Growing Leek as a Vegetable
The leek is a great vegetable for cooler climates, it's easy to grow,
useful and very versatile. The white elongated bulb at the
base of the leaves, makes a very tasty, fresh vegetable, either on
its own or in stews or casseroles. The green leafy tops of leek is
excellent for flavouring soups and stews. They are also
very nutritious and very rich in vitamin A. The leek is a
member of the onion family, but is far easier to grow than the
onion. The are able to grow in varied soil conditions, so long as it is not waterlogged.
Most varieties are hardy and can remain in the ground throughout winter
weather until needed. You can sow early under
glass and have leeks ready for harvesting in the autumn, but it
is really during the winter and early spring that they are most
appreciated. Other vegetables are scarce at this time and
those you can buy in the shops are expensive.
LEEK QUICK GUIDE
Allium ampeloprasum porrum
Hardy Biennial, grown as an annual
Site and Soil
Best on moist light heavily
Sowing to Harvest Time
Is 30-45 weeks
||Yields 10-12 plants per 3 m (10 ft) row
Leaves are up to 30 cms (1 in) long: Bulbs 7.5-15 cm
(3-6 in) long and up to 11 cm (4 1/2 in) in diameter.
To Grow Your Leeks
||Although the leek vegetable is tolerant of a wide range of soil types,
they grow best on a moist, light soil that has been heavily manured from
a previous crop. Freshly manured soil is not suitable, because
leeks grown in very rich soil will be coarse and tough and with far too
much leaf growth. If the soil is in need of organic matter, it is
best to dig in well rotted garden compost.
Click picture to enlarge.
In crop rotation, leeks
follow lettuce, cabbage or peas, but it is not a good idea to plant them
immediately after lifting early potatoes. This is because the soil will
be too loose and disturbed and leeks do best on a firm soil.
Choosing the site for sowing leeks may be influenced by the fact that
they are generally left in the ground to be dug as required during the
winter months, and can remain in the ground for a year or more.
Don't grow leeks in the same place year after year as there will be an
increased risk of pests and diseases.
CLICK HERE FOR NEXT LEEK PAGE
Gardening Advice Center
Share with us your gardening experience!
Date posted: August 08, 2011 - 02:22 pm
Message: We have grown wonderful leeks from nursery bedding plants for years. However, this year, we planted leek seedlings that were started from seed by a friend the previous year and left in the garden over winter (Zone 3-4 in Saskatchewan, Canada), as they did not sprout and grow very much. The seedlings were dug up and transplanted in a proper trench bed, following the usual gardening methods for leeks we've grown in the past. However, although these transplants started out OK, they then started putting out flower stalks. Assuming we could treat them the same as same-year transplants, we trimmed them down as usual, but they have since done nothing! Am wondering if this is because they are Biennual, and thus will only want to produce seed? Please advise, and whether these are of any value at all.
Name: Ron Iacovone
Date posted: July 10, 2011 - 02:40 pm
Message: I'm not sure exactly what I'm doing but a friend gave me some seeds that resemble a small tad-pole. Is that what the seeds look like? Anyway I planted them 21 days ago and just now something is popping through.I hope there leeks.I'm in coastal NC and will see what happens next.
Name: Carolyn Skidmore
Date posted: May 09, 2011 - 10:29 pm
Message: Saw a huge Leek plant with huge global ball at top. Want to get one started for my garden. How do I begin?
Name: claire gangell
Date posted: November 28, 2010 - 01:43 am
Message: I had no idea how to grow leeks but wanted to have a go so thankyou for the advice.will log in again re other vegies i am growing.
Name: Buck Hulse
Date posted: July 31, 2010 - 05:41 pm
Message: Gardening beginner trying new stuff for 2010 season. I realized I didn't have a clue how to grow, let alone harvest a number of my choices. Looks like I lucked into a good resource for my lack of knowledge.
Lots of specialist Leek and Potato
Leek Variety Pictures
Autumn Giant Leek
King Richard Leek