Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Sow under glass
Sow outside
Plant outside
Showing schedule for Southern England in United Kingdom

Soil facts and preparation

Quick facts..

  • Soil Type Fertile and Well Drained
  • Ideal Ph range 6.0 to 7.0
  • Site Full Sun
It is important that the site you choose to grow leeks is weed free. Choose a sheltered location as the leeks are going to occupy the ground for most of the year. Do not grow where you have previous grown leeks or other members of the onion family in the past 3 years.

Leeks can be grown in pretty much any soil type as long as it is well drained and fertile. Add sand to heavy soils to improve drainage and add a general purpose fertilizer 1 or 2 weeks before direct sowing or transplanting.

Sowing and planting

Quick facts..

  • Germination 5 to 7 days
  • Sow 10mm deep
  • Sow Spacing 25mm
  • Rows 300mm apart
If sowing directly in the ground, sow thinly in rows 1cm deep and 30cm apart. Thin to an eventual spacing of 20 cm when plants are 5cm to 10cm tall.

Alternatively start seedlings in small pots or cells and transplant when approximately 20cm to 30cm tall. Harden off before planting out. Bury the transplants deep, this has the effect of blanching and reduces the need for earthing up, leave about 10cm of leaf showing above ground.

Growing a bumper crop

Earth up the stems by 2cm to 3cm to blanch as the leek grows. The idea is to block sunlight at the base so any alternative method such as cardboard or plastic tube should be just as effective.

Do not let the soil dry out, leeks have a shallow root system so will require regular watering in dry weather. Keep weed free, mulching in summer will help prevent weeds and retain moisture in the soil.

Harvesting the fruits of your labour

Quick facts..

  • Yield 450g per plant
Simply pull leeks out of the ground as required. Trim roots and green leaves if you feel inclined.

Wash well before cooking, leeks have a tendency to hang on to soil particles, eating gritty leeks is pretty unpleasant.

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Leek varieties

Autumn Giant 2 Porvite

The Autumn Giant 2 Porvite variety of leek is known for its resistance to bulbiness and bolting, as well as good rust tolerance. The large stems are bright white in color, dense and have a uniform shape, foliage is green and stands upright. Leeks remain healthy and stems white when left in the ground over a long period of time. It is also well suited to being grown as a baby vegetable in densly spaced rows. Whether harvested early as a baby leek or left to mature its a very tasty variety.


Electra is a great variety of leek for growing in raised beds or large containers, Electra can be grown with small spacing for lifting young as a baby vegetable or left to grow to maturity. It is a winter hardy variety that will stand well in the ground until required in the kitchen. Electra is a tasty, reliable and versatile leek with blue green foliage and bright white stems.

Monstruoso de Carentan

An old, organic, French leek, Monstruoso de Carentan (some times reffered to as 'Monstrous Carentan') is an early variety grown for its short fat stems that is mild enough to be eaten raw in salads. The stems are creamy white topped by blue-green foliage. Not as cold tolerent as some other varieties but fast growing, Monstruoso de Carentan is often harvested in autum or early winter.


The Musselburgh variety of leek has been very popular with vegetable growers for many years. A very reliable heavy cropping leek that produces thick sturdy white stalks with a mild flavor and dense medium to dark green tops. Extremely hardy and therefore a great winter variety that can tolerate the harshest of weather, leave in the ground until ready to harvest. Musselburgh is a heritage variety introduced in 1834 and named after the coastal market town of the same name near Edinburgh.


The Pandora variety of leek is quick to mature and grown for harvesting in late summer to early autumn. It has long white stems topped with upright blue-green leaves. A great variety for first time leak growers, relatively low maintenance and resistant to leek rust as well as being very tasty.

The Lyon

The Lyon variety of leek is also know as the 'Prizetaker' due to its qualities as an exhibition variety. A very tall leek that has thick, long white stems that stay tender, sweet and white, grown as much for their flavour as for showing. If growing this heirloom variety for exhibition sow earlier in the season in a propagator or under glass at 18-21°C (65-70°F). Another hardy variety of leek that will remain in good condition in the ground until required.