5 secrets for growing endives in your garden
The endive is an annual plant and related to chicory . There are three varieties of endive, curly, broadleaf and wild or chicory, which are also distinguished in different varieties and variations. Curled endives are characterized by very torn, very curled and narrow leaves, with a thin stalk.
First of all, the endive is a different plant from the chicory . Although they are related species and have similar cultivation care, the endive varieties show characteristic differences in the leaves. And if we do not have a garden, we do not grieve. The endive is very easily grown in a pot on the balcony to cut it fresh and enjoy it. The endives are eaten boiled, but are also eaten raw in a salad with lettuce.
What conditions do endives need for cultivation?
The endive wants relatively cold, cool weather and is a vegetable mainly for autumn planting. Excessive cold, however, can damage the endive culture. Also, the endive does not withstand dry heat conditions as high temperatures cause drying in its foliage. Although it thrives on many soil types, the soil suitable for growing endives is light, rich in organic matter and well drained. That is why it is good to incorporate compost and manure into the soil before planting. For growing in pots, choose sunny or semi-shady places and avoid the northern parts of the balcony. We use general purpose topsoil that ensures good drainage.
When and how are endives planted?
The right planting season is a very important factor for the success of the endive culture. In the southern regions, where high temperatures prevail, we prefer planting in early autumn, September-October, while in colder regions, the endive can be planted in the spring, in the period March – April. If instead of ready-made plants, we prefer to sow endive seed thrown in our garden, the sowing is done a month earlier, at a depth of 1-2 cm, while after the plants germinate, when they acquire 3-4 leaves, we should dilute them to the recommended ones. distances. Suitable planting distances for the endives are 20 to 25 cm on the planting line, while the distance between the lines should be about 50 cm.
What are the watering and fertilizing needs of the endive culture?
Endive loves cool conditions and water. So we need regular and abundant watering to give us rich and quality production. Water with a drip irrigation system and be careful not to wet the leaves to avoid fungal diseases and burns. In terms of lubrication, the endives do not have special requirements. In addition to the basic fertilization before planting with manure and compost, we add organic fertilizer rich in nitrogen and magnesium every 4-5 weeks. If we have planted the endive in a pot, we add fertilizer a little more often, every 3 weeks.
When and how are endives harvested?
The endive crop is harvested 3-4 months after sowing or 2-3 months after transplanting the young plants. If we cut leaves gradually, we can do it by hand, while we prefer to use a knife when we want to cut it whole from its base, just above the ground surface.
And a secret for the cultivation of endive
The endive can be co-cultivated and have satisfactory growth and good production when planted with cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, onion, garlic and leek. After all, the benefits of co-cultivation in the garden are manifold and we must take advantage of them as much as we can.