Leeks can provide crops from summer right through winter and into spring, if you sow successive batches of early, mid- and lateseason varieties. These then need to be harvested in the right order, because the earliest varieties don’t keep as well outside in the coldest winter temperatures, but the later varieties are perfectly hardy. To harvest, use a fork to loosen the soil, then lift the plant out with its roots intact. Wash off the soil in a bucket, then trim off the roots and the long strappy leaves. The debris can be put on the compost heap. Leeks can be used instead of onions in soups, stews and stir-fries. They can be stored in the fridge for a few days and any excess can be frozen.
Lift a few leeks now to make into a hearty leek and potato soup