Musselburgh is the most popular variety for its strong growing habit. It is very winter hardy producing thick stems and is ready from December onwards.
Not only is the leek a well known tasty winter vegetable, but its root system has the added advantage of improving heavy soils. Leeks are in the ground for quite a long time and do take a fair amount of work, but they really are worth all that effort; so its not surprising they will be found on almost every vegetable plot.
Leek is the most important and staple ingredient in two of the world famous soups. Scotland's cock-a-leekie and France's crème vichyssoise.
WHEN TO SOW
March and April
WHERE TO SOW
Sow the seeds thinly in a well prepared seed bed in shallow drills 2cm deep. Can also be sown earlier in a greenhouse at not less than 15ƒ for exhibition work.
WHAT TO DO NEXT
Thin seedlings as they grow to 4-5cm apart. When the seedlings are about the thickness of a pencil, they should be lifted and transplanted. Make a hole 15cm deep with a rod, trim off the ends of roots and leaves, drop into the hole and fill with water. Do not fill the hole with soil.
November to January/February.
Dropping plants into holes saves the need for earthing up, but white stem can be increased by additional earthing up as the plants grow.