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How to Grow Leeks

This is how I grow leeks on my allotment. I make no claims that is the best method or that it will produce the largest crops, but it has worked well for me.

Sowing
 

  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Sow                        
Plant Out                        
Harvest                        

Click thumbnails for larger images

 

Step 1

Pass fresh multipurpose compost through a fine riddle to remove any lumps - I use this cheap plastic crate.

 

Step 2

Fill a half-tray with finely sieved compost and firm it down using a Compost Press.

 

Step 3

Make a series of holes using a Sowing Template. Sow one seed per hole, and pinch the compost closed around the seed.

 

 

Step 4

Gently spray with water so as not to wash the seeds around - I use an old shower cleaner bottle. Add a propagator cover if required.

Step 5

Set the tray in a warm, sunny place - a south-facing windowsill is ideal. The seeds should germinate in 2-3 weeks.

 

   

Planting Out

 

Step 1

Using a deep bulb planter or a length of plastic pipe, remove a plug of soil about 15cm / 6" deep. The tape on the pipe marks the depth.

 

Step 2

Add about a teaspoon of grow-more or fish, blood and bone fertiliser down the hole.

Step 3

Add about an eggcup of fresh compost down the hole.

Step 4

Remove the seedlings from the pot or tray and shake off all the compost from their roots.

Step 5

Carefully place the seedling at the bottom of the hole. You may need to twist it around to get all the roots to the base of the hole.

 

Step 6

Fill the hole with water. If the leek floats up, gently push it back to the bottom of the hole.

 

Step 7

Cover with netting (if needed).

 

Note:

The holes will gradually fill with soil as it rains and the worms do their thing. The idea is that the base of the leek will be blanched by growing away from sunlight.

     

Maintenance

 

Step 1

Water in dry weather.

Step 2

Keep the area free of weeds to eliminate any competition for water and nutrients.

Step 3

Check regularly for signs of pests and disease, and take appropriate action.

Step 4

Remove any damaged or diseased leaves.

 

       

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