If you're looking for a quick and easy vegetable that's full of flavor, look no further than Endive. As versatile as it is easy to grow, the best way to eat it is straight from your garden. This low-maintenance perennial is an ideal plant for most any kitchen, because it serves so many different purposes. Whether you're looking for a quick snack or a hearty salad to top off an evening meal, this low-maintenance perennial will keep you satisfied.
Growing Endive seeds is a great way to get a head start on your garden. Easy to harvest, this low maintenance perennial will keep its leaves and green stems throughout the year. The key to making planting easy is to understand how to fertilize it right before you begin harvesting. Although Endive will grow perfectly in both Fall and Spring, a fall planting is best because freezing improves the flavor of the plant and reduces its bitter taste. Good candidates for container gardens are those with light colors, such as purple, orange and yellow.
Another advantage of planting early is that you'll have an ample supply of fresh leaves to add to your family's diet. Because frosts occur naturally, most endive plants will handle moderate frosts very well. Fertilizing your plants right before a frosts occur is not difficult. Just follow your planting instructions to ensure an early start on your gardening.
Because Endive can be hardy even in the depths of winter, try growing it with an idea of when you want to harvest your crop. It is a wonderful, easy way to improve your spring planting schedule if you know you'll be harvesting in May. If you plan to use your Endive for the springtime, place your seeds just after the last frost. In early summer, however, you can try growing your Endive in late winter or early spring. If you plan to use it for the fall harvest, place your seeds early in summer followed by a seeding application in late summer or fall.
Planting in groups can provide extra moisture and air. Because you're planting your plant close together, your plants will also form buds similar in shape to your bush, which provides room for growth. In early spring, you'll want to separate your plants by at least one foot. If your plan is to use the leaves for an autumn harvest, be sure to remove all the leaves on or near the stem before the frosts set in. If your plan is to plant the endive seeds indoors in partial shade, be sure to deadhead those that will not reach maturity before the frosts drop. Deadheading ensures that they're not pollinated by wind and that the quality of the leaves is not impaired.
When growing endive seeds indoors, follow a similar growing process, but be sure to place them in their pots at least one month before planting. Use a sterile potting soil and moisten it with a good watering. Be certain to remove the top of the soil around the seedling, which will help them develop into strong leaves and increase their chances of survival. Once you've placed your seeds in the pots, remember to water them every two weeks, so they maintain a healthy appearance. Keep in mind that most annuals are best planted in sunny windows, but if you have a small garden, you can still grow endive plants in window planters.
In terms of diseases, endive seeds do not have any trouble with pests and insects. They are considered a low-maintenance plant due to their dense foliage and woody texture. Plants thrive in full sun, which make them an ideal landscaping plant to border a porch or patio. However, be aware that sunlight intensity levels need to be monitored to prevent burning, which is common with these plants.
If you're interested in trying growing endives but are unsure about the best ways to prepare your soil, ask a professional nursery to recommend some tips. If you're ready to get started, it's best to purchase the seeds from a reputable source. If you grow your seeds indoors, you'll find that your plants will have a strong root system that will keep them looking healthy for many years. The best growing endives are those with dense, evergreen foliage that grows well in low-light environments.