What leeks can overwinter in Seattle/ West Washington??

plantslayer(8)February 16, 2014


I bought some leek seeds fom Sky Nursery in Seattle last weekend. The variety is King Richard. Turns out it is a much-liked variety, but it is a tender "summer" variety that won't withstand frosts very well.

Does anyone know what some good winter-hardy varieties of leeks are? Also, seems like most places only have one or two varieties, so if you know where to get seeds that would be great information to have as well.

In fact, if someone wants to trade some hardy leek seeds for some of the King Richards (I still want to plant both kinds), that would be even more awesome. But perhaps too much to wish for. :)

For that matter, any advice in general about growing these things would be appreciated. It's my first time growing them. I like Steve Solomon's section about it in Vegetable Gardening West of the Cascades, although he seems to advise planting them just 2 or 3 inches apart from each other in a row/trench. Seems a bit close if I want choice, monster-sized leeks.

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Leeks are biennials typically treated as annuals. Usually they are planted at the same times of the year other cool season vegetable crops are - late winter/very early spring for a summer harvest or in fall to grow on through winter. So planting the seeds now is not likely to provide you a crop that will last through next winter :-) Like other cool season plants, they tend not fare all that well in our summers although I'm not entirely sure how they will handle it as I've never tried to extend that season personally.

It doesn't really make any difference which cultivar you select - they should all perform quite similarly. It's far more a matter of timing than it is specific variety. Territorial Seeds carries several different varieties if you want to experiment.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2014 at 5:05PM
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I got some at a garden trade two years ago and they over wintered fine... We ate some (tasty!) the next spring and let the others go to seed. The seed pod heads (right term?) were beautiful!

    Bookmark   February 20, 2014 at 11:28PM
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My King Richards have overwintered nicely. Those that went to seed reseeded and I've got lots of nice little starts. BTW, if you haven't grown them before, the flower heads are fantastic added seasonal architecture--beautiful like merrygardener says. And the bees love them.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2014 at 12:34PM
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