Kitchen Garden Seeds

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Leeks

These graceful members of the Amaryllidaceae family are easily grown in kitchen gardens, much to the dismay of local grocers who normally command a king's ransom for them. Also known as Allium porrum, Leeks may be grown in partly sunny spots. For home gardeners, we recommend raising them as transplants, since seedlings are delicate at first. You may, however, direct-sow when soil reaches over 45°F in the spring, as soon as the ground can be worked. To avoid breaking their tender stalks, use a spade to loosen the soil around the Leeks' roots before harvesting. Deer resistant.

Average seed life: 1 year.

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Gardening Tips

Leek Sowing Instructions
Planting Depth
: ¼”-1/2"
Row Spacing: 12”-18”
Seed Spacing: 1/2”
Days to Germination: 10-14 days
Germination Temperature: 45°-75°F

Direct sow as soon as the soil can be worked. But Leeks are best to raise as transplants: start 6 to 8 weeks before planning to set out, as soon as the soil can be worked in the spring. Sow Leek seed in flats or pots thinly, covering with fine soil. Water lightly, provide moderate warmth, light and ventilation. Feed as needed with kelp or fish emulsion. Prepare Leek bed with compost and/or well-rotted manure and a complete organic fertilizer. Dig a trench 4" deep. When seedlings are 6" to 8" tall, transplant to the trench, setting them 3" to 5" apart in the row. Tuck them in. For “baby” Leeks, plant 1" apart and harvest while tiny. To blanch, mound soil around Leeks as they grow. Harvest at your discretion, at whatever size you prefer. Leeks tolerate frost and partial shade. (If you plan to harvest Leeks for winter use, allow them to grow to a larger size.)

Leeks a Cook Can Love
To be kitchen-worthy, Leeks need beautiful, long white shanks, blanched and tender. Here’s how to produce them. Sow Leeks indoors very early in spring, then transplant them out when they are pencil-sized, trimmed to about 10" long, with an inch of roots. For each one, make a 9"-deep hole with a trowel or dibble and drop the seedling in, leaving an inch of green above ground. Don’t fill the hole, but let soil gradually trickle in over the course of the season, as you cultivate around the plants, or rain washes the soil in. By the time you dig them, the hole will have filled, thus blanching the leek.

Shade Tolerance

Deer Resistant Seed Varieties

The Flavor Makers: Onions, Leeks and Shallots