Growing heirloom leek seeds in your garden
- Easy to grow and maintain
- Tolerates some shade, but prefers full sun exposure
- Great, classic flavor
- Rich in flavonoids and other antioxidants
Heirloom leeks, a leafy crop that can be grown in zones 2 through 10, are a must-have for every garden. Close cousins of onions and garlic, these cool-season annuals have a milder flavor. Although some types take four months to develop, these heirloom leeks are well worth the wait. Leeks make a delicious addition to soups and stews, or they can be roasted on their own. This season, clear out some room to plant heirloom leeks—you won't be sorry!
Plant heirloom leek seeds in the fall for an early spring crop in hardiness zones 7 and above in the south. Plant an overwintering cultivar like Eden Brothers' Heirloom American Flag Leek Seeds. Sow leek seeds directly in healthy soil in a sunny position. If necessary, add compost or a nitrogen-rich balanced fertilizer. Plant heirloom leek seeds six inches deep and six inches apart to guarantee the white leafstalk, which is the edible portion of the leek, remains underground, resulting in white, or "blanched," leeks. Cover the seeds and give them plenty of water.
In two to three weeks, heirloom leek seedlings should appear. Leek seedlings should be thinned to two inches at first, then to four inches. Instead of discarding these little seedlings, use them as microgreens in a wrap or salad!
Northern gardeners in zones 6 and below should sow their heirloom leek seeds in the early spring. Sow seeds directly into the ground as soon as the soil can be worked, or four weeks before the final frost date. Keep an eye on your seedlings and water as needed since heirloom leeks thrive with regular moisture.
Alternatively, ten to twelve weeks before the last frost, start heirloom leek seeds inside. Plant seedlings outside around the final frost date, when they are at least six inches tall. Make careful to harden off the leeks seedlings by gradually exposing the trays to outside conditions. Dig a six-inch-deep trench and plant seedlings at six-inch intervals. Cover and water well.
When the leafstalk is eight to ten inches tall or the stalk is at least an inch in diameter, harvest heirloom leeks. Remove the plant from the ground using a spade or a digging fork. For a month's shelf life, store in a sand container in a cool, dark spot!
Eden Brothers provides a range of heirloom leeks that you'll love, whether you've never grown leeks before or are a seasoned leek expert.
For more information about planting, growing, and harvesting heirloom leek seeds, see the Leek Seeds Planting Guide.