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Leeks

The leaves of leeks are flat and straplike. See more pictures of leeks & leeks recipes.

Although they are members of the onion family, leeks boast a sweeter, more delicate flavor than their onion cousins. This makes leeks a very popular ingredient, featured in many delicious vegetable recipes. In this article, we'll talk about growing leeks.

Leeks & Leeks Recipes Image Gallery

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About Leeks

The leek is a hardy biennial that is grown as an annual. It's a member of the onion family but has a stalk rather than a bulb. The leaves are flat and strap-like instead of hollow.

Common Name: Leeks

Scientific Name: Allium ampeloprasum; Porrum Group

Hardiness: Very Hardy (will survive first frost)

In the next section, we'll show you how to grow leeks.

Try:

  • Vegetable Recipes: Find delicious recipes that feature leeks.
  • Vegetable Gardens: Grow a full harvest of great vegetables this year.
  • Gardening: We answer your questions about all things that come from the garden.

Kevin D. Clarke
Kevin D. Clarke
The edible portions of the leek are its white base and light green stalk.

Grow leeks in your vegetable garden and you'll always be able to enjoy their delicate, subtle flavor.

Leeks are a cool-weather crop. They'll tolerate warm temperatures, but the results are better if the days are cool. Temperatures under 75 degrees Fahrenheit produce the best yields. Plant leeks from seed in the spring four to six weeks before the average date of last frost and from transplants in the fall for a late harvest. Plant transplants in spring if you want to speed up the crop to avoid a hot summer. Plant the seeds 1/8 inch deep and thin them to 6 to 9 inches apart. Plant transplants in 6-inch deep holes, in single rows or wide rows.

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Leeks like a place in full sun and thrive in rich, well-worked soil with good drainage. To grow large, white, succulent leeks, blanch the lower part of the stem by hilling the soil up around the stalk as it develops. Give leeks plenty of water to keep them growing strongly. Around midsummer, start removing the top half of the leaves. This will encourage greater growth of the leek stalk.

Harvesting Leeks

The time from planting to harvest is about 80 days from transplants and 120 days from seed. Pull the leeks as you need them, but harvest them all before frost.

Types of Leeks

There are several varieties of leeks available to home vegetable gardeners. We've listed the different varieties of leeks below.

  • Broad London, harvest at 30 days from seed, produces thick mild-flavored stems.
  • Titan, harvest at 100 days, is earlier and larger than Broad London and has a broader base.
  • American Flag, harvest at 95 days, is easy and flavorful.

Want more information about leeks? Try:

  • Vegetable Recipes: Find delicious recipes that feature leeks.
  • Vegetable Gardens: Grow a full harvest of great vegetables this year.
  • Gardening: We answer your questions about all things that come from the garden.

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