I start sowing leeks from March onwards using large plant pots or a deep container, the seedlings are ready for planting when they’re about the width of a pencil. Leeks are planted differently to other vegetables, known as ‘dibbing in’ this method will help to produce well blanched stems.
- Push a dibber into the soil to create deep planting holes, around 15cm (6″) deep should do it. If the ground is very dry water the holes to loosen the soil. Try to leave around 23cm (9″) between plants for good-sized leeks, closer spacing will produce smaller leeks but just as tasty.
- Knock the seedlings out of their container and gently tease the plants apart.
- Trim the roots, you don’t have do this but it does help with planting.
- Drop a leek seedling into each planting hole (if the roots are left long this can be tricky to do).
- Water the planting holes to the top, a little soil will naturally cover the roots which will help to settle the leeks in, but don’t be tempted to back fill the holes with soil – the space will help the stems to swell.
- Cover the planted leeks with Enviromesh or similar to protect from allium leaf minor and leek moth.