Growing organic leeks in your garden
- Easy to grow and maintain
- Offer a mild, onion-like taste
- Ancient crop native to eastern Mediterranean lands and the Middle East
- An excellent source of vitamin K and manganese
Organic leeks are a leafy vegetable that can be grown in zones 2 through 10 and should be included in everyone's garden. Close cousins of onions and garlic, these cool-season annuals have a milder flavor. Although some types take four months to develop, leeks are well worth the wait. Organic leeks make a delicious addition to soups and stews, or they can be roasted on their own. This season, carve out some room to plant leeks you won't be sorry!
Plant your organic leek seeds in the fall for an early spring crop in hardiness zones 7 and above in the south. Plant a variety that will overwinter well, such as Eden Brothers' American Flag Leek Seeds. Sow leek seeds directly in fertile soil in a sunny area. If necessary, add compost or a nitrogen-rich balanced fertilizer. Plant 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, 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 organic 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 leeks love consistent moisture. Alternatively, ten to twelve weeks before the final frost, start leek seeds inside. Plant seedlings outside around the final frost date, when they are at least six inches tall. Make sure to harden off the organic leek 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 leaf stem is eight to ten inches tall or has a diameter of at least one inch, harvest your organic 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 leek seeds are wonderful, whether you've never grown leeks before or are a seasoned leek expert.
For more information about planting, growing, and harvesting organic leek seeds, see the Leek Seeds Planting Guide.