Growing Leeks

Jan F M A M J J A S O N Dec
S S T T         S S T T

(Best months for growing Leeks in New Zealand - cool/mountain regions)

S = Plant undercover in seed trays T = Plant out (transplant) seedlings

  • Easy to grow. Grow in seed trays, and plant out in 4-6 weeks. Sow seed at a depth approximately three times the diameter of the seed. Best planted at soil temperatures between 46°F and 86°F. (Show °C/cm)
  • Space plants: 4 - 8 inches apart
  • Harvest in 15-18 weeks. Loosen with a fork rather than pull by hand..
  • Compatible with (can grow beside): Carrots
  • Almost ready to use
  • Leek

A member of the onion family. Looks rather like a large scallion or spring onion Grow in seed trays or punnets until about 20cm (8in) tall. They look rather like large blades of grass at that stage. Then plant out into trenches or individual deep holes. The aim is to blanch the stems while the plants are growing. Trenches should be about 20-25cm (8-10in) deep. Set the seedlings 10-15 cm (4 - 6in) apart then add enough soil to just cover the roots. As the plants grow fill the trench. Otherwise - make holes with a dibble or suitable stick 15 cm (6 in) deep and 3-4 cm (1.5 - 2 in) wide. Drop a seedling in each and water enough to cover the roots with soil. As they grow, watering will gradually fill the hole.

Leeks prefer moist clay soils. Keep soil moist and loose, mulch will help.

Culinary hints - cooking and eating Leeks

Trim off the roots and any damaged leaves.
Young ones can be used whole with some of the green leaves
Wash thoroughly as the earth tends to get inside.
Chop and fry in butter (or olive oil) until tender.
Can be added to casserole meals, allowing time to cook through.
Leek and mushroom make a tasty combination for a tart filling.

Your comments and tips

15 Jun 20, Delene Bezuidenhout (South Africa - Summer rainfall climate)
Where can I buy leek plants? When is the best time to plant them in Johannesburg?
16 Jun 20, Anon (South Africa - Humid sub-tropical climate)
You plant by seed. Work out your Climate Zone from the BLUE TAB at the top of the page. Then see when you plant for that climate zone. The monthly calendar at the top page tells you when to plant.
12 Jun 20, Yvon Bourque (Canada - Zone 7a Mild Temperate climate)
Plants are being eaten by tiny white worms. Solution please??
24 Mar 20, Audrey Dempsey (USA - Zone 5b climate)
I am in Upton, MA. My leek plants arrived today. I was planning to be away in April and May, so I had them sent early. Now I am home with trip cancelled. Can I plant the leek plants now? If not, how long can I wait? I have 50 Lancelot leek plants.
15 Mar 20, Annette (New Zealand - temperate climate)
We planted out four leeks and this morning one is completely gone and another has a small piece of stalk left. What would be eating them? Thanks
16 Mar 20, Liz (New Zealand - temperate climate)
You probably have some hungry rabbits eating your leeks. Otherwise, when it is wet enough, slugs will chew them too.
10 Mar 20, Mike (New Zealand - cool/mountain climate)
Have just transplanted very small leak plants four centimetres in to garden on the first of March. Does anyone know if they will mature?
11 Mar 20, Another gardener (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Read the notes here. Transplant out at 4-6 weeks. Sounds like you are pretty close to that. Protect them the first week or two from the sun and wind while they establish themselves. A light watering each day also.
04 Mar 20, Jenny (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
I planted a leek from a seedling in Brisbane in February. It was doing really well until this morning when it went from fine to limp and lying on the ground within the space of about half an hour. Any idea what went wrong? When i peeled the leaves back the inside was literally mush. I thought I might’ve over watered but when I dug the plant out the soil was quite dry
04 Mar 20, Anon (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Maybe water was caught down between the leaves and it just went rotten.
Showing 1 - 10 of 122 comments

Maybe water was caught down between the leaves and it just went rotten.

- Anon

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This planting guide is a general reference intended for home gardeners. We recommend that you take into account your local conditions in making planting decisions. GardenGrow is not a farming or commercial advisory service. For specific advice, please contact your local plant suppliers, gardening groups, or agricultural department. The information on this site is presented in good faith, but we take no responsibility as to the accuracy of the information provided.
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