Leeks offer all the flavour of onions, but are easier to digest, making them a great ingredient for soups and casseroles. Besides being a culinary staple, they also have attractive foliage, so they’re a great ornamental plant too.
Leeks are the perfect vegetable for smaller bare patches in your garden as they are compact vegetables which grow upright.
Sow leeks in a sunny, sheltered site with well-draining soil. Dig the soil up well and add plenty of manure and fertiliser a week prior to sowing.
Sow seeds in rows, 30cm apart. Seeds should be sown in shallow trenches about 1cm deep. Cover with soil and water well.
When the seedlings have a few leaves each (about four weeks later) thin them out to leave one plant every 15cm. The seedlings you have removed can be replanted elsewhere.
Your leeks will be ready for harvesting in 10-12 weeks, just in time for winter soups. Lift them carefully out of the soil, using a fork, to avoid damaging the neighbouring plants.
Did you know? The leek is one of the national emblems of Wales. According to legend, King Cadwaladr of Gwynedd ordered his soldiers to identify themselves by wearing the vegetable on their helmets in a battle against the Saxons that took place in a leek field.