Good enough to eat
●● LEEKS LEEKS are among the healthiest of vegetables, being full of iron, and they are hugely versatile, whether being made into thick warming soups or added to chicken and ham pies, or added to the mash topping of shepherd’s pie.
They are also pretty easy to grow and can be dug up as and when you need them as they’ll stay in the ground quite happily until they are required.
Start them off in pots in the spring as they are easy to transplant, or alternatively grow them in a seedbed and use the thinnings as an alternative to spring onions. Sow seeds around 1-2cm deep and 15cm apart. They will germinate at fairly low temperatures and if you are sowing them in pots, keep them somewhere cool but frost-free.
Plants raised indoors can be moved outside and hardened off when temperatures start to rise in May, and they should be in their final position by June. Make a trench about 10cm wide and deep, as this will make earthing up the blanch, the base of the plant, easier later.
If you’ve sown them in a seedbed, you can ease them out of the soil in July, spacing them out to a plant every 15cm and trimming very long leaves.
Harvest them from October through to spring. Good late varieties include ‘Apollo’ and ‘Bandit’.