This Scottish variety was introduced in the 1830s and is also known as ‘’Scotch Flag’’ which is the precursor of today’s popular ‘’Large American Flag.’’ Giant Musselburgh leeks are much larger than regular varieties. It is a dependable variety known to be the most winter-hardy leek and one of the last to bolt.
The stems grow to 9-15 inches long by 2-3 inches in diameter and the stalk is creamy white with blue-green fan-shaped leaves. A good buncher for market gardens, this old-time favourite has a nice mild onion flavour, making it a good substitute to green onions during the fall and winter months. Giant Musselburgh leeks are the perfect candidate for a classic potato and leek soup.
As an ancient crop, cultivated for thousands of years, leeks are a somewhat overlooked vegetable. They are a pleasant, milder alternative to onions and are perfect in soups and stir frys. They are a long season crop but aren’t difficult to grow.
If starting indoors, plant seeds 10-12 weeks ahead of the last frost. Can be directly sown around your last frost date. Space seeds 2 cm apart in a flat and lightly cover with soil, about 1 cm. Lightly compress the seeds into place. Water gently and make sure potting soil remains moist. Locate seedlings in a sunny windowsill, under lights or into a greenhouse.
Keep the young green sprouts trimmed to encourage stockier plants. Cut new growth weekly, leaving only the bottom 6 cm. Harden off plants for two weeks leading up to the last frost. If the soil is light, loose and has been mixed with compost, leeks won’t require fertilizer.
Plant in a site that will get full sun. Make holes in the bed about the same depth as the leek stalks. Space holes 15 cm apart and leave 30 cm between rows. Gently plant seedlings into the holes and fill with water. Lightly cover the roots with soil but leave some of the stem exposed, this will aid in developing a long white stem.
It can take 100-120 days until leeks are ready to harvest, but be patient and let the leeks size up. In the last couple of weeks leading up to harvest, you can hill up the soil or wrap stems in paper/cardboard to extend and blanch the white usable portion of the crop. Pry with a garden fork and pull out by the greens when they are a suitable size. Harvest throughout the fall and winter, until the ground freezes.
- Leeks are originally from Asia but have been a part of the Egyptian diet for at least 4000 years. They were also eaten in ancient Rome and their taste was considered more flavourful than garlic and onions.
- For a greater eating portion of extra-long blanched stalks, hill the plant with soil 2-3 times during the growing period, higher with each hoeing.
- Leek seeds will remain viable for 2 years if stored in a cool, dark place, ideally between 4 and 10⁰C. After that, the germination rate may start to go down.
OUR SEED GUARANTEE
You know that a lush, fruitful garden needs good soil, frequent watering, and sunlight to grow, but it’s the seeds that really make the harvest.
Picked and bagged for 2023 the vast majority of our seeds have germination rates of over 85%. The seeds are all-natural, non-GMO, non-hybrid, untreated, and open-pollinated for seed saving.
We have put a lot of thoughts into the design and packaging of our seed packets. Our seeds are all carefully packed in food grade kraft paper/aluminium zipper lock bags, and then are shipped in eco-friendly padded mailers.
We heat-seal each of our seed packet for even more protection from moisture, odour and light, allowing you to store your seeds for up to 3x longer than paper or plastic. Plant them all, germinate some indoors, save some for next season - it’s up to you!