Full Heart Batavian (Escarole)
Latin Name: Chicorium Endiva
Item #: 154
ENDIVE & ESCAROLE - for fresh market & home garden
CULTURE: Although endive is grown commercially throughout the season, it is essentially a cool weather crop and does the best in the fall.
EARLY CROPS: Sow outdoors Apr.15th, 0.25 in/6 mm deep 2 seeds per in/25 mm, do not cover seed as it is light sensitive, just press it into the bottom of the drill row. Seed requires cool temps. of 45-50°F/7-10°C for germination and will not germinate properly at soil temps. of 65°F/18°C or more. Space rows 18 in/46 cm apart, thin plants when they are 1.5 in/4 cm high to 10-12 in/25-31 cm apart.
LATE CROPS: Sow fall crops June 30th. as above.
HARVEST: Outer leaves must be bunched together and tied loosely with a string at the tops like cauliflower, to blanch the centers or hearts. The tied heads should be loosened occasionally and inspected for condensation which may cause decay. Let the centers dry off for an hour then retie again loosely. Although endive is a member of the chicory family it is considered to be an excellent lettuce substitute. It will stand more heat than lettuce and grows faster during rainy, cold weather. Therefore, it is suitable for a much wider range of climates than lettuce. Endive will stand some frost, but protect from hard freezes with a straw mulch. Blanching and light frosts improve flavor.
FERTILIZE: On sandy soils disc in about 600 lbs/272 kg of 8-16-16 per acre before sowing. Side dress with light applications of Nitrogen 3 weeks after thinning.