Growing Belgian Endive is a 3 step process. Growing roots, storing them and forcing the roots. Start indoors 6 weeks before last frost and transplant after last frost. Time root harvest so storage area is sufficiently cold. The tightly folded small heads, called chicons, are produced by forcing new growth from fall harvested roots. Optimal root shoulder diameter for harvest is 1-1/4–2/1/4” and 7” length. Cure roots in the field shaded 4-5 days then store 32–34˚F with 96–98% humidity. Force 1/2–3/4 of root length in moist soilless mix with bottom heat in complete darkness. Air temp should be 5–6˚F cooler than soil temp of 60 to 70˚F. Harvest about 5” heads in 21–24 days. Washing can cause chicons to brown. Soil pH 5.8-6.5. Hardiness zones 4-9. Perennial.
Usual seed life 5 years. Isolation distance for seed saving: 1/2 mile.
Planting Depth 1/4”
Soil Temp. Germ. 50˚F
Days to Germ. 5-15
Plant Spacing 23/12/20143”
Row Spacing 18”
Days To Maturity 130–140Full Sun
, Moist Well Drained