Keep your garden growing - see what to plant right now

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
    Almost ready to use
  • Leek
    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

08 Jun 17, Shane Cave (New Zealand - temperate climate)
I live on a sand dune but with raised vegetable beds with added topsoil and lots of home made compost - made from kitchen and varied garden waste - but my leeks wont thicken. How can I get better leeks?
09 Jun 17, John (Australia - temperate climate)
Leeks prefer a moist clay type soil. I suggest you keep building your soil up with heavier soil, if you can get it, and plant your leeks closer together, making the most of smaller leeks in the meantime. Maybe leaving them in the ground a bit longer will help them to thicken.
07 Feb 12, Susan Johnson (New Zealand - temperate climate)
How much root do you trim off before planting? How do you know when the leek is ready to harvest?
17 Feb 11, lez Howard (New Zealand - temperate climate)
I always plant seeds on Nov 1st in a nursery bed ,use liquid feed to raise . Febuary I plant by the moon Calendar When planting I dib hole 150 mm deep ,place in two sheep pellets and water in . Trim tops and root before planting .If too hot cover in shade cloth, and water regulary until established. Have had good sucess in the past.
30 Dec 09, Demeter (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Same. I think I planted them too late last summer and now have gone to seed and virtually inedible. Planting more now.
21 Dec 08, Deb (New Zealand - cool/mountain climate)
Why have my leeks all gone hard and woody inside. They are beginning to flower but are still quite thin and woody

Post a question, comment or tip about Leeks

Please provide your email address if you are hoping for a reply


All comments are reviewed before displaying on the site, so your posting will not appear immediately

Gardenate App

Buy the app for iPhone/iPod, iPad or Android and support GardenGrow

Planting reminders

Join 30,000+ gardeners who rely on GardenGrow. Subscribe to our free planting reminders email newsletter


Home | Vegetables and herbs to plant | Climate zones | About GardenGrow | Contact us | Privacy Policy

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.
We cannot help if you are overrun by giant slugs.