How to Grow Leek – A Beginner’s Guide

leek plant growing in garden
Leek, which are known botanically as Allium Ampeloprasum, are a type of vegetable that can easily be grown at home. Continue reading to learn the basics of growing leek as well as common mistakes to avoid along the way.

Best Time to Plant Leek

This will depend largely on your local climate, but as a rule of thumb, begin to plant the leek seeds early spring and fall. This is the best time to ensure that the seedlings survive the weather.

To check when leek are most likely to thrive in your area, see the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map. If you live outside the US, do a quick search for ‘plant hardiness zone + [city]’.

How to Plant Leek the Right Way

There are a number of things to consider that will help you avoid some of the common mistakes of growing leek in your home garden.

Often overlooked, your soil can have a huge impact on how well your leek grow. Generally, your soil should be moist, light soil that has been heavily manured from a previous crop. Soil PH levels should be around 6.0 to 7.0.

approximately 6′ apart in rows.  4″ apart in rows. The seeds should be sowed at a depth of about .5″. For each plant, be sure to sow at least a few seeds to ensure that at least one of them will germinate.

Begin thinning your leek seedlings thin to 4″ apart when 4″ tall.

How Much Sunlight is Needed to Grow Leek

The amount of sunlight is another key to a successful harvest. Too much sunlight will dry out your leek. Not enough sunlight will stunt your its growth or even kill it.

Ideally, your leek should be getting full sun, which means as much sunlight as you can possibly give it, or at least 6 hours or more.

How Much to Water Leek

As you’ve figured by now, a lot can have an impact on how well your leek do, and the amount of water is no different.

Ideally, the soil should be damp to touch; not soggy or bone dry. If the leaves on your leek begin to change colors or start to look droopy, you need to adjust how much water you’re giving it.

Unfortunately, if you give it too much or too little water, you can kill it, so it’s best to just keep an eye on it and water as needed.

How Long Does it Take Leek to Germinate and Grow?

Now the fun part begins and you get to watch your leek grow.

It takes approximately 10-15 days to germinate, and a total of 150 days from seed to harvest.

When to Harvest Leek

The best time to harvest your leek is when its white stem or shaft is 3 inches (7 cm) long or greater.

Leek can grow up to about one foot long and one-to-two inches wide.

What Can Leek Be Used For?

Food Use: Leeks make a great, subtle addition to soup.

Flavor Profile: Sweet.

Can Leek Grow in Pots and Containers?

Yes, you will ideally need a 18″+ containerfor each plant. This can help control weeds and keep your plant from growing out of control.

It also gives you the flexibility to move your leek around if you need to adjust sunlight or bring it indoors to avoid harsh weather conditions.

Are Leek Safe for Bees?

Yes, leek are safe for bees.

According to, bees pollinate human food crops that make up about 90% of the world’s nutrition.

Given their importance in our ecosystem and food supply, I feel it is important to note that growing leek is bee-friendly.

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