Endives – Introduction

Endives exist in two forms:

Upright Batavian: these are also known as escarole and have large, broad leaves. You can use them for winter cropping. 

Curly or fringed frisee: They have delicate and serrated leaves with a rosette of delicately serrated leaves. These cultivars are best for summer cropping.

Sowing Endives

The best time to sow the Endive is from April to August. However, you must sow the winter crops in late August. You should sow the “cut and come again” seedlings from February to October. However, the soil should be warm for sowing these cultivars.  

Here’re some tips for sowing the Endive.

  • Ensure that the soil temperature is 68-72°F. It’s the temperature at which Endive germinates best. However, if the temperature falls below 41°F, plants will start bolting.
  • Consider sowing bolt resistant plants.
  • Sow the seeds in modules or pots if you need earlier crop
  • Ensure that seeds are in the depth of 1 inch
  • Ensure a distance of 12 inches between the rows
  • Thin out the plants so that they are 9-13 inches apart
  • Transplant the winter crops in the greenhouse from October to November 


Below are the tips for growing Endive

  • Ensure the soil of the planting position is rich, light and drained free. 
  • Avoid dry soil because it results in bolting.
  • Keep the soil moist by watering the crop regularly. 
  • Water the plants before the start of dry weather. Otherwise, the higher temperature would lead to bitter vegetables. 
  • Keep the crop weed-free
  • Mulch the crop properly
  • Apply general purpose fertiliser to plants in summer every fortnight 
  • Blanch the Endive when the heads are well-formed. Usually, blanching is essential after 12 weeks of sowing.
  • Tie the dry leaves with soft string
  • Avoid tying wet leaves because it causes rotting. 
  • Cover the plant centre carefully with a dinner plate, cardboard or tile

 It may take up to 10-14 days or even longer to blanch the plants in autumn. Blanch only a few plants at a time because deterioration states immediately after that.  


The harvesting time for Endives starts in spring. You can harvest it as salad leaves or mature heads.

  • Harvest the curled varieties in summer
  • Harvest the broad leaves varieties in winter
  • Harvest the mature heads three months after you have sown the plants. Usually, creamy white leaves indicate the need for harvesting.
  • Make sure you use a very sharp knife for cutting the stem cleanly.
  • Harvest the leaves from cut-and-come-again one month after the sowing. You can harvest them at least two times before they run to seed.  

Common problems


They mostly appear as colonies of greenflies on leaves and soft shoot tips. These greenflies suck the sap, secreting sticky honeydew. It’s honeydew that results in the development of black sooty moulds. 


  • Squash the Aphid colonies with thumb or finger
  • Control the aphids biologically  

Slugs and snails

These eat young seedlings, leaving a slime trail in the soil around your crop and on leaves.


You can use biocontrols, copper tape, sawdust and beer traps to control the slugs and snails.

Check out endives recipes, storage etc. from Naturally Ella

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09/03/2021 | Vegetables | 0 Comments

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