Store Leeks in the Greenhouse
Remember to move your leeks from the beds before the ground freezes. I store leeks in the greenhouse in my garden. Keep reading to learn how!
Do you still have some leeks left in your beds? Winter is approaching fast, and it's time to make a plan for them. Did you know that you can dig them up and plant them in a temporary, more sheltered spot? This way, you can keep harvesting your leek in winter without needing to dig through hard, frozen soil to get to them. Doing this is a clever trick if you want to work on your self-sufficiency and grow vegetables for an extended time. This is probably my favorite way to store leeks over winter too.
Harvest before the ground freezes
I grow leeks in two beds in my garden, and I specifically chose varieties that are extra cold-resistant. These leeks have less fluid in the leaves and so, become less slimy and ugly when the cold hits. The hardiest varieties can even stay outdoors the entire winter, even here in zone 3. However, it depends on the conditions where you are. For example, if the temperature frequently alternates between thawing and freezing, if it's wet, or if there's snow that provides insulation for the leeks. I usually don't trust that the winter temperature is going to stay consistent, so that's why I prefer to harvest my leeks and store them in the greenhouse. From here, I can keep on harvesting my leeks throughout the entire winter.
I try to transplant the leek before the ground freezes, or when it has thawed after a cold spell. Usually, I remove the outer leaves that can look a little bit ugly, but I try to keep as much of it as possible.
Don't worry if some of the leaves look a bit worse for wear after summer. More leaves will start to wilt during winter. I don't want to remove too many and risk that the nice, inner leaves suffer instead.
Look at the size of this leek!
Store leeks in soil
I started preparing the area in my polytunnel where I intend to put my leeks by loosening the soil. The soil has been watered a few times to make it nice and moist. Soil that has not been used for some time can dry up, so it's a good idea to water it before planting. I decided to dig a proper trench here, and then I put my leeks in a long row. It's best if a larger part of the stem is covered with soil; it protects against the cold.
As you can see, I made a knot out of the long leaves. This is the first time I'm trying it. This particular variety (can't remember what it is called right now) had insanely long leaves, and I preferred not to cut them off. So, I made a knot instead. I have seen some others do the same, and I think it might just work. We'll see how it goes!
I remove any leeks that have started to bolt. We eat them immediately instead. When the leeks bolt, the plants get less cold-resistant. This can cause the outer leaves to go soft and start to rot.
This is the finished result! A row of leeks, buried in the soil. And more are on the way! It started to get really cold now, so the rest of them will have to wait until the soil starts to thaw a bit. I'm prioritizing harvesting from my beds outside now and will wait a bit before I start in the greenhouse. I love how easy it is to just go here to get what I need when the temperatures drops. Some years, I have still had leeks left until May - fifteen months after sowing. Wonderful! I hope you try to store leeks in your greenhouse too.
/Sara Bäckmo18. November 2023