How to Plant Leeks, Tips for Growing & Sowing

Last Updated on April 11, 2024 by Real Men Sow

Leeks are a popular vegetable and are a member of the onion family. They are available from August through early winter, with some varieties maturing in just three weeks. Some types don’t produce much at all, while others can yield up to 20 small vegetable plants per plant. Leeks are widely known for their flavour and ease of cultivation; they germinate quickly, and small to medium-sized vegetables can be harvested in just two to three growing seasons.

It’s still not too late to plant leeks, and I’ve been getting mine this weekend.

how to plant leeks out

Back in March, I sowed the leek seeds undercover in 15cm pots of multipurpose compost. They’ve been hardening off over the last few weeks, and now that they’re pencil-thick; the time has come to plant them out.

How to plant leeks

Leeks are a great side dish. They can be used in many different recipes or simply enjoyed on their own. If you’re looking to add leeks to your garden, here’s what you need to know about planting them. Leeks are a member of the onion family and have a mild, onion-like flavor. They’re a cool-weather crop, so they’re usually one of the first vegetables planted in the spring. Leeks are grown from seedlings, and they take about two months to mature. When they’re ready to harvest, you can pull them up by the roots or cut them off at the base. Leeks are a versatile vegetable – you can eat them raw, roasted, or sauteed. They’re a great addition to salads, soups, and stir-fries. You can even grill them! Leeks are a member of the onion family, and they have a milder, sweeter flavor than most onions.

I’ve always used the traditional dibbing method to transplant leeks, which is how it works.

The night before, I water the prepared soil well and firm the surface down.

To plant, I use the bottom of an old wooden post (pictured above), marked with a line at 5 inches so I know when I’m far enough down. I’m not sure what the post was in its former life, but it is about as thick as a broom handle.

Marking a straight line with string, I make 5 inch deep holes with the dibber all along the row. Generally, leeks are sown about 15cm apart, in rows 30 cm apart, but in the spirit of my small growing area, I’m trying to plant them closer this year.

Once I’ve got to the end of the row, I turn out the pot of baby leeks. It helps to have pre-watered the pot, as this holds the soil together. Carefully pull the leeks away.

General Care For Planting Leeks

Make sure your plants get enough of water, particularly during periods of dry weather, and remove weeds by hoeing regularly or using a thick mulch.

Varieties of Leeks


These are dependable mid-season leeks with a pleasant flavour and texture. It’s an excellent cropper that’s also tough and rust-resistant.


An early cultivar of leek with long and regular stems that may be harvested from September through January is ”

Lyon prizetaker

These leeks are heritage varieties that have robust stems and may be harvested all winter long.


In the late fall and early winter, you may harvest this leek, which has long, black stems and leaves. A coveted RHS Award of Garden Merit has been bestowed to it.

Sprintan F1

This variety of leek is a very early-cropping leek with high resistance to leek rot, available for harvest from the end of August through November.

Benefits of Leeks

The benefits of leeks are many and varied. They are a good source of vitamins A and C, as well as iron and folic acid. They also contain a substance called allicin, which has antibacterial and antifungal properties. Leeks are low in calories but high in vitamins and making them a great addition to any diet. Allicin is a compound that is produced when leeks are cut or crushed, and it has been shown to have antimicrobial and antifungal properties. Allicin has also been shown to boost the immune system, and it has even been used as a natural treatment for cancer.

History of Leeks

The history of leeks is long and varied. They have been used for centuries as a medicinal plant, and their healing properties are well-known. In addition to their use as a natural remedy for many ailments, leeks are also a delicious and nutritious vegetable. They are a great source of vitamins and minerals, and can be used in a variety of dishes. Leeks are low in calories and fat, and are a good source of fiber. They also contain a compound that has been shown to have anti-cancer properties.

How to cut and harvest leeks

Your leeks will be ready for harvest from the summer onwards depending on the kind of leek you’re planting. Forks may be used to pull leeks one at a time or in clusters without causing damage to other plants. Until you’re ready to eat them, leave the leeks in the ground. They may be kept for a number of weeks in the refrigerator or a cold pantry once harvesting is complete.

How to clean leeks

To clean leeks, first cut off the root end and the dark green leaves. Cut the leek in half lengthwise and then slice it into thin half-moons. Place the leeks in a bowl of cold water and let them soak for a few minutes. This will help to release any dirt or sand that may be trapped in the leeks. After a few minutes, remove the leeks from the water and pat them dry with a clean towel.

How to store leeks

To store leeks, first remove them from the water and pat them dry with a clean towel. Then, cut off the root end and the dark green leaves. Leeks can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week. To store them, first cut off the root end and the dark green leaves. Leeks can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week. To store them, first cut off the root end and the dark green leaves. a plastic bag in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator. Be sure to poke a few holes in the bag to allow for ventilation. If you plan on using them within a day or two, you can store them in a cup of water on your counter.

If your leek is very dirty, you can rinse it under cold water, but be sure to dry it thoroughly afterwards so that the dirt and grit don’t transfer to your cutting board. Leeks are notoriously difficult to clean, so if you don’t have the time to do it properly, you can always substitute with a shallower cleaning. This won’t get all of the dirt and grime out of your home, but it will be better than nothing. If you have children or pets, this can be especially important to do on a regular basis.

Common Problems in Planting Leeks:

One common problem when planting leeks is that the plants may not get enough sun. This can be remedied by planting them in an area that gets at least six hours of sunlight per day. Another problem is that the plants may not have enough space to grow. If the plants are too close together, they will compete for resources and sunlight, and the garden’s overall health will suffer.

Leeks are susceptible to diseases of the onion family, such as leek rust and allium leaf miner, as well as to the allium moth. s a result, fungal and bacterial diseases may take root more quickly, weakening the plant.

Pests and diseases of leeks

Pests and diseases are common problems for leeks. To prevent them from becoming a problem, it is important to inspect your leeks regularly and take action if you see any signs of pests or diseases. Some common pests and diseases of trees include aphids, scale, borers, root rot, and canker. Aphids are small, soft-bodied insects that feed on plant sap. They are often found in large numbers on the undersides of leaves. Scale is small, hard-shelled insects that can cause a great deal of damage to plants. If you have scales on your plants, it is essential to take action to remove them.

Companion Plants

Companion planting with leeks can help to keep these pests at bay. Leeks secrete a substance that repels many common garden pests, including scale. When planted near susceptible plants, leeks can help to keep them healthy and free of pests. Leeks produce a sulfur-containing compound that repels many common garden pests, including aphids, slugs, and snails. When planted near susceptible plants, leeks can help to keep them healthy and free of pests.

Different ways to cook leeks

There are many ways to cook leeks, and each method results in a slightly different flavor and texture. One popular way to cook leeks is to sauté them in a bit of olive oil or butter. This brings out their natural sweetness and makes them nice and soft. You can also add in some garlic or other seasonings to make them even more delicious. Leeks are a great side dish or can be used in many different recipes.

Recipes with leeks


In addition to their traditional use in soups, leeks pair well with a variety of winter fare, including roasts, stews, and pies. The outer leaves of leeks may be removed after a thorough scrubbing to eliminate the filth.




how to plant leeks


planting leeks


Real Men Sow
Real Men Sow

Hello, I’m Pete and I’m currently based in the west of Scotland, in a small place called Rosneath, where I’m exploring my garden adventures. I personally started gardening around 6 years ago and initially, I started out by growing my favorite fruits and berries, such as strawberries, Raspberries & Gooseberries. Since then I’ve added a lot of vegetables and working closely with my neighbor, it’s been a lot of fun.

12 thoughts on “How to Plant Leeks, Tips for Growing & Sowing”

  1. I don’t grow leeks, like you, I only have a small plot and, therefore, try to grow things I cannot buy or that are at their most delicious straight out of the garden – small new potatoes, fresh strawberries or asparagus. I was surprised to see how deep one has to plant the leeks, very nifty that broom handle thing.

  2. Thank you for this. I did mine last week: my next-door allotmenteer showed me how and loaned me his dibber. I didn’t trim the roots and I found it a bit tricky to get the roots in as they were very long. Well, we’ll see. They look very good, though!

  3. Hello Helen.

    That’s definitely a great way of deciding what to grow. I also try to include veg that are expensive in the shops too. I was quite surprised how expensive leeks are when I looked into it.

    Have you tried mangetout? You can’t always find them in the shops, and straight off the plant they are a real treat. When I had my allotment, not many of them made it home!

    Some folk go even deeper with their dibbers. There was a guy at the plots who grow for the show, and getting his dibber in was a military operation. Looked like he was using a lump of telegraph pole!

  4. Hi Sparrowgrass.

    Thanks for your comment.

    That’s one of the best things about allotments, there is always a friendly person to give you help.

    Being a bit anal about this stuff, I’m tempted in the future to do a row of trimmed roots and a row of not, just to see if it makes any difference!

    Leeks are one of the best harvests, the smell is amazing.

    Enjoy. 🙂

  5. They are looking nice and healthy.

    I shall be getting my leeks planted out later in the week. I sowed mine into 9 cm pots, probably far too thickly too. Hopefully they will transplant okay, looking a little on the thin side at the moment.

  6. Hey Adam – reckon they’ll be fine. I’ve planted mine much less than pencil thick in the past and they’ve grown fine.

  7. This is great advice thanks Jono – I’ve definitely been planting out too early this year (still learning) and I think some of my crops (leeks included) have been struggling as a result.

    Partly it’s due to lack of space – very envious of your greenhouse!

  8. This is my first year at trying leeks. The leeks seem to be small (spagetti thin) for ages! Reminds me of growing spring onions. They just seem to be taking too long, is this normal?

    (I’m in Melbourne, so it’s winter here. Also, not using a greenhouse but it never snows here.)

  9. Hi Chris – I try not to get my leeks out too early as I want them in the winter. In the Autumn there is lots to eat on the plot, but obviously not so later on.

    They sit quite happily in the ground, so essentially you get a long harvesting season.

    mine have been really slow to take off.

    Funny about the greenhouse though. I do wish I could move it somewhere else. Its bang in the middle of the plot, and takes up a lot of space. Would be great to be able to shift the thing into an under used corner!

  10. Hi Gem,

    You’re not alone with slow leeks. Mine have taken ages to grow this year.

    Give them some time, and I’m sure they’ll be fine. I have planted out thin leeks before and they’ve grown without a problem, just been behind the bigger ones.

  11. Hi Jono,
    Interesting about the roots. Some advocate cutting the leaves also which in my opinion is sometimes beneficial as it keeps them off the ground at planting time.
    If I may be so bold as to offer my planting tip it is this.
    Use a thicker dibber such as the traditional cut off wooden spade handle, much kinder on the hands also a better planting hole.
    To deal with all that root simply make a 2″ deeper hole and hold the leek up by 2″ when watering in, this will wash down the roots without damage also give a deeper root run leaving the plant at the desired height.If the 2″ extra hole is not filled when watering simply toss in some compost.

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