Leeks - Key Growing Information

A row of leek plants in the field; harvest when white stems or shafts are approximately 3" (7 cm) long or greater.


SCIENTIFIC NAME:Allium porrum
CULTURE: A large, upright, nonbulbing type of Allium. Matures to long, thick, blanched shanks topped with 1-1 1/2" wide flat leaves. Leeks are heavy feeders and require fertile soil (pH of 6.2-6.8) for best results.
GROWING SEEDLINGS: Sow in flats in Feb.-March, 1/4" apart, 1/4" deep. Transplant to 1 1/2" plug flats when large enough to handle, or start in plug flats, thinning to one plant per cell.
TRANSPLANTING: Beginning in late spring, when approx. 8" tall and pencil-thick, transplant outdoors 6" apart, rows 24" apart in holes dibbled about 6" deep. Only 1-2" of leaves need extend above the soil surface. Do not firm soil - allow irrigation or rain to fill in the dibble hole.
DIRECT SEEDING: Sow in early spring, 6 seeds/ft., 1/4- 1/2" deep, in rows 24" apart. Thin to 6".
BLANCHING: During the growing period hill the plants with soil 2 or 3 times, higher with each hoeing. This forces the leaves higher up the plant resulting in extra long blanched stalks and a much greater edible portion. When using the "dibble method," hilling is reduced or eliminated.
HARVEST: When plants reach desired size, loosen with a spading fork and lift plant.
STORAGE: Clean leeks and store several weeks at near freezing in a humid cooler in boxes, or store in a root cellar with roots in moist soil/sand/peat mix.
DAYS TO MATURITY: From transplanting; add 20-30 days if direct seeding.
AVG. DIRECT SEEDING RATE: 1,000 seeds/165', 1 oz./1,650', 11 oz. or 105M/acre at 6 seeds/ft. in rows 30" apart.
TRANSPLANTS: Avg. 1 oz./6,000 plants, 1 lb./96,000.
SEED SPECS: SEEDS/OZ.: 7,700-10,700 (avg. 9,400).
PACKET: 250 seeds, sows 38-40' or 140 transplants unless otherwise noted.