Return to the Allium Forum | Post a Follow-Up

how do I know when to harvest my leeks?

Posted by flutesee 6 (My Page) on
Mon, Jul 24, 06 at 9:33

Hi there, I am a relatively new kitchen gardener, and this is my first time growing onions, leeks and shallots. I understand that the onions and shallots are pretty self explanatory, and I think I've got them covered, but I'm a little confused on the leeks. They don't seem quite big enough to harvest yet, but I'm not sure of what the harvesting indicators are. And what are scapes? I've read about them on other postings, but I really don't seem to grasp what they are. Any help would be appreciated.


Follow-Up Postings:

RE: how do I know when to harvest my leeks?

Chris, leeks can actually be harvested at any stage of growth. Indeed, I much prefer the "baby" leeks, myself, when they're only about index-finger thick. More of the green remains tender at that point.

Scapes usually are associated with garlic. Hardnosed varieties (and, sometimes softnecks if they've been stressed) send up a central stalk that would be a flower stalk. Except they don't flower or set seeds. Instead, a bulbous mass forms on the end, called a spathe. If left alone, the spathe will fill with bulbils---tiny, round, "cloves" that are clones of the parent).

As they grow, scapes curl. Depending on variety, they curl anything from 270 degrees to two complete turns. Then they straighten out again.

If you harvest the scapes, just before they curl, you accomplish two things: 1. You get marginally larger garlic heads; and 2. You get the great culinary treat of the scapes, themselves.

RE: how do I know when to harvest my leeks?

Thanks so much for your help. I may now pick my leeks before I go on vacation and use them in whatever we choose to cook while we're away :-)

 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!

Return to the Allium Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Please review our Rules of Play before posting.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.

Learn more about in-text links on this page here