(Allium porrum) Leeks are an onion relative grown for their tall and thick “stem” that is actually a bundle of flat leaves. Leeks require a long season, but are otherwise very easy to grow. Start the tiny seeds indoors in early spring, about 8 weeks before last frost date. Seeds do not need excessive heat or sunlight to germinate; ideal germination temperature is 60-65 F. Seeds take 10-14 days to germinate. Sow seeds ½ inch in deep pots (six inches at least). This is crucial; do not sow in shallow pots, as the seedlings want to set deep roots. Set out anytime after the hard frosts are gone — seedlings can tolerate a few degrees of frost with no difficulty. Give leeks the richest possible soil. Blanching the stalks will make for a more tender and flavorful leek, as the plants start to grow, earth up soil or mulch, covering the stems, which then blanch or turn white. The mulch covering will help leeks to tolerate cooler autumn weather, but they should be lifted and stored before bitter cold arrives.