Leek Swiss Giant Zermatt is an extremely versatile dual-purpose variety, which is great for both baby and full size leek production. This versatility means they are a great variety to grow in pots or containers, allowing you to harvest an early crop of baby leeks from August onwards, leaving room for full sized leeks to mature and harvest from September through to November.
These are easy to grow, disease resistant, delicious and tender eaten both young and mature.
|When to sow||February to March indoors or March to April outdoors.|
|Where to Sow||Sow seed indoors ( at 10-15°C/50-60°F) in moist compost filled trays or modules, 1.5cm (3/4in) deep, with 3-4 seeds per module.|
|Sow seed direct outdoors, thinly, in a prepared bed 1.5cm (3/4in) deep in drills which are 30cm apart.|
|Leeks prefer a sunny, sheltered site with fertile and well-drained soil, ideally with a pH or 6.5 to 7.5.|
|What to do Next||When seedlings grown indoors are large enough to handle, transplant to individual pots and grow on indoors or in a greenhouse until April.|
|When seedlings are grown to roughly the diameter of a pencil, transplant into their final growing position (ensuring you harden off indoor sown seedlings for 7 days prior to planting out).|
|Using a dibber, make a 15cm (6in) deep hole which are 23cm (9in) apart. Place a seedling in the centre and back fill the hole with water (not soil) to encourage blanching. This known as 'dibbing in' the leeks.|
|Once the hole around the leek has filled up, gently firm up the soil above ground level to increase blanching. Be careful not to get the soil between the leaves.|
|Water well, especially during periods of dry weather, and keep weed free.|
|Harvest||August to November (August for baby leeks, mature leeks from September onwards).|
|Handy Tips||To ensure a long harvest start lifting the leeks when they are quite small.|
|Leeks can be left in the ground during winter until they are required.|
|When harvesting be careful not to damage the roots of nearby leeks which you are not harvesting. Work the stem and root upwards with a fork and gently pat the soil back in place.|
|Companion Planting||Good Companions : beetroot, carrot, celery, garlic, onion, parsley, tomato|
|Bad Companions : Beans and peas|
|Serving Suggestion||Leeks can be steamed or boiled, braised in a cheese sauce and used in soups and stews. They are a great milder alternative to onions and go well in pies with fish and chicken. Zermatt baby leeks are a great mild alternative to spring onions and can be eaten raw in salads.|
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