Space the endive seeds 30 cm apart. Space the rows at a distance of 30 cm. Plant at a depth of 0.5 to 1 cm. Plant the vegetable seeds in a nice spot in partial shade or full sun. After sowing, water the seeds adequately. The vegetable seeds come in a bag containing approximately 2 grams. This is enough to sow 25 square metres.
|Latin name:||Cichorium endivia|
|Guarantee:||1 year growth and flowering guarantee|
|Preferred location:||Sun, Half shadow|
|Leafs all year:||No|
|Harvesting:||June - November|
Endive seed needs no prior treatment. Try planting a new row every 3 weeks or so - then you will always have some fresh endive to hand.
How to Sow
Sow indoors, March-April.
Sow in the garden, April-August.
There are 2 ways to sow your seeds:
- In the garden, preferably in full sun, from mid-April through August. Loosen the soil with a fork to at least 30 cm and draw a straight furrow, 1 cm deep. Label the row and sow the seed as thinly as possible (mixed with some dry sand) between thumb and forefinger along the row. Cover with 1 cm soil, press lightly down and sprinkle with water. Extra rows and 30 cm apart. Mature endive can tolerate quite a bit of frost but if it is forecast to be below minus 5 degrees centigrade then do use some garden fleece to protect your plants.
- Indoors (cold-frame) from early spring. Fill the trays with fine seeding compost and sow the seeds evenly over the soil (mix the seed with fine sand, makes it easier to sow thinly). Cover with a max. 1 cm soil, press lightly down and sprinkle with water. Cover with a sheet of glass (lid) and stand in the cold-frame. Remove the glass once the sprouts are showing.
Endives will not tolerate drought - the leaves will soon show stress along the edges. Although the green is then still edible, it is best to avoid this by keeping the soil evenly moist.
Keep the bed weed-free and your endives will thrive.
Try to avoid the endives bolting - forming a flower stem. You will notice it growing taller all of a sudden and it will eventually flower. It is still edible but somewhat more bitter. Best is to harvest your endive before this occurs.
Endives form heads that can be cut just above ground level - or you can flip them up, root and all, with the garden fork. It will actually keep longer in the fridge with the roots on.
There are many different varieties of endive nowadays. Some are earlies, others mid-season and others are lates. There are even some that can be grown the whole year through. It all depends on how susceptible to bolting each one is. If you sow an early variety in the summer, it will likely bold immediately, and we don't want that.
Endive belongs in the Asteraceae (or Compositae) family and is related to chicory and lettuce.