Latin Name: Allium porrum
Item #: 170Z
LEEK for fresh market and home garden
GREENHOUSE: Sow indoors from Feb.- Mar. 1st. in flats at 1 lb/454 g of seed for approx. an acre of transplants (10,000 seeds per oz./28 g). Sow as thin as possible about 8 seeds per in/25 mm like Spanish onions, 1/4 in/6 mm deep. Cover lightly and firmly. Maintain a soil temperature of 65-70°F/20°C days and 55-60°F/13-16°C night temps. Seed usually sprouts about 70-75% in 14 to 20 days. Trim tops every two weeks, when they grow about 4 or 5 in/10 or 13 cm high. From this point on - till field transplanting, grow them cool at 50°F/10°C, fertilize every 10 days with 20-20-20 and watch out for thrips. Transplant outside in well fertilized (avoid raw manure) soil, during late April, as soon as you can get on the land. Make furrows 6 in/15 cm apart. Make sure you protect transplants with Ethion or Diazanon or you will lose early plantings to onion maggots. Furrows are gradually filled in during the growing season by cultivation - this is necessary for proper blanching. Leeks like rich soil and require plenty of moisture.
DIRECT SOWING: Sow outdoors from mid April till June at 2 seeds per in/95 mm, 1/4 in/6 mm deep - at the bottom of 5 in./13 cm deep furrowed rows, 18 in/46 cm apart. Thin to 6 in/15 cm apart. Keep moist (see above).
HARVEST: Leeks are dug up in Oct. and Nov. before hard frosts and used right away or stored in a pit, like potatoes, for winter and spring use. They may also be wintered over outdoors by banking earth well up the stalks and mulching with salt hay. They will start growing again in early April - a valuable early crop.