LEEKS
Types:

  • Early crop - harvest from December.
  • Main crop - January to May
Colour of foliage varies from green to blue-green depending on variety.
There are also varieties of Mini-Leeks
Skill needed:Easy
Soil:Fertile with organic material.
Sowing Time:
Growing conditions, particularly weather, can affect early growth rates significantly.
  • Early crop: Sow in seed trays during January - February in a warm greenhouse or other warm area, a minimum of 10degC will be needed. Once plants have reach a 'handlable' size separate and transplant into other seed trays so that plants have room to develop. Harden off by placing in a cold frame in March then plant out in April.
  • Main crop: Sow outside in rows (0.5" deep, rows 6" apart) from late March to June. Once the plants have reached the thickness of a pencil and about 6" high, transplant to final growing area, about 4-6 weeks later. Either
    1. Plant in rows, 10"-12" apart, at 6" intervals, or in blocks about 8" apart. Use a dibber to make a hole 2" across and 6" deep, place leek seedling in hole and fill with water.
    2. Plant in 2" deep holes and blanch by banking up soil around them as plants develop.
Growing Tips:
  • Look for bolt-resistant varieties.
  • Do not overwater.
  • Do not use excess fertiliser. This is particularly important with overwintering leeks. Too much fertiliser will produce 'soft growth' which will be damaged by frost.
Pests:Very few pests apart from birds and other animals digging up freshly transplanted seedlings.
Harvesting:
  • Early crop - December.
  • Main crop - January to May.
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