The leek is a vegetable that is closely related to onions, shallots, and garlic. All of these vegetables belong to the Allium genus and share a similar taste and appearance. Leeks are typically long and thin, with a white or cream-colored bulb and dark green leaves. The taste of leeks is milder than that of onions and garlic, making them a popular ingredient in soups, stews, and salads. Leeks are also eaten cooked or raw as a side dish.
The bulb of the leek is the edible part of the plant, but the leaves can also be used as a garnish. Leeks are available year-round, but they are in peak season from October to March. When choosing leeks, look for those that have crisp, green leaves and a firm bulb. Avoid leeks that have wilted leaves or yellowing bulbs. Leek seeds can be planted in the spring or fall and take about 90 days to mature.
The plants prefer full sun and well-drained soil. Leeks can be harvested when they are young or allowed to mature for a larger bulb. Once harvested, leeks will keep for up to two weeks when stored in a cool, dry place.
Check out our popular Leek Growing Guide for more information. You can also learn more about seed starting in your organic garden with our resource guide and buy everything you need with our Seed Starting Kit.