Growing Endive at the Allotment

Growing Endive at the Allotment

Endive is a salad leaf vegetable and grows similarly to lettuce and chicory. It comes in a Curly variety or Fringe Frisee and Batavian or Escarole, which is a more robust leaf that comes in various colours and can tolerate wintering harvesting.

Endive can be sown from seed indoors or directly outdoors once the weather has warmed up in late spring. It can also be grown in containers. Endive grows easily and quickly, as long as the soil is not too dried out or waterlogged. Endive prefers a sunny position or partial shade.

You can harvest young leaves as soon as approximately one month after sowing, or you can wait a few months for a more mature head to pull up. By harvesting leaves regularly, it encourages re-growth and delays flowering.

Endive will bolt if it is exposes to cold temperatures, protect it with fleece if it is outdoors when there are very low temperatures.

Water regularly and add some mulch to retain moisture. 

Harvesting Endive will depend on sowing times and the variety; check the packet for instructions. You can stagger sowing to get a more continuous crop.

More mature Endive leaves can be bitter in taste, and it is possible to blanch them to reduce the bitter flavour.

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Growing Endive in Summary

Sowing Endive

  • Sow indoors early or directly in late spring
  • Sow in sun or partial shade
  • Sow in moist soil; not too dry or waterlogged

Growing Endive

  • Protect against cold temperatures
  • Water regularly and keep weed-free
  • Add mulch

Harvesting Endive

  • Pick young leaves regularly
  • Pull up mature head
  • Mature leaves can be blanched