Leeks are closely related to onions but have a sweeter, creamier, more delicate flavor. Prized by cooks as a flavoring for dishes of all types. Many cultivars are extremely hardy and will tolerate below freezing temperatures.
Sow leek seeds in average soil in early to late spring for a fall crop. in Deep South, Gulf and Pacific Coast areas, sow from fall to early spring. In rows 18" apart, sow seeds thinly and cover with 1/4" of fine soil. Firm lightly. Seedlings emerge in 14-21 days.
How to Grow
Thin to stand 6" apart when seedlings are 1-2" high. "Harden off" seedlings by moving them to a sheltered area outdoors for one week prior to transplanting. Transplant hardened-off seedlings after all danger of heavy frost. Set leek plants 4-6" apart in rows 12-18" apart. When the plants are about the size of a pencil, wrap the base of the stalks with paper or mound up the soil to blanch them. Do not plant onion family crops in the same place 2 years in a row.
Harvest leeks when the base of the stalks reach 3/4-2" in diameter, about 90 days after sowing. Sever the roots under the stalks and twist the stalks back and forth to loosen them and ease them out of the ground. Cut off the remaining roots and all but 2" of the leaves. Harvest leaks as desired and harvest the remainder in winter. Mulch leeks heavily in cold winters.
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