Dear all, leeks have been grown in the UK for a long time, and competition ones are highly prized, to say the least.
My granddad used to grow what is called pot leeks up north, as they are highly favoured in the north of England. The normal leeks were grown in his garden, however the pot leeks were grown in large pots, single plants in each one! The soil had to be the exact mixture, as designated ny my great granddad, and contained untold manure and natural ingredients. They were then fed and watered constanly to make them grow, very big indeed.
As you know when you plant a leek seedling, you must never, ever put any soil around it. You simply make a hole and place the seedling in, then water it in. Do not touch it as it sorts itself out quite happily.
Also leeks are one of the only vegetables than can grow to enormous sizes and it does not affect the taste, which is remarkable.
Although often used as a side vegetable, it is fantastic in a suet and gravy pudding, or a lot of people use it with a cheese sauce on ham or pork.
The restaurants use it to shred and fry it, which is somewhat not right to me!
It is also easy to grow if you have enough water, and keep away the dreaded bugs.
Never throw the green tops away as they make fantastic stock, when they are added with other vegetables!
Hmm, didn't know you weren't suppose to cover up the seedlings. A friend brought me a fist full of seedlings late last summer. I used a pencil to make the hole and closed up the soil around each seedling. I'm enjoying my beautiful and tasty leek now! :-)