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Grow Guides,  Vegetables

How to Grow Luscious Leeks: Seed to Harvest to Table

Last Updated on August 9, 2023

In all our years gardening, and with a seemingly endless list of veggie varieties we’ve grown, we discovered leeks later in our gardening game. But once we started growing leeks, I was like: where have you been all my life? Leeks are delicious, beautiful, fun and easy to grow (albeit a tad slow). Yet their journey to maturation is a laid back one, as very few pests bother leeks, and they’re also frost-tolerant.

Ready to become a certified leek geek? Read along to learn how to grow leeks, from seed through harvest and beyond. We’ll talk about the best time of year to grow leeks, starting seeds, transplanting seedlings, ongoing care, and different varieties of leeks to grow. After harvest, we’ll also cover several ways to store, preserve, and eat fresh leeks – including leek greens!

What are Leeks?

Leeks are part of the Allium family, alongside onions, scallions, and garlic. They have an onion-like flavor, but are far more mild and sweet. Unlike many alliums, leeks don’t form bulbs. Instead, they’re easily recognized by their long, thick, cylindrical white stalk. Atop their stalk, leeks grow a fan of wide, flat, blue-green leaves – which can be a bit tough but are also edible! Leeks are considered a cool-season crop, though they are adapted to growing in a wide range of temperatures, much like onions.

Nutritionally speaking, leeks are rockstars! While low in calories, they boast an impressive amount of vitamins and minerals including manganese, iron, folate, vitamin K, vitamin B6 and vitamin C. Like the rest of the allium family, leeks also contain an high amount of flavonoid antioxidants. According to WebMD “Flavonoids are antioxidants and may have anti-inflammatory, anti-diabetic, and anticancer properties, as well as other health benefits.”

Six freshly harvested leeks are shown against a wood back drop. One third of each leek is more white in color and is solid all the way through, as you move up towards the top two thirds of the leek it becomes more green and leafy.
A harvest of Jumper leeks from our garden

Growing Leeks: At a Glance

  • Days to maturity: 55 to 180 days after transplanting, depending on variety.
  • Temperature: Leeks thrive in temperatures 55-75°F. They can tolerate hotter weather, though their growth rate may decline.
  • Planting time: Spring in northern climates. Spring or late summer to fall in mild southern climates.
  • Direct sow or transplant: starting leek seeds indoors to transplant later is preferable in most cases.
  • Plant spacing: 6 inches apart, plant seedlings 3-6 inches deep.
  • Growing preferences: full sun, ample consistent water, well-draining soil, moderate nitrogen and organic matter.
  • Frost tolerant: Yes, once mature (seedlings are not).
  • Pests: few, including thrips, maggots, and fungal diseases.

Types of Leeks: Short vs Long Season

Leek varieties fall into one of two general categories: long season or short.

Short season leeks, also known as “early season” leeks, are ready to harvest within 50-100 days of planting seedlings. Short season leeks are generally smaller, more mild-tasting, and less hardy than long season leeks. Yet they are ideal for gardeners with a short cool-season growing window. Popular short season leek varieties include King Richard, Varna, Rally and Lancelot.

On the other hand, long season leek varieties need more than 100 days to reach maturity – some up to 180 days after transplanting! Even more, long season leeks can often be left in the ground for “storage” after they reach maturity, for up to 210 days (or until the ground freezes). These leeks are larger, more cold-tolerant, and can be stored longer – including in the ground or after harvest. Long season leeks also benefit from blanching, described more to follow. 

Notable long season leek varieties (100-150 days on average) are Comanche, Bandit, Runner, Carentan, Tardorna, Giant American Flag and Giant Musselburgh.

Sometimes you’ll also see a third “mid-season” leek category, capturing the leeks that take 90-120 days to mature in their own intermediate group. The vast majority of leek varieties are mid to long season types.

DeannaCat is standing in a garden full of flowering perennials, agave, trees, shrubs, and vines along with paver lined gravel pathways. She is wearing a multi color striped dress and is holding freshly harvest leeks, about 3 or 4 leeks per hand as the greens hang down well below her knees. Grow leeks to use in a various ways inside the kitchen.
A late spring harvest of leeks (planted in late fall). Here on the temperate Central Coast of California, we can grow leeks virtually year-round.

When to Plant Leeks

When is the best time to plant leeks, you wonder? Most gardeners plant short season leeks in the spring to harvest in summer to early fall. In the north, long season leeks are also planted in spring, but can be harvested up until the ground freezes. Mature leeks are frost-tolerant.

Southern gardeners with mild, virtually frost-free winters have more flexibility. They too can plant leeks in spring, as well as in late summer or fall as part of their winter garden. Fall-planted leeks can overwinter to harvest in late winter or spring. Here on the temperate Central Coast of California, we grow leeks year-round!

For spring planting, start leek seeds indoors in late winter about 8 to 10 weeks before your area’s last spring frost date. Transplant leek seedlings outside after the last risk of spring frost has passed. See more tips about growing leeks from seed below.

To determine the best time to start leek seeds and transplant them outdoors for your particular zone, check out the Homestead and Chill planting calendars – available for every USDA hardiness zone!

Learn when to plant seeds by using this planting calendar for Zone 9, it has many different vegetables lined up on the left side of the chart and all of the months of the year listed on the top of the chart. Each vegetable has different colored lines that correspond with when to start seeds inside, transplant outdoors, and plant seeds outside, along with corresponding last frost date and first frost date where applicable. The lines start left to right, showing what months you should do each particular task depending on the season and where you live.
An example of the Homestead and Chill planting calendars, zone 9. Get a printable planting calendar for every zone as part of our free garden planning toolkit for email subscribers!

Growing Leeks from Seed or Seedlings

There are two ways to grow leeks: start them from seed yourself, or purchase already-started seedlings to plant. We have done both, but usually prefer to start from seed. 

One key benefit of growing leeks from seed is the ability to choose specific varieties that sound intriguing or most suitable for your climate. For instance, we look for leek varieties that are naturally resistant to rust – a fungal disease that affects the allium family, which is fairly common in our area. 

Yet there is nothing wrong with growing leeks from nursery seedlings either! (If you can find them at your local garden center, that is.) Nursery seedlings are especially convenient if you don’t have seed starting supplies, have a short growing season, and/or didn’t start seeds on time.

Should I start leek seeds indoors or direct-sow leeks outside?

To grow leeks from seed, you’ll find the most success by starting the seeds indoors (or in a greenhouse) in containers and transplanting seedlings outside later. 

While you technically can direct-sow leek seeds outside, I don’t usually recommend it since the seeds can be finicky to germinate. Plus, long-season leek varieties will greatly benefit from the jump start they’ll get inside – much sooner than you could start them outside in colder climates. Last but not least, starting leeks from seed in a container allows you to bury the leek stem deeper come transplant time, which helps promote the most upright, tender, and delicious leeks. 

Many trays of 50 cell packs are shown with leek seedlings growing within each. Grow leeks from seed for a chance to grow a variety.
Leek seedlings started in nursery trays, with a few seeds planted per cell.

Tips for Starting Leek Seeds Indoors

  • Start spring leek seeds indoors about 8 to 10 weeks before your area’s last frost date (usually in mid to late winter). For fall planting in mild climates, start leek seeds in late summer.
  • Plant leek seeds in fresh, sterile, fluffy seed-starting mix. 
  • You can start leek seeds in traditional seedling cell trays or “6 packs”, planting a few seeds per cell. Or, scatter seeds (not too heavily) across a single large shallow tray of seedling soil, and thin/separate the seedlings later – also known as the multi-sow method. 
  • Sow leek seeds ¼” deep, covered only lightly with soil (not compacted).
  • Spacing leek seeds at least 1/4″ to 1/2″ apart will make it easier to separate the seedlings later.
  • Ideal soil temperature for leek seeds to sprout is around 70°F. They can germinate in cooler temperatures, though at a much slower rate. Use a seedling heat mat to promote quick and even germination. 
  • Maintain the seedling soil damp (but not soggy) at all times. Keep the trays covered with a humidity dome before germination to prevent the soil from drying out. Uncover once they sprout.
  • Leek seeds are fairly slow to sprout, so be patient! They should germinate within 2 weeks, or about 10 days on average. 
  • As soon as they sprout, provide ample bright light for at least 12 to 16 hours per day. Grow lights are highly recommended when starting seeds indoors.
  • When in doubt, follow the instructions provided on your seed package.
  • See our seed starting guide for more detailed information on starting and caring for seedlings indoors.

A  clear plastic cup is in the foreground with many leek seedlings sprouting out of the soil within. There are various plastic cups in the background with different seedlings growing within them. Grow leeks from seed to ensure the right variety for your zone.
Many leek seedlings started in a single larger container, also known as the multi-sow method. These leek seedlings will need to be gently teased apart later before transplanting.

How to Plant Leeks (Transplant Leek Seedlings)

Once the leek seedlings are at least 7 to 8 inches tall and about as thick as a pencil, it’s time to plant your leeks outside! Whether you are growing leeks from seed or purchased seedlings, the following transplanting tips apply:

  • Before transplanting, ensure indoor-raised seedlings have been hardened off first. The hardening off process reduces the risk for transplant shock or injury. Learn more here.
  • Transplant leek seedlings outdoors in spring after the last risk of frost has passed. Keep an eye on the weather forecast and be prepared to protect seedlings from frost if needed. Mature leeks can withstand a light frost (especially long-season varieties) but tender seedlings are far more susceptible to frost damage. 
  • Gently separate or pull apart any leek seedlings that may still be clustered in the same seedling pot or tray. Remove the root ball from the container, gently loosen the soil, and slowly untangle the leeks – taking care to not to break the roots or seedlings. 
  • Plant, space or thin each leek seedling about 6 inches apart. Adequate spacing is essential for leeks to grow to their potential size!
  • Dig a trench approximately 6 inches deep, or use a dibble or small trowel to create 3 to 6-inch deep holes.
  • You can plant leek seedlings deep, with a majority of the stem buried and only a couple inches of green tips showing above the soil line (see depth discussion below).
  • Gently and loosely backfill, but don’t compact the soil around the seedling stem. Or, don’t backfill at all and let the holes fill in on their own with time.

How deep should I plant leek seedlings?

This deserves it’s own discussion because there is a lot of confusion and conflicting information out there about transplanting leek seedlings. Most garden experts recommend planting leek seedlings deep (up to 6″, with most of the stem buried) to reduce the need for blanching. Planting leeks deep will result in a longer white stalk, which some folks find more desirable. Yet deeply-planted or hilled leeks may also harbor more dirt inside this way – so there’s a tradeoff.

However, you don’t have to bury them so deep. Leeks grow just fine if only minimally buried, planted 2-3″ deep. Their stalk color will simply be light green instead of pearly white. If you desire extra-white leeks, you can always blanch them later after planting (read more below). Or, simply let them grow au natural like we usually do!

Three leek seedlings are laying on their side on top of garden soil. Each seedling has been taken out of its tray, revealing a robust root ball below. There are many white roots crossing this way and that amongst the clod of soil that contains the roots. Grow leeks for a great harvest of alliums.
Some of our leek seedlings, which were started in 6-packs. Since there was only one leek seedling per cell, I can plant the whole root ball as-is.
DeannaCat is holding two small leek seedlings which she broke apart as they were sharing the same seedling cell pack, their roots intertwined together. Now there are two separate leek seedlings to plant. The other leek seedlings lay on the garden soil below.
These two leek seedlings were sharing the same cell, so I gently teased them apart before planting.
A bunch of leek seedlings lay on top of fresh garden soil, a shovel is partially hidden in the soil below. Grow leeks to add a variety to your garden harvests.
These leek seedlings were growing as a cluster in a single container, so they need to be carefully separated before each one gets planted in its own hole.

Leek Growing Requirements: Sun, Soil, Fertilizer, Water & Mulch

  • To grow the best leeks, choose a location that receives ample sun. Leeks will tolerate partial shade but grow most vigorously in full sun.
  • You can grow leeks in the ground, in raised garden beds, or even in large grow bags.
  • Leeks grow best in well-draining soil that is rich with organic matter. If needed, amend clay or heavy soils with quality potting soil and/or horticulture sand to promote good drainage.
  • Leeks are fairly heavy feeders and enjoy ample nitrogen. Before planting, add a couple inches of well-aged compost to the soil. We also add a sprinkle of slow-release organic fertilizer, gently scratched into the top of the soil. Long season leeks may benefit from a mid-season feeding of compost tea, dilute seaweed extract, fish fertilizer, or a side dressing of mild slow-release granular fertilizer. Avoid strong fertilizers mid-season, as it could trigger leeks to bolt.
  • Leeks thrive with consistent moisture. Therefore, water leeks regularly enough to maintain the soil damp (though not soggy) at all times. 
  • Mulch around the base of leeks (once they’re no longer tender seedlings) to help with moisture retention and insulate against temperature extremes. One to two inches of mulch is adequate for leek seedlings that were initially buried 4 to 6” deep. Provide a deeper layer of mulch for shallowly-planted seedlings (see ‘blanching’ below) or when freezing conditions are expected. 

Many onions are growing with a few leeks growing in the furthest back row.  Peppers are growing next to the onions, in the background lies another garden bed that is full with bok choy, kale and other greens. Beyond that lies a wall of flowering perennial sage and salvia. Grow leeks to add dimension and versatility to your garden area.
Immature leeks in our garden

Blanching Leeks

Blanching is the act of covering or hilling soil around leek stalks as they grow, blocking sunlight from the lower portion. It encourages the leaves to grow higher up the plant and results in a longer, whiter stalk. Un-blanched leek stalks are light green instead. Certain leek varieties are “self-blanching” and produce white stalks even when exposed to the sun while growing.

Some folks claim that the more white and blanched the stalk, the more tender and sweet the leek is. However, this claim has also been repeatedly refuted in blind taste tests when comparing blanched to un-blanched leeks. So, it seems blanching is more about aesthetic than anything.

To blanch leeks, simply hill up soil or mulch around the base of the plant, burying a couple inches of the stalk (but not too high or dirt will end up between the leaves). Do this two or three times throughout the growing season, hilling higher each time. Another way to blanch leeks is to cover or wrap their stalks, such as with cut cardboard tubes made from toilet paper or paper towel rolls.

Blanching is most useful when leek seeds are directly sown outside, or if seedlings are buried shallowly when they’re first transplanted. When leeks seedlings are transplanted deeply with the “dibble method” or in deep trenches, the need for hilling is reduced or eliminated. It’s also less necessary when growing short-season leek varieties. 

Two rows of leeks are growing in rich garden soil, they have many green leaves growing out of the middle of the leek, draping down towards the ground. Beyond lies rows of red cabbage and green kale, along with rows of onions to the right.
Rather than hilling soil to blanch leeks, the base of these stalks have been wrapped to block the sun.
Rows of smaller leek plants growing with a plastic cylinder around them to allow for longer white stalks that are more prized when one grows leeks.
Another example of blanching leeks.
DeannaCat is holding a freshly harvest large leek. It's roots are pointing towards the sky as it is being held upside down. It has a thick, mostly green stalk that is still plenty tender.
One of our homegrown leeks, left to grow without blanching. The stalk is light green in color instead of white (minus the tip) but are still plenty tender and delicious.

Leek Pests & Diseases

Thankfully, leeks are inflicted by few pests compared to most garden crops, making them relatively fuss-free to grow. Rather, leeks, onions, and other members of the allium family naturally deter many pest insects! Leeks are most susceptible to pests or diseases that affect onions. 

The most common leek pests include: 

  • Onion thrips are tiny yellow-brown colored leaf-sucking insects. They are fairly common but most prolific in hot, dry conditions. They concentrate in tight folds between leaves and focus their feeding on new succulent growth. Organic management strategies include neem oil spray, biological control with beneficial insects (such as lacewing larvae and predatory thrips) and the removal of heavily infested plants.
  • Onion maggots are the larvae from the onion maggot fly. Similar size to a housefly, onion maggot flies lay eggs near the base of allium plants, where their larvae will emerge and begin to feed. They feed on allium seedlings, roots and bulbs, causing wilting or reduced growth. Onion maggots thrive in cooler damp conditions (especially coastal climates) and are not as bothersome in hot arid climates. As natural predators to maggots and grubs, the application of beneficial nematodes is an excellent and effective organic onion maggot control option. 
  • Allium Leaf Miners are invasive insects from Poland, and are currently only found in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions of the U.S. The fly-like pests pierce and feed on plant sap, and lay eggs within the plant tissues.
  • Leek moth is found in Canada, Asia, Europe and Africa, though not yet in the continental United States.
  • Fungal diseases such as allium rust, downy mildew, pink rot, white rot, and Botrytis leaf blight. Homemade neem oil spray can help reduce the spread and damage caused by most fungal diseases. Dilute potassium bicarbonate spray is another effective organic fungicide. Check out our article on powdery mildew control for more details on using both solutions.

A close up picture of allium rust on leek greens. There are splotches of red, orange, and even black, some of them even raised off the leek greens themselves. If you grow leeks in an area with allium rust, be on the look out for this disease.
Leek rust aka allium rust

Flowering or Bolting Leeks

Us gardeners grow leeks as annual crops, though they’re technically biennials. That means if they’re left long enough in the ground (beyond their prime harvest time), they will form a center flowering stalk and eventually produce seeds. Leeks may also form a flowering stalk prematurely, referred to as “bolting” or “going to seed”. 

Leeks may bolt when presented with unfavorable growing conditions, such as too little or irregular water, too much fertilizer (especially high phosphorus fertilizer), or too little sunlight. Unlike many garden veggies that bolt due to hot weather, consistently cold conditions (e.g. daytime temperatures regularly under 45°F) can cause leeks to bolt instead. The best way to prevent leeks from bolting is to grow leeks at the right time of year for your climate, and transplant seedlings before they become too large or root-bound. 

Once leeks begin to flower, their stalks and leaves become increasingly tough, woody and bitter (though still technically edible). Therefore, if you notice your leeks start to flower, harvest them as soon as possible since the quality will only continue to decline. That is, unless you want to leave the flowers to enjoy! They’re quite beautiful, and popular with the pollinators too. 

An allium flowering, it is a large ball with many flowers emanating from the middle of the ball. The background contains garden beds with many bright orange and yellow flowers.

When and How to Harvest Leeks

Harvest leeks once they’ve reached the desired size. Check the description of the particular leek variety you are growing to determine their expected maturation time and size. Like onions, you can harvest leeks early and enjoy them as tender premature versions of their adult selves if you’d like! 

One of the beautiful things about growing leeks is that you don’t have to harvest them all at once. Long season leek varieties can be left and stored in the ground until you’re ready for them – as long as they don’t begin to flower and aren’t exposed to a hard freeze (though they’re frost tolerant). When hard freezing conditions are expected, either harvest the leeks or protect them with mulch and horticultural fleece.

When it comes time to harvest leeks, remember: DIG, don’t pull! Leeks can be deep-rooted in the soil, and pulling up on them risks breaking the precious stalk. Instead, carefully insert a small trowel or spading fork straight down into the soil near the stem to gently loosen and lift the leek upwards from below.  

A raised garden bed of leeks and onions is featured. DeannaCat has a trowel partially dug into the soil around the leek to illustrate that when you grow leeks, they should be dug up when harvested as opposed to pulled out.
To harvest leeks, gently dig around them, prying them upwards from below. Don’t pull!
Six leeks lay on the soil surface after they had been harvested. They are very dirty and have tall sections of white stalk due to the fact that they were blanched. If you grow leeks this way, be sure to clean them properly before using as they can be quite dirty.
Leeks after harvest. These leeks had been blanched/hilled while growing.

Storing Fresh Leeks

After harvest, avoid washing or trimming the leeks until you’re ready to use them. (That is, unless you intend to use them within the next few days). You can trim off the dirty roots, but don’t cut into the stalk itself. Store fresh leeks in the refrigerator tucked inside a plastic bag (or two, if they’re extra tall). Refrigerated leeks should stay good for at least a week or two, sometimes longer. 

Another option to store fresh leeks is in a root cellar, ideally between 32 and 40°F. After harvest, transfer the leeks (unwashed, roots still intact) into a bucket of horticulture sand or fresh potting soil. Stand them upright in the sand/soil and cover several inches of the bottom stalk. Certain leek varieties can stay good for several months in a root cellar! 

Ways to Eat Leeks (and Leek Greens)

Leeks are a wonderful mild substitute for onion in any recipe. The tender stalks are fantastic thinly-sliced on top of pizza, sourdough focaccia, in stir-fry, pasta or rice dishes, omelets and quiche, soups, sauces, and more. They’re also fantastic grilled, or turned into pesto. Then of course perhaps leek’s most renowned use: potato leek soup! Try our creamy vegan potato leek soup recipe here

A birds eye view  of various vegetables  arranged in an artistic manner. There are six leeks, a small bowl of fingerling potatoes, larger potatoes and five or so stalks of celery. There is also fresh sage, thyme, and bay scattered here and there throughout the arrangement.
A white ceramic bowl with handles is shown full of potato leek soup garnished in the middle with chopped fresh chives. There are various sprigs of fresh herbs arranged around the outside of the bowl such as sage, bay leaf, thyme, and chives.
Try our creamy (vegan) potato leek soup recipe here.

How to Prepare Leeks

The cylindrical stalk is the most edible, tender, and delicious portion of the leek. To prepare leeks, cut off the firm root end as well as the upper leafy green portion. (But don’t discard those just yet!) Peel away a few outer layers of the stalk if needed; they may be more tough or dirty. Finally, thinly slice the stalk into rounds to use in your recipe of choice. 

Since leeks are grown partially underground they can be quite dirty, including hiding between the layers of leaves. In addition to running them under water, you can clean leeks by soaking cut leeks in a bowl of water if needed. The dirt will settle to the bottom of the bowl, while the leek pieces will float and can be scooped out. (I’ve found commercially grown leeks to be far more dirty than our homegrown leeks, and don’t usually need to soak ours). 

A close up image of a leek being cut into thin rounds on a wood cutting board. There is a small pile of cut leeks next to it with a few green leek leaves set aside.
A metal bowl is full with cut leek rounds and water. It is best to soak leeks that may be dirty after you prep them to ride the layers of dirt.

Can you eat leek greens?

Yes, you absolutely can eat leek greens! Yet they can be quite tough and chewy, especially the uppermost portion. Therefore, I suggest using the lower leek greens (closer to the white stalk) for cooking applications. Thinly-sliced, those leek greens make a great addition to soup or other recipes where they can cook long enough to soften. Or, if they get blended up – like added to our besto pesto recipe. Yet our favorite way to use leek greens is to dehydrate and turn them into leek powder. We use some of the toughest top leek greens for that!

An image of leeks in the process of being trimmed. DeannaCat is holding a bunch of leek greens together using both of her hands. The many layers of leaves are visible and they range in color from light and dark green to slight yellow. On the cutting board below lies the bottom third of the remaining leeks which are more solid in texture and will be used for potato leek soup. Also on the board below are more leek greens from the top portion of the leeks which are much more dark green in color.
We were using these homegrown leek stalks to make potato leek soup, including some of the leafy green portion closest to the stalk (shown on the top right). Then, most of the remaining greens were cut up to dry into homemade leek powder. The toughest tattered tips go into the compost.
Six stainless steel dehydrator trays are laid out in a two by three rectangle. Each tray is covered in leek greens that have been cut into smaller squares or rectangles. They are spread out in a way to where they are touching edge to edge in some places but are not overlapping. The colors of the leek greens range from light green to yellow to dark green.
Cut leek greens laid out on our Excalibur dehydrator trays, ready to dry!

Can you eat leeks raw?

Sure can! Just as you can eat raw onions, raw leeks offer an even more mild (and more enjoyable, in my opinion) pop of flavor to many meals. Add thinly-sliced raw leek stalks mixed into salads (including potato or pasta salad), dips, pesto, or homemade salad dressings. They’re also great as a garnish on top of roasted veggies, sandwiches, egg dishes, soups, salads, and more. I personally would not eat tough leek greens raw.

Preserving Leeks

Fresh leeks can be frozen, dehydrated, canned, fermented or pickled. We love to preserve leeks by drying them to make leek powder. The result is a delicious sweet onion-like seasoning powder. Learn how to make and use leek green powder here. Freezing leeks is also easy, explained below. Another great way to preserve leeks is to freeze potato leek soup!    

Freezing Leeks

Freezing leeks is a great way to preserve leeks when you have more than you can eat fresh. Later, frozen leeks can be added to soups, sauces, or other recipes that call for cooked leeks. However, their texture won’t be quite as great as fresh leeks. 

To freeze leeks, cut them into thin rounds so they’re ready to use without further preparation after thawing. Line a baking sheet or other tray that can fit in your freezer with parchment paper, then lay the cut leeks out in a single layer. Next, freeze the tray until the leeks are frozen solid (overnight or 24 hours).

Finally, transfer the individually-frozen leek pieces into a freezer safe storage container and place back in the freezer for final storage. Move quickly so they don’t defrost while you work. This way, the leeks won’t stick together into one solid clump, making it easier to pull out just a portion of them as needed. 

DeannaCat holding a pint mason jar that is two thirds full of green leek powder. It is piled up in the center of a jar in a slight mound. On the side of the glass jar the word "leek" is written vertically from bottom to top in white marker. In the background are various leaves of indoor houseplants such as alocasia and fiddle leaf fig. Grow leeks to dry your own.
Homegrown leek powder: like a sweet, mild onion powder. So delicious, so many uses!

And now you know how to grow leeks – and then some!

In closing, I hope this article boosted your confidence and excitement about growing leeks. Between their easy care, unique appearance, and versatility in the kitchen, they’ve certainly become a staple in our garden! Please let me know if you have any lingering questions that I didn’t address in the comments below. If you found this article to be helpful, please feel free to spread the leek love by pinning or sharing this post. Thank you so much for reading!

Ready to learn more? Don’t miss these awesome grow guides:

DeannaCat signature, keep on growing


  • Ellie

    Your article answered ALL of my questions I was wondering about for the last few years. As a result of your sharing your indepth knowledge, I am growing leeks for the first time under the grow lights (seeded them today)
    Thanks a bunch 🙂

    • Aaron (Mr. DeannaCat)

      That’s great to hear Ellie, we love growing leeks and hope you enjoy growing them as well, good luck and have fun growing!

  • Karan Miller

    We just harvested our last leeks. The first ones were sweet and tender. These last 6 were somewhat bigger round , tough, and very hot. I was using a recipe that called for steaming them in 1 1/2 pieces 6-8 minutes. I steamed them about 15 minutes because they were bigger and they held together . But they were very hot, heating up my whole mouth. I couldn’t bear to throw them away, so they’re in the refrigerator. Can you think of a way to soften the heat? Baking? I have a leek galette recipe. They are King Richard. Thanks for any help. Karan

    • Aaron (Mr. DeannaCat)

      Hi Karan, that is interesting as leeks are typically sweet and fairly mild compared to regular onions. I think using them in soup, quiche, or galette would be a good way to use them, possibly sautéing them in butter or oil for use in your recipe would bring out the sweetness and hopefully cut down on the spicy flavor you are experiencing. We have also dried leek greens and some of the whiter flesh and turned them into leek powder for use as a seasoning. Hope that helps and good luck with your leeks!

    • Aaron (Mr. DeannaCat)

      Hi Pamela, unfortunately our website isn’t set up for easy printing of the articles. Sorry about the inconvenience but we are grateful that you enjoy the site.

  • Ronald Gooden

    I really have enjoyed your site I would have never grown leeks until I saw your site.
    It works out great for me also as I live in Florida and my zone is 9b.
    You have provided so much information you put so much time and effort into supplying us with pictures videos and everything anyone would need to successfully grow veggies.
    I am 75 years old and this is the first time I have had an extremely productive garden, I am on cloud nine.
    I have purchased several items from the sites you have mentioned and they are first class.

    I can’t thank you enough and Aaron you are a lucky man to have Deanna with you.
    Yes I envy you, what a wonderful life you two are having.

    • Aaron (Mr. DeannaCat)

      Hello Ronald, so glad to hear you are having such success in your garden and I do consider myself very lucky! Have fun in the garden and we appreciate your support.

  • Keri Wagner

    Hi Deanna! I’ve never even had a leek before, but as a fledgling gardener I heard easy and like onions. I’m adding them to my list for next fall for sure.

    Thank you for all the great articles, Instagram sorties, and posts. I appreciate you and Aaron (plus the fur babies)!

    • Aaron (Mr. DeannaCat)

      Thank you so much Keri, we think you will enjoy growing them and thank you for being a part of this community as well as the Insta community!

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