Wednesday 25 February 2015

Sowing Leeks

You know how it is... A Sunday morning in February; the sun is shining; the garden looks nice (although it is covered in frost); you are itching to sow something. You look back through your records to see what you normally sow at this time of year. Your eye lights on.... Leeks!

Yes, last Sunday I sowed some Leeks.

Last year I grew "Toledo" Leeks from Simply Seeds, and was impressed with them, so I am sowing some more of them this year. I was also sent some "Apollo" by the kind people at Marshalls, so I am trying them too. "Apollo" is supposedly the best Leek for growing at close spacings, so it should be ideal in my little veg-patch. I'll probably only be able to grow about 20 or maybe 24 Leeks all told.

The instructions on the packets are very self-explanatory, though it is interesting to see that they don't exactly agree! One thing that they do agree on is that Leeks take a long time to grow - the best part of a year - so it's good to start early. I shall probably sow another batch in a month or so, attempting to get them to mature at a rather later stage. In a small garden large-quantity production is not really a viable option, and it is better to aim for small quantities harvested more frequently.

These are the instructions from "Toledo" (£1.29 for 200 seeds):

And these are the instructions for "Apollo" (£2.95 for 50 seeds)

Well, to be honest, there is not much magic in sowing a few Leek seeds. I sowed about 20 of each type on the surface of some damp multi-purpose compost (New Horizon, peat-free), and then covered them with a 1cm layer of dry compost, and labelled them up. A 10-minute job. Easy.

At this stage there is not much to see...

The pots are now in the garage, where it is cool but definitely frost-free. I expect the seeds will germinate in about 10 days or so.

Last year I wrote a fair bit about Leeks. If you want to see what I said, this is a link to a post about Transplanting Leeks, and this is one about Planting Leeks.


  1. I shall look out for the Apollo variety, sounds ideal for my small plot too.

  2. I think the long time in the garden is why I don't grow leeks right now. The quicker maturing alliums let me plants something after they are harvested. Leeks need the whole year to grow. I do like them though.

  3. Blimey, you are on the ball. Still nothing sown yet here, perhaps that's why you've had plenty to show through winter whereas I haven't had any harvests.

  4. I'm pretty sure I grew leeks many years ago and ended up with plants the size of a chive - so my impression has always been that they are difficult to grow. But with spring around the corner (hopefully!) - I'm now all optimistic & I may pick up a packet of seeds and sow one little square in the onion bed...just as an experiment.

    Whenever I grow a new veg, I always do research on the hows & whens. And I ALWAYS find - without exception - that different sources give you different advice. A lot of it probably has to do with location but sometimes not. I then create my own "how to" for each veg based on what seems most logical for my garden, which then gets revised numerous times as I gain experience growing that particular veg.

  5. Thanks to you I will also plant leeks this year! I'll sow them a little bit later than you because I dont have a place where I can put them untill spring will arrive

  6. I'm trying leeks for the first time this year, well, actually the second time. The first time the seedlings never made it out of the pot and into the garden. This time the seedlings made it out of the pot and into a nursery bed. They have one more move when I set them into a spot with the final spacing and depth.

  7. Several of us on the allotments now grow their early season leeks in the style of Monty Don (Gardeners World TV), in that 3 or 4 leek seeds are sown in a small module and then the contents of each module are transplanted still intact into a small hole, so that a group of leeks grows together (in contrast to the traditional single plant in a very deep hole). The leeks grow more above the soil surface, but still seem to achieve a good white stem and the whole process is very quick and easy, so good for repeated growing. Early leeks are generally smaller species than the later over wintering ones and don't seem to mind being grown very close together this way.

    1. That's interesting. The "Effort-to-results" ratio sounds good.

  8. Isn't it a strange thing - gardening - you are sowing leeks seeds and I am thinking we need to pick some of ours to make some soup.

  9. I may try a square or two of leeks in my raised beds this year, but I will buy a pot of transplants from the local farm stand. I have grown them in the past in-ground, where they are planted in a trench that is gradually back-filled. I saw instructions for raised beds where you make a deep hole with a dibble, then just set a bare-root plant in the hole and just water in without filling.

  10. Getting to be that time... I really like leeks and favor them over ions in the garden, the results seem better and they are a bit pricey in the markets.

  11. Glad to see you are getting a jump start. I still haven't done anything yet.


Thank you for taking time to leave me a comment! Please note that Comment Moderation is enabled for older posts.