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Musselburgh is an established, popular variety. Excellent cold tolerance. Leeks are high in folic acid, potassium, and Vitamins A and C.
Select Planting Location
Leeks prefer to be grown in full sun, but will tolerate light shade in the afternoon. Select a planting location that will provide them with at least 8 hours of direct sun per day.
Till the soil to 10-12 inches, then apply 2 inches of compost and work it into the soil. Leeks will not grow underground bulbs, but they do produce long roots to help keep them anchor securely in the soil during their long growing season. Provide loose, well-draining soil for the seeds so the tender roots can grow deep.
Starting Seeds Indoors
Musselburgh Leek seeds can be started indoors 6-8 weeks before the last predicted frost date. Use planting containers that are 4-6 inches deep and a good quality potting soil. Drop seeds an inch apart in top of the potting soil, then cover with a thin layer of potting soil. Water seeds and keep the planting container in a warm location until the seedlings appear, after the seeds have germinated, move the seed container to a cooler location that remains between 60-65 degrees consistently. Keep soil moist at all times. When the seedlings are 3 inches tall, thin the plants out to one inch apart if needed.
Start the seeds of long season leek varieties 8 weeks before the first predicted frost date in the fall in regions with mild winters so you can harvest fresh leeks all winter.
One week prior to transplanting the seedlings into the prepared garden soil, set the container(s) outdoors in a sheltered location so the seedlings can harden off (adjust to the outdoor conditions).
After the hardening off week, the seedlings are ready for transplanting any time the soil is no longer frozen in the early spring.
There are two popular methods for transplanting leeks, you can create trenches or poke holes in the soil. For trench planting, create 6 inch deep trenches, 6 inches apart in the prepared garden soil. Stand leeks upright in the trenches at 6 inch intervals. Cover the plant roots with soil and gently water. As the leeks grows, gradually continue to pull in more soil around it until the trench is level with the surrounding garden soil. This will have the bottom 6 inches of the growing leek plant buried and will produce the desirable white bottom.
Holes can be poked into the prepared soil with a hoe handle as the other method of transplanting. Poke hole 6 inches deep and 6 inches apart. Place one leek seedling into each hole and gently water the roots. The water will pull in enough soil around the roots to get the leek established and growing. The planting holes will gradually fill in with soil on their own to create the nice, white stalk bottom you want.
You can help the stalk blanching process along and create the longest possible white stalks by mounding up the soil around the base of the stalk as the leek grows.
Outdoor Seed Sowing
Musselburgh Leeks seeds can be sown directly into prepared garden soil after all danger of frost has past. Sow seeds in shallow rows that are 6 inches apart. Thin seedlings when plants are 3 inches tall if needed. As the leek grows gradually mound up soil around the plant base until it’s buried to at least 6 inches.
Leeks need plenty of moisture and protection from their number one enemy - the onion maggot. To prevent the onion maggot from destroying your leek crop, place a floating row cover over top of the plants and seal it securely around the edges.
Harvest the fresh Musselburgh leeks anytime they are big enough to eat. Loosen soil around the plant, grasp stalk firmly and pull straight up.