Leeks are one of the easiest vegetables to grow from seeds. Hard-wearing and easy to care for, leeks can be sown from February to June (depending on the type) for harvest in August and throughout the winter.
They can survive very cold winters and aren’t prone to disease, making them one of the simplest vegetables to grow. Best of all, homegrown leeks taste far better than store-bought leeks while being incredibly versatile cooking ingredients, giving plenty of reason to try your hand at growing them.
Check out the guide below for how to grow leeks from seeds:
Start by buying any type of leek seeds you want. Early season leek provides a summer or autumn harvest when sown in February, while late mid and late season leek produce harvest throughout winter and into early spring when sown in mid-spring.
Regardless of the type, you’ll need multi-purpose compost and either seed trays or small plant pots. Fill your container with soil and then thinly scatter the seeds across the surface – keeping them about an inch apart – before covering with a few millimetres of loose soil.
Pat down the soil and water. Keep the potting trays or pots moist and avoid letting them dry out as the seeds begin to germinate. Place the seedlings into a sunny position – a window sill indoors or inside a heated greenhouse are the best options.
Note – before planting leek seedlings into the ground you can separate and transfer them from trays into bigger pots.
Preparing the Ground for Leeks
Once the seedlings germinate small shoots should appear from the soil. Allow these to grow until they are around 15-20cm tall. If the seeds were growing indoors it’s a good idea to leave them outside before transplanting to ensure they climatize with the weather.
Leeks are best grown in the ground so you’ll need to prepare your ground soil a garden rotavator or other tool. Dig up the soil, removing stones and debris, and add in some compost to help increase nutrients in the soil.
Once ground soil is levelled, create holes that are approximately 15-20cm deep, keeping each hole about 15cm apart. You’ll have enough leeks to make several rows in the ground, so make sure to keep at least 30cm between each row.
Tip – Use a wooden handle (such as an old broom or the handle from a trowel) to create the holes for the leeks. It’s quick and easy and will produce identical sized holes across the ground soil.
Transplanting the Leeks
Once the ground is ready, carefully remove the leek from the seed tray/pots. Do this one at a time, slowly teasing the roots from each seedling below placing them into the ground.
You want the roots to be touching the bottom of the hole you made, so don’t be afraid to help them on their way – trim some of the root if it appears too long to fit into the hole.
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