Learning Download: How to Grow Leeks
Similar to an onion but with a sweeter flavor, leeks make a great addition to salads and soups. The vegetable is hardy and can often be grown in cooler climates.
Before Planting: Leeks are heavy feeders and require fertile soil (pH of 6.2-6.8) for best results.
Planting: Sow 3 months before last frost date, 2-3 seeds per cell, 1/4″ deep. Beginning in late spring, when approx. 8″ tall and pencil-thick, transplant outdoors 6″ apart, rows 24″ apart in holes dibbled about 6″ deep. Only 1-2″ of leaves need extend above the soil surface. Do not firm soil, allow irrigation or rain to fill in the dibble hole.
Watering: Since leeks have shallow roots, they require lots of water and a weed-free environment. Add mulch to retain moisture and deter weeds.
Fertilizer: A season prior to planting, add compost where the leeks will grow. After planting, feed the leeks every week with liquid fertilizer.
Days to Maturity: Leeks are ready to harvest in the late summer or early fall, and the whole plant should be harvested. (See each variety for days to maturity)
Harvesting: To harvest, loosen the soil and then lift the leeks out be the roots so you don’t damage the plant. Pick what you need until a freeze is suspected to hit, then harvest all the leeks.
Tips: During the growing period hill the plants with soil 2 or 3 times, higher with each hoeing. This forces the leaves higher up the plant resulting in extra long blanched stalks and a much greater edible portion.
AVG. Direct Seed Rate: 1,000 seeds/165′, 1 oz./1,650′, 11 oz. or 105M/acre at 6 seeds/ft. in rows 30″ apart.