How to Grow Endive

Endive is a leafy green known for its slightly bitter flavor and crisp texture. Here�s how to grow endive using organic methods.

Materials Needed

  • Endive seeds
  • Rich, well-draining soil
  • Compost
  • Watering can or hose

Choosing Varieties

Endive comes in several varieties:

  • Fris�e: Curly leaves, strong flavor.
  • Escarole: Broad leaves, milder flavor.
  • Pain de Sucre: Compact heads, sweet flavor.

Soil Preparation

Endive prefers well-drained, fertile soil with a pH of 6.0-7.0:

  1. Loosen the Soil: Till to a depth of 8-10 inches (20-25 cm).
  2. Add Compost: Mix in 2-3 inches (5-7.5 cm) of compost.

Planting Endive

Sow seeds directly in the garden or use transplants:

  1. Spacing: Plant seeds 1/4 inch (0.6 cm) deep, 12 inches (30 cm) apart.
  2. Rows: Space rows 18 inches (45 cm) apart.

Watering and Mulching

Maintain consistent moisture:

  • Watering: Water regularly, especially during dry periods.
  • Mulching: Apply mulch to retain moisture and suppress weeds.

Organic Fertilizing

Endive benefits from regular feeding:

  • Use compost tea or a balanced organic fertilizer every 3-4 weeks.

Harvesting Endive

Harvest endive when leaves are tender and crisp:

  • Method: Cut outer leaves or harvest whole heads.

Storing Endive

Store endive properly to maintain freshness:

  • In the Fridge: Store heads in a plastic bag in the crisper drawer. Use within a week.

Growing Tips

  • Blanch heads a week before harvest to reduce bitterness.
  • Rotate crops annually to prevent disease.

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