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Moonlit Hare


It's the 1st time I've tried growing leeks and I'm not convinced I'm doing it right!

I started off the seed in cells and then planted them into the veggie patch.

When I transplanted they where probably 2 to 3 inches tall and basically looked like chives. I planted them so the soil from the cells where level with the ground.

They still look healthy and I'd even go as far as saying they have got a little taller but not much, I suppose really I want to know is when do they start looking like leeks and not chives. Do I need to do anything to help them along the way.

I suspect I might just be being impatient but there we go!

Thanks in advance for your help!


When my Hubby plants out his leeks he makes a hole with a dibber ,drops the leek plant in and then tops the holes up with water not soil- this makes a good white bit of the  Leeks as they grow. The other thing he does with leeks for our local show is to put drainpipe collars around the leeks but this is if you are really keen !

Pam x

Emma Crawforth

Hello Moonlit Hare,

You'll need to keep your leeks well watered (no problem with the weather we're having at the moment) and weed around them. Weeding with onions and leeks is usually easy as you can tell the weeds from the crop without difficulty most of the time. Hoe between plants on dry days to keep weed growth down. They like soil that has been improved with manure so that's something to bear in mind when you're preparing the soil for next year's crop! Another point for next year is that the easiest planting method involves making large holes and simply watering the plants in. Have a look at Monty's video on leek planting for how to do this. After planting you can gradually earth up around leeks to get a nice white stem. I hope you get a good crop.

Emma team

Moonlit Hare

Sorry if I'm being a bit dim here! but it is all quite new and  shiney!

so I just drop the seedling right in the hole and not worry about covering the leaves right?

Also if this is the case do you think I'd get away with lifting the seedling already there and doing the dibber/ watering in thing now.... they are still only really small.....?

But thanks both Emma and Pam



Leave them be for now.  Leeks only need transplanting when they are about 6-8 inches tall, then do the dibber thing, planting them 6 inches apart in rows a foot apart.  They won't be ready to start harvesting until the Autumn.


i'm knew to growing leeks too and  have got them in a large round pot till they grow abit more,i too have used  the dibber to make holes and also held the leaves up against my canes is this okay to do.

Green Magpie

You're supposed to to the transplanting/dibber thing when the leeks are about as fat as a pencil. Mine are not that fat yet but I've transplanted some anyway, and I think they'll be fine. You make a good deep hole and drop the leek in, so that all the white and some of the green is in the hole. Then you water them in (or at the moment you just scamper indoors), and gradually the hole will fill up.

If yours are still very skinny, it might be worth thinning them out a bit if they're growing very close. You can use the thinnings like chives, or heel them in a corner somewhere and they may grow to a useful size. Then let the remaining leeks grow on a bit until they're big enough to transplant.

Moonlit Hare

Well on checking last night, my leeks won't even pass for chives...... no worries, the much beloved's dad to the rescue, (insert fanfare here!)

He's got spares we can have which are ready to dib in!

Leek soup here we come! Whoo hoo!

My leeks still look like chives. Was late planring them last year but i eventually  got some lovely leeks. Ran out of room at the allotment so they had to wait.Definately use the dibber and drop i plant into the hole then water them in.I guess they will catch up in the end. Its all done to patience.

Moonlit Hare

Thanks Maud I might just keep them a bit longer then and see if they come good..... you can never have enough leeks if you ask me!

I finally dug up the last about 6 weeks ago and they were so nice. I currenrtly have the onoins all drying off in the greenhouse, my cat Grendle is fast asleep on top of them. He's not the brightest of cats and im sure the bed is a bit lumpy. Planning to dig uo garlic fairly soon just waiting for a fine day. Do you remember them?

I'm also a novice leek grower but I having read the previous comments I feel that I've done roughly the right thing. Could someone please explain 'earthing up'



Hi Sushichick & welcome!  Planting them into holes made with a dibber is to help blanch the lower part of the leek which is usually what is eaten.  You can do the same thing by raising a mound of soil around each leek.  This is known as 'earthing up.'  By doing that you prevent light reaching the lower part and it turns white/light green instead of dark green (which is what blanching means in this context.)


You need to be careful with earthing up that you don't get dirt inside your leek.  This is the same reason you fill your dibber hole with water not soil.  Use a plastic collar to blanche more of your leek.  That way there's a lot less chance of having a gritty leek for tea.

Thanks so much - excellent advice!
Wish me luck...

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