How to grow leeks from seed

How to grow leeks from seed

Find out how to grow leeks from seed in our step-by-step guide.

A table displaying which months are best to sow, plant and harvest.
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
To do
To do

Do not To do in January

Do To do in February

Do To do in March

Do To do in April

Do To do in May

Do To do in June

Do not To do in July

Do not To do in August

Do not To do in September

Do not To do in October

Do not To do in November

Do not To do in December

Home-grown leeks are far superior to those bought in shops and versatile in the kitchen. They’re easy to grow from seed, and if you sow at intervals from February to June, you can harvest them from late August, through winter until the following February.

More on growing leeks:

Follow our step-by-step guide to growing leeks from seed.

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You Will Need

  • Leek seeds
  • Multi-purpose, peat-free compost
  • Seed tray or small pots
  • Garden fork
  • Garden string
  • Dibber
  • Watering can
  • Fleece

Step 1

Fill pots or seed trays with good quality, multi-purpose compost and firm gently. Scatter the seed thinly on the surface, cover with a few millimetres of compost, water and keep moist.

Sowing leek seed
Sowing leek seed

Step 2

Pot on seedlings individually into small pots or do it the ‘cheat’s’ way: remove the pot and pull the rootball apart, and place it in a larger part-filled pot and add compost between the seedlings.

Transplanting young leeks
Transplanting young leeks

Step 3

Fork soil to remove all debris and large stones and break up any large clods. If necessary, incorporate some well-rotted manure or garden compost to improve soil texture and fertility.

Forking soil to remove clumps and stones
Forking soil to remove clumps and stones

Step 4

Transplant the leeks into the ground when they’re about 15-20cm tall. Use a broom handle to make holes 15-20cm deep and about 15cm apart. Leave about 30cm between rows.

Transplanting leeks
Transplanting leeks

Step 5

Carefully lower one leek plant into each hole, twisting each between your fingers to get the roots in. Check the roots are in the bottom of the hole and water well so soil is washed in. Cover the crop with well-pegged-down horticultural fleece.

'Puddling in' leeks
‘Puddling in’ leeks

Step 6

On a heavy soil, use a fork to lift leeks when harvesting. On light soils you may be able to pull direct. For best freshness and flavour, lift leeks from the veg plot when you need them.

Harvesting leeks
Harvesting leeks
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Protect against leek moth

Cover the developing crop with well-pegged-down fleece from the moment you plant it. This avoids infestations of leek moth, whose caterpillars cause foliage dieback and low cropping.

Watering can