Growing Tips: Leeks

Quick Reference:

Plant seed 1/8 inch deep spaced 1 to 2 inch apart. Germination: 10 to 20 days. Plant spacing in the garden, 4 to 5 inches. Shallow planting provides warmer soil for quicker germination but soil must be kept moist at all times until plants emerge.

When and where to plant:

In Alaska, leeks must be started indoors 6 to 8 weeks before the last frost for the stalks to fully mature in the garden. Leeks are easy to grow and transplant well. In a container with drainage holes, sprinkle seed on soil surface, cover with fine soil, firm soil over seed and keep moist until seedlings emerge. When seedlings are 1 ½ to 2 inches tall transplant in individual plastic pots and grow in full sun until the garden is prepared. Choose a warm, sunny location with well drained soil, cultivate and enrich soil with organic matter and plant food. Transplant in the garden at the time of the last frost, leeks will withstand a light frost but the seedlings will be tender from growing indoors.

Care:

To blanch the stalks, mound soil around the plants leaving the tops showing when they are 6 to 8 inches tall. Leeks are heavy feeders, water regularly and apply plant food once a month.

Harvest:

Stalks may be pulled and enjoyed before they are fully mature.