You may have heard of leek seeds and wondered what they are. These little seeds are not edible and do not come from a leek plant. They are actually small round white seeds that look like tiny raisins. There are many different types of leek. The type that people typically think of when they hear the term leek is curly leek. Others call it English bottom leek and some still call it Welsh leek.
Many believe that the name "leek" is derived from the word "lea", meaning a white blossom. Another story tells how King David I of Israel was beheaded for criticizing his queen. His head was cut off and placed on a pike. The pike took the head to its nest and used it to create many hundreds of eggs. When the eggs were ready, they opened them in the morning and behold a beautiful white flower head, a larva inside, which would float down the stream and fertilize the nearest tree.
If you are a leek grower, your best time for harvesting leeks is during midsummer, about the middle of August through September. Harvest them right before they harden, or just before they begin to wilt. Harvesting them before hardening again will stunt their growth. The timing for harvesting must be just right to ensure that the leeks have the longest shelf life possible. Harvesting them right before their foliage begins to change colors is just not the way to go.
Harvesting leeks the right way ensures that they will have a long and healthy life, as well as providing sustenance for your garden. There are several ways to make sure that the best quality, brightest leaves have the longest shelf life. One method is by leaving the seed head intact. Leaving the seed head intact allows the Leek seeds to develop an amazing root system throughout the season. This means that your leeks will always produce beautiful blooms throughout the season, and you can enjoy them for a long time to come.
When harvesting leeks from your garden, it is important that you don't break or disturb the leeks, or you risk the chance of losing the best quality leaves. To ensure that the leeks seeds develop the best root system, there are few things you need to remember. You should place the harvested leeks in a large plastic container. Make sure to seal tightly and place it in your freezer for a minimum of ten days.
Once the leeks have developed the best root system, you can separate them from the other leeks in your garden. Harvest those that have the longest roots. Store these leeks in a cool, dark location. It is also best if you do not harvest the seeds at all until the early spring. This will allow the leeks to develop fully, thus giving you the best chance of getting true, full-grown seeds.
Many gardeners mistakenly believe that they do not have to wait for the leeks to dry out before using them in order to save seeds for planting the following year. However, this is not true. You do need to start saving the seeds as soon as possible after you find them because moisture will destroy most seeds. Saving the seeds early on will ensure that you get top quality plants next season, regardless of the climatic conditions.
Once you have separated the leeks from the other seeds, you should immediately place them into a clean jar with a tight lint free paper bag. Cover the jar tightly and leave for three to five days. During this time you should check the seeds for proper germination and remove any that do not germinate correctly. Once the three to five days pass, you can then remove the seeds and store them for transplant or planting in your garden.