Endive and escarole are cool-season crops. They can be grown in early spring and in fall.
Sow endive and escarole seeds directly in the garden 2 to 4 weeks before the last frost in spring. To set out transplants start seeds indoors 4 to 5 weeks before transplanting. Set transplants in the garden 4 weeks before to 2 weeks after the last frost. Transplants will give you a head start on the season.
Make succession plantings every 2 to 3 weeks until temperatures begin to warm in late spring. Endive is hardier than escarole; it can be planted in late winter under a plastic tunnel for early spring harvesting.
Grow endive and escarole in moisture-retentive, humus-rich soil. If temperatures warm you can mulch them with aged compost to keep the plants from bolting.
For tender leaves at harvest, blanch the heads 2 to 3 weeks before harvest. Blanch endive and escarole by gathering the outer leaves together at the top and tying them with a strong.
Endive and escarole seed sowing dates
(These dates are for the Northern Hemisphere)
|Average date of the last frost||Planting dates|
|Jan. 30||Jan. 1-Mar. 1|
|Feb. 8||Jan. 1-Mar. 1|
|Feb. 18||Jan. 15-Mar. 1|
|Feb. 28||Feb. 1-Mar. 1|
|Mar. 10||Feb. 15-Mar. 15|
|Mar. 20||Mar. 1-Apr. 1|
|Mar. 30||Mar. 10-Apr. 10|
|Apr. 10||Mar. 15-Apr. 15|
|Apr. 20||Mar. 25-Apr. 15|
|Apr. 30||Apr. 1-May 1|
|May 10||Apr. 15-May 15|
|May 20||May 1-30|
|May 30||May 1-30|
|June 10||May 15-June 1|
Endive and escarole planting details
- Sowing depth: ¼ inch (.6 cm)
- Space between plants after thinning: 15-18 inches (38-45cm)
- Days to sprout: 10-14
- Days to harvest: 80-100; about 30 days after transplanting, you can begin picking leaves as you need them.
- Storage period: 1-2 weeks
- Seeds per 100 row feet: ¼ ounce (7 grams)
- Yield per 100 row feet: 100 heads
- Suggested varieties: Full Heart Batavian, Green Curled, Salad King
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