When to sow leek seeds – How to grow leeks

Monty Don reveals he came into gardening 'through soil'

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Leeks are a great addition to any home comfort foods, such as adding them into your cauliflower cheese or your favourite casserole recipe. The delicious vegetable is usually harvested in winter. But they take a long time to grow to full size so you need to plant them early in order to have a good harvest.

When to sow leek seeds

You should sow your leek seeds in early spring if you want to harvest your crops through late autumn to winter.

This means now is the perfect time to get your hands dirty.

Traditionally you sow your leek seeds in seed beds before transplanting them into the ground in early summer.

How to sow leeks

Start by preparing your seed bed, making sure you’re using a moist light soil – ideally one that has been manured from a previous crop.

Then sow your leek seeds about half an inch deep, and about six inches apart – this is normally done in rows.

Alternatively you can fill some pots with good quality, multi-purpose soil and scatter the seeds thinly on the surface before covering with a small layer of soil.

Once the leeks are about 15 to 20cm tall, move them into the ground.

Using a broom handle to make holes in the soil, dig down about 20cm deal and about 15cm apart.

Lower each plant into the hole, making sure the roots are in the bottom, then water well and cover with a horticultural fleece.

To increase the size of the white stem, gently dare up soil around the plant in stages but be careful not to let the earth get in between the leaves.

You should harvest your leeks from August at the earliest.

The best way to do it is to use a fork to prise them out of the ground.

However some leeks will come out of the ground with only a little tug.

Make sure only to harvest the crop when you need them, as they can happily remain in the ground through winter.

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