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Leeks a Cook Can Love
To be kitchen-worthy, leeks need beautiful, long white shanks, blanched and tender. Here’s how to produce them. Sow leeks indoors very early in spring, then transplant them out when they are pencil-sized, trimmed to about 10” long, with an inch of roots. For each one, make a 9”-deep hole with a trowel or dibble and drop the seedling in, leaving an inch of green above ground. Don’t fill the hole, but let soil gradually trickle in over the course of the season, as you cultivate around the plants, or rain washes the soil in. By the time you dig them, the hole will have filled, thus blanching the leek.
These graceful members of the Amaryllidaceae family are easily grown in kitchen gardens much to the dismay of local grocers who normally command a king’s ransom for them. Also known as Allium porrum, leeks may be grown in partly sunny spots. For home gardeners, we recommend raising them as transplants, since seedlings are delicate at first. You may, however, direct-sow when soil reaches over 45°F in the spring, as soon as the ground can be worked. To avoid breaking their tender stalks, use a spade to loosen the soil around the leeks’ roots before harvesting.
Average seed life: 1 year
#2480 Lincoln Leek: 50-100 days|
Another Dutch bredding breakthrough, Lincoln Leek is an early variety with long, white shanks and pale green, relaxed foliage. A "dual use variety", Lincoln Leek is renowned as a gourmet baby leek: plant thickly for early maturing baby leeks with only the diameter of a pencil. You may also plant them further apart and allow them to mature; at about 75 days, they will reach jumbo leek size. It has a mild and subtle flavor that is delicate enough to be enjoyed raw in salads, as a pencil-thin crudite or cooked in soups, vegetable dishes or sauces. The creamy richness of our Lincoln Leek is perfect in Vichyssoise or the special recipe for Sweet and Sour Leeks. (F1.)
Packet of 125 Seeds / $3.45