Leeks: grow plants properly - winter leeks and leeks

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Leeks: grow plants properly - winter leeks and leeks: winter

There are, depending on the planting time and harvest time, summer pear, autumn pear and winter pear. But all leeks (Allium porrum) are Amaryllisgewächse that do not form onions. At least not in their cultivated form as garden leeks. This cultivated form of the Ackerlauches is krautig, biennial and can be up to 80 centimeters long. Even among the ancient Egyptians, the green sticks of leeks are said to have been on the menu. Before deciding to grow, it can be good to know what care is needed.

Sowing or young plants

That's the question that every hobby gardener, every hobby gardener, will ask first: Do I raise the leeks out of seeds myself or do I, when it's time, buy pre-grown seedlings? Without question, it is less effort in mid-March to start immediately with the planting of the young thin leeks.


Anyone who has opted for the more elaborate variant of sowing, faces two other decisions:
  • Prefer seeds or seed them directly
  • desired harvest time (summer freeze is already preferred from January)
In any case, it is advisable to prefer leeks. By advancing in small pots, you can save yourself from piking. In addition, it is imperative from a very early stage to prefer the summer leisurely in January, February. Preferred plants show more resistance to diseases and pests in later stages.


Leek - leek

To prefer own small pots or Erdpresstöpfe perfect. The latter can be easily put into the bed later, without damaging the fine rootlets.
  • Seeds germinate faster when soaked overnight in a valerian brew
  • Cultivation pots about five centimeters in diameter
  • Potting soil or a mixture of peat and sand
  • one to two seeds, well one centimeter deep, press into the ground
  • Pour
  • optimum temperature at least 14° C and bright
  • Germination time approx. 14 days
  • If the seedlings are about five centimeters tall, they can get into the bed
Tip: If you want to harvest already in August, you must prefer your leeks in January, February, for the winter vines, a sowing in the beginning of June is enough.


Whether they are young plants from the weekly market or even preferred leek seedlings, from mid-May they can be set outdoors, either in planting holes or plant trenches.
  • Distance between the individual plantlets 15 to 30 centimeters
  • Row spacing 40 to 60 cm
  • either put in about 15 inches deep grooves
  • or in individual planting holes
  • halfway deep into the holes, use grooves
  • Plantlets must be absolutely vertical
  • Cast well, pound, for optimal stability
  • no soil should fall into the leaf axils
For planting in planting holes, the soil in the bed should be well loosened up. Holes are then pressed into the soil with a planting wood. The preferred plantlets can either be placed in the holes with a peat pot or with the entire soil from a seed pot. For the cultivation of leeks in trenches, the soil in the bed is also good to loosen up. The excavation can remain between the plant rows. This allows the leeks later pile up well.

Location and ground

Leek - leek

Sunny to partially shaded and yet moist, that is what leeks like the most. It is leek, as far as the temperatures are concerned, quite tough. But the more sheltered it is from wind and cold, the less protective measures you have to take later in the winter vines. A cover with fleece or brushwood can protect the Winterporree from early, hard bald frosts.
While onions are one of the medium-eaters, the leeks tend to tend to the heavy eaters. Allium needs so generous fertilizer. That is, the soil should be loosely loosened before the outdoor culture and mixed with organic fertilizer or mature compost. Another option is to generously mix the soil with nettle or grass chives. Coarse clods should be crushed. This soil preparation is ideally done as early as January or February.
Tip: If you would like to prepare the soil in the fall: A pre-sowing with mustard or lupine is an optimal green manure for the leeks next spring.


As an intermediate crop, as long as the leek has not yet picked up speed, salads are perfect. Good neighbors are:
  • celery
  • kohlrabi
  • cucumber
  • cabbage
  • marjoram
  • endive
  • cabbage
  • carrots
Bush beans, runner beans, beetroot and peas are not good neighbors for leeks. If you put wormwood, oregano, carrots or radishes aside for leeks, you are also selling leek moths at the same time. Tagetes (marigolds) fend off the white fly.On the other hand, leeks placed between the strawberries can prevent mold diseases in the strawberries.


In addition to the fertilizer and regular watering should rake the rows often times, loosen up and free from the weeds. You can, towards the end of the season, push the earth out of the furrows between the rows of the leeks. Best always just below the leaf axles, so keep the rings reasonably clean from the ground.


Leek - leek

As a starvation gurantee you give the leek a good start at the beginning, if you mix the soil generously with compost before. If a pre-sowing with green manure has taken place, it can be raised and still be able to incorporate compost. After a month you start with regular fertilizer, every two weeks. Either you pour stinging nettle or sprinkle organic fertilizer on the ground. The fertilizer can be quietly stressed nitrogen.

to water

In the main growing season the leek needs a lot of water, especially in dry weather periods it has to be watered daily. Otherwise the right measure can be found. The leek must never completely dry out and also constant wetness or even waterlogging should be avoided.


Leeks need a relatively long ripening period, but only five to six months after they are ready. The rods then have a diameter of about three centimeters. The summer and autumn pear can be harvested bit by bit, but should be harvested before the first frosts. Winterporree is reasonably hardy and can be harvested all winter long on frost free days. The harvest times of the varieties:
  • Summerporree July, August
  • Autumn Portree September - December
  • Winterporree December - May
If the poles are cut off just above the root and the ambient temperatures are still warm enough, new, slightly thinner poles can form again. Otherwise, you go for the harvest of the whole rods, carefully with a rake to under the roots and pry something out of the soil. The best time to do so is early in the morning. Then the rods should rest for a while so they lose some nitrite. In the afternoon you can pull them out of the ground completely.


If you want to have a basis for a new breed from your own leek, you have two options. Once you can wait for some, not harvested, rods in the spring flowers and then seeds have formed. Or, one cuts off the inflorescences, then forming bulbs. If you dig these out, you can use them individually for new leeks.
For the multiplication one selects oneself some strong plants, which one lets stand. Beautiful flower balls will be created next summer. When they are dry, they can be cut off and the seeds are knocked out. If the leek starts to shoot in the winter due to the cold stimulus, then these flowers are not suitable for semen production.


Leek - leek

Here are some vigorous and robust leeks for each harvest season.

summer leek

  • 'Albana'
  • 'Alma'
  • 'Bavaria'
  • 'Tropia'

autumn leek

  • 'Ducal'
  • 'Elephant'
  • 'Gino'
  • 'Autumn Giant'
  • 'Herbstriesen Hannibal'
  • 'Blue-green autumn'
  • 'Easton'
  • 'Belton'

winter leeks

  • 'Blue-green winter'
  • 'Natan'
  • 'Genita'
  • 'Fahrenheit'
  • 'Freezo'
  • 'D'hiver de Saint-Victor'
  • 'Pluston'
  • 'Siegfried'

Diseases and pests

Those who resort to semi-resistant seeds and robust varieties will not get into much trouble with diseases and pests. Leek moth, leekminer fly, onion fly, nematode and leopard reef can be dangerous. For the protection of the leek, fine-mesh nets are often stretched over the rows against the flying pests.
But good protection is also the cultivation of a mixed culture. Especially carrots, wormwood and tergetes are protective neighbors. Too much humidity and too much nitrogen Fertilizers promote the spread of fungal diseases, such as porreerost. Especially with the closely meshed vegetable nets it may be that the plants are not well ventilated.
All in all, the cultivation of leek seems, despite some peculiarities quite feasible. Basically, it is easier and easier to start with young plants. The danger of pests and diseases can be minimized with a few suitable partners on the side. If you are planning larger quantities, you should also think about the storage. Winterporree can stay in the earth well into the next year. The summer and autumn varieties should be harvested before the first frost. Leek, however, blanched for a short time, can also freeze very well.

Video Board: Preparing Leeks for Exhibition.

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