Lovely Leeks

The sturdy backbone to many recipes also makes a tasteful addition to the garden.

By Denise Foley

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Leeks You Should Try

Summer/Fall Varieties
'Varna' 60 to 80 days Long, slender shafts similar to spring onions
'Hannibal' 75 days Long, thick white stalks and dark green leaves
'King Richard' 75 days A popular cultivar with pale green, slender shafts; tolerates light frosts
'Roxton' 85 days Green leaves and uniform stalks that don’t bulb
'Megaton' 90 days Thick and blue-green, much like a winter leek
'Pandora' 90 days A European variety; blue-green with thick stems
'Dawn Giant' 98 days An early and huge leek, often grown for competitive showing
'Runner' 105 days A hybrid, deep blue-green in color, similar to winter leeks; erect and very uniform; easy to cultivate
Overwintering Varieties
'Lancelot' 95 days A great leek for the novice gardener since it’s adaptable and reliable
'Bandit' 100 days A rich dark blue import from Holland; extremely cold-tolerant with a thick base
'Blue Solaise', a.k.a. 'Bleu de Solaise' 100 to 120 days A French heirloom with blue leaves that turn violet after a cold snap; dependably cold-hardy, making it great for short growing seasons
'American Flag' 105 days A relative of 'Giant Musselburgh', bred to endure cold Northeast winters
'Giant Musselburgh' 105 days A Scottish heirloom grown throughout the British Isles that produces thick, short shafts. Cliff Seruntine grows this old standard in his nearly 1-acre Nova Scotia garden, but winters there are so cold he can’t harvest in winter. William Woys Weaver grows it for sentimental reasons—and flavor. “This was the leek my great-grandmother grew,” he says.
'Tadorna' 110 days A disease-resistant cultivar with thick shafts; overwinters in all but the coldest places

 

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