession from December to July will ensure harvesting from autumn through to early spring and even into summer. Planting early, produces more robust plants.
Leeks are a hardy winter vegetable that have very few pests/diseases that affect them.
The bigger the leek, the more flavoured it is. You tend to get smaller leeks in summer compared to leeks grown in winter. If planting from seed, the ‘thinnings’ can be added to soups and salads.
Plant in free-draining, organically rich soil. Apply generous amounts of lime to the soil, a few weeks before planting, if possible.
Plants can be purchased in store or grown from seeds. Seedlings grown in trays can be transplanted easily, but leave them until they have grown to 20cm high. When transplanting, trim 8cm off the shoots and about 2 cm off the roots before planting out. This is usually not necessary on seedlings brought from garden centres, as they are already prepared. Dropping more than one leak per hole is fine, but the leeks will be smaller.
If the growth is slow, fertilise with liquid fertiliser such as ICAN Fastfood once a week until the base thickens.
To achieve pure white leeks, draw soil (not wet) up around the stems, being careful not to get soil caught between the leaves. Cardboard cylinders (toilet roll tubes), dropped over maturing plants leaving leaves exposed, achieves the same results. Keep leeks weed free as they hate competing for light and moisture.
Leeks can be safely left in the ground until needed or alternatively dig up the crop and place them in a container filled with soil (cover the stems, leaving the leaves free), and store in a convenient spot until needed.« Growing Great Lawns | Monarch Butterfly »