Saturday, 5 August 2017


Until recently the Allium family hadn't been well represented in my veg-plot. I grew some garlic once and it was pathetic; I have produced some reasonably competent shallots a couple of times, though they were not of prize-winning quality. Likewise, my Leeks have been, shall we say, "variable". The first time I grew them (in 2014) they did very well, but that turned out to be Beginner's Luck, and the next couple of attempts were a bit feeble. I'm not one to give up easily though, and I am having another go this year.

Some of my first Leeks - Sept 2014

Thinking about the results I have had with Alliums, I believe that the critical factor is light. If they don't get enough of it they aren't going to do well. This was particularly brought home to me last year when I tried to grow some spare leeks in a big plastic pot which had previously held potatoes. There just wasn't a good place to put the pot. It ended up underneath a tree and was in the shade most of the time. The results were predictable - puny Leeks.

This year I have planted two different types of Leek - "Winter Giant" and "Musselburgh".
They were sown on February 12th.

This is them on 8th April.

They were planted out (maybe a little small) on 14th April.

This is them now.

My main crop is a mere 15 leeks, but they are in prime position, in a raised bed that gets lots of direct sunlight. So far they seem to be doing well, and bulking-up quite nicely. As long as they don't bolt, I hope to keep them growing (and getting bigger) well into the Autumn.

As always, I had a few spares, and once the main crop was established I planted them in a couple of big 35-litre pots that had previously held potatoes. I did this last year, but put too many seedlings (9) in each pot. This year, I have only put in 5 per pot.

They are looking good so far - much better than last year!

After putting 5 Leeks in each of those 2 big pots, I still had a few more "spare spares", so they went into a third pot. There are 8 of them, and I don't expect them to do so well, because they will be very cramped.

Those ones will end up being used as "Baby Leeks" I expect.


  1. I hope you don't get leaf miners in your leeks. So disappointing when you start prepping in the kitchen and find they have burrowed right in. There are so many new pests around that we didn't used to experience. Germinating and growing, the fun bits, occupy less time than putting up protection, the boring and expensive bits. Still, we like a challenge, don't we???

    1. I wish you hadn't said that! They look OK from the outside...

  2. Leeks are one of our winter staples so I hope that the pests keep away.

  3. Leeks have a mild, onion-like taste. In its raw state, the vegetable is crunchy and firm. The edible portions of the leek are the white base of the leaves (above the roots and stem base), the light green parts, and to a lesser extent the dark green parts of the leaves.


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