Long dark green shanks are produced from strong upright plants. Comanche is a widely adapted variety that has a flexible harvest window and can be sold in fresh market, restaurant, or wholesale distribution.
BEST TO START INDOORS
Sow seeds 1 inch apart in a container of seed starting mix, cover 1/2 inch deep, and firm soil over seeds. Keep moist and provide a strong light source until seedlings are ready to plant out. Seeds germinate sporadically over 2 to 3 weeks and grow slowly at first. Once seedlings are 3 or 4 inches tall, transplant 4 to 6 inches apart into well-worked, fertile soil in full sun. To get long-shanked leeks, plant seedlings down deep into the soil, so tips stick up 2 inches above ground level.
TO START OUTDOORS
Sow seeds in well-worked, fertile soil in full sun. Space seeds 1 inch apart in rows 8 to 10 inches apart, or broadcast thinly for bed planting. Cover 1/2 inch deep and firm soil well over seeds; keep soil moist to ensure good germination. Thin as above.
Plant leeks in early spring and again in midsummer for fall and winter use. Long-growing leeks need a rich fertile soil, so add lots of compost or aged manure before planting, and fertilize several times over the growing season. Weed leeks carefully when young, and mulch to conserve soil moisture.
HARVEST AND USE
Harvest as slim babies to steam whole or quickly grill. Let some leeks mature to full size and dig as needed with a garden fork. Mature leeks store well in the ground during the winter months. Use in cooking like sweet onions, or as a tasty vegetable side dish.
Seeding depth: 0.25 - 0.5 inches
Germination days: 7 - 12 days
Weeks indoor: 10 - 12 weeks
Maturation days: 100 days