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Growing Endive

Jan F M A M J J A S O N Dec
    S P P P            

(Best months for growing Endive in USA - Zone 5a regions)

S = Plant undercover in seed trays P = Sow seed

  • Easy to grow. Sow in garden. Sow seed at a depth approximately three times the diameter of the seed. Best planted at soil temperatures between 59°F and 77°F. (Show °C/cm)
  • Space plants: 8 - 12 inches apart
  • Harvest in 10-11 weeks.
  • Compatible with (can grow beside): beans, brassicas, carrots, cucumbers, chervil, sage.
  • Avoid growing close to: Alliums (garlic and onions)
  • French endive ready for harvest
    French endive ready for harvest

This is a green leafy plant which looks a bit like a crinkly lettuce. Slightly bitter taste which can enhance a salad bowl but if this is not wanted the bitterness can be removed by blanching. Blanch by tying the leaves together when a rosette begins to form or cover with a large pot for about 3 weeks. Relative of chicory

Best grown in cooler months as hot weather might make it bolt to flower. Keep well watered to reduce bitterness. Water at base as water trapped inside leaves will cause rot.

Culinary hints - cooking and eating Endive

Very tasty topped with grated swiss cheese and grilled for a couple of minutes to crisp up the cheese and wilt the leaves.

Can use in salads additional to lettuce, but needs a flavoursome dressing if you aren't overly fond of bitterness.

Your comments and tips

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We supply cricket and worms etc to the critter world and pet shops, We get a lot of requests for endives for iguanas. Can I buy wholesale somewhere or do you suggest I grow my own? If so, were can I get seeds?

- Christine Lucas

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This planting guide is a general reference intended for home gardeners. We recommend that you take into account your local conditions in making planting decisions. Gardenate is not a farming or commercial advisory service. For specific advice, please contact your local plant suppliers, gardening groups, or agricultural department. The information on this site is presented in good faith, but we take no responsibility as to the accuracy of the information provided.
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