Allium ampeloprasum var. porrum
Leeks, a member of the onion family, are known for their mild, onion-like flavor. They prefer full sun and well-drained, fertile soil with a pH of 6.0-7.0. Enrich the soil with compost or well-rotted manure before planting. Leeks require a long growing season and are typically more tolerant of cold than other members of the onion family.
Start seeds indoors about 8-10 weeks before the last frost date. Transplant outdoors when seedlings are pencil-thin and the risk of hard frost has passed.
Plant leek seedlings 6 inches apart in rows 12-16 inches apart. Plant them deeply or gradually hill up soil around the stems to blanch the lower portion of the leeks and produce a tender, white stem.
Leeks require consistent moisture for best growth, so water regularly, especially during dry periods. Mulching helps retain soil moisture and suppress weeds.
For detailed information on growing leeks, including specific care tips and variety selection, refer to our comprehensive leek grow guide.
Diseases, Insects, and Weeds
Common issues include leek moth, onion thrips, and allium leaf miners. Use row covers to protect plants and apply organic or chemical controls as necessary. Good sanitation practices and crop rotation help prevent disease.
Harvest leeks when they have reached the desired size, usually when the stems are about 1-2 inches in diameter. Gently loosen the soil around the leeks and pull them out. Leeks can be harvested throughout the fall and early winter.
Storage and Preservation
Leeks can be stored in the refrigerator for several weeks. For long-term storage, they can be cleaned, chopped, blanched, and frozen. Leeks are also suitable for use in canned soups and stews.