American Flag Leek
Leeks are gourmet vegetables that are related to onions and garlic but do not produce bulbs or cloves. The white stem and long green leaves make leeks look like over grown green onions. Both parts are edible but the stem is what is most used in soups and stews for the milder onion flavor. Eat leeks raw or cooked.
The 2-3 foot leaves of American Flag, which are usually blue-green, do not die back to let you know when they are mature like onions or shallots do. Check the diameter of the white stem. It can be harvested when 1-3 inches in diameter and 6-10 inches long.
Leeks are pretty hardy and can be planted in the spring for summer harvest or planted in the fall for spring harvest. When planting work some fertilizer such as 20-20-20 or 10-10-10 into the soil. There are two methods for planting leeks. Some will dig a 6 inch furrow and plant the young plants at the bottom. About every two weeks fill in the furrow with a little dirt to blanch the stem and keep it tender. The other method is to plant them at ground level and then mound the dirt as they mature. To save room in the garden, plant your transplants where the leaves will grow out into the rows. This allows them to be planted closer together.
To harvest, gently twist and pull the leeks from the ground or lightly dig and then pull.
Days To Harvest: 120-150 days from seed.
Spacing: Plant 2-6″ apart in 60″ rows.
Height: Grows 2′ to 3′ tall.
How To Grow: Plant in full sun.
Outstanding Features: There is evidence that they have been cultivated since ancient Egypt.
Tips: Leeks have shallow roots so take care when hoeing. Adding mulch can help keep weeds down and moisture in.