Leeks are frequent visitors to the show bench. In the northeast of England pot leeks are grown for their short length and big circumference. Pot leek plants must be less than 6" from the leaf join to the base. Their height is then combined with their circumference to give a cubic measurement.
The leek with the highest measurement wins. Sounds simple but much closely guarded secrecy goes into the art of growing pot leeks. In other areas of the country, blanch leeks are shown and competitions are also held for the longest leek.
So, much fun can be had from growing leek plants in addition to simply eating them!
Top leek plant care facts
- Leek plants need to be kept weed-free
- Hardy and can remain in the ground through winter if necessary
- Harvesting is best done using a fork or spade to stop stems from breaking
- Requires monitoring for leek rust and leek moth
Where To Grow Leek Plants?
When to plant Leeks? Leek plants are not fussy about the type of soil as long as it is fertile and well-drained. They do appreciate a nice sunny spot. Leeks are traditionally grown in open ground, but you can grow several in large, deep planters and containers or raised beds if you do not have lots of space in your vegetable patch.
How To Grow Leek Plants?
When planting in early summer, gently drop the leek seedling into a prepared hole and then fill the hole with water. Do not fill with soil. Regular watering will gradually fill the hole with soil to cover the roots.
Keep the leek plants weed-free. It is the white part of the stem that is eaten, so to encourage this to lengthen, gently earth the stems up with soil, taking care not to allow any soil to get between the leaves.
When To Harvest Leek Plants?
Leeks do not store well, so only lift what you want for immediate use. Leek plants are happy to remain in the ground over winter until needed. Lift using a fork or spade, as pulling may cause the stem to break.
How to eat leek plants
Take care when preparing your leeks to make sure they are not gritty. To do this, cut off the top of the leaves and remove some of the coarse outer leaves. With a sharp knife, split partway down the white stem and stand upside down in a bowl of water for about an hour. Then rinse under a cold tap.
Leeks work wonderfully well in soup and are a key ingredient in Scotland’s delicious Cock-a-Leekie. A great vegetarian alternative being leek and potato soup made with veggie stock. Leeks also work well with cheese - cheese and leek crumble makes a very tasty supper.
Leek plant nutritional information
Leeks were a heavily consumed vegetable in ancient Rome, and were actually regarded as superior to garlic and onions. They’re high in antioxidants, vitamin A, B-6, C and K, and minerals iron and manganese.
You may also be interested in Suttons leek seeds and other winter plants such as Brussels sprout plants.
Buy leek plants UK from Suttons