Wednesday 19 June 2013

Endive "Pancalieri"

I know that there are mixed opinions about Endives, with some people finding their slight tanginess a bit too bitter for their liking, but Jane and I both love Endive. In fact given the choice between Endive and the generally sweeter Lettuce, I would choose Endive every time - especially if it has been nicely blanched.

I usually grow two or three different types of Endive, on the assumption that at least one of them will do OK. This year the seeds I sowed from a mixed pack of Endive failed completely to germinate (to be fair, it was a very old pack), so I am currently left with only one variety - "Pancalieri".

This is a variety suitable for Spring sowing. It probably would bolt very quickly if sown in July or August. Later in the year I will sowe some more, of different types, for Autumn harvesting.

The other day I planted out my main crop (only 6 plants), filling some space in a bed that is primarily devoted to Beans.

These have now grown a fair bit, enjoying the sunshine last week. They had probably doubled in size in the previous 10 days.

I always sow more seeds than I really need (usually about 100% extra. In other words if I want 6 plants I sow 12 seeds.) So I had six spare plants and since they looked really healthy I was reluctant to throw them away.

Since all my Raised Beds are fully occupied now, I decided to put them in the big plastic crate in which the Baby Leaf Salad had been. The Baby Leaf Salad was all but finished, and since we were just about to go away on our holidays there was going to be no further opportunity to crop it. So out came the Baby Leaf Salad, and in went the six Endives.

Now before you tell me that they are too crowded, I know that. I'm planning to use these ones as cut-and-come-again plants, picking individual leaves as required, so they will be just fine. Meanwhile I will leave the main crop over in the Bean bed to grow to maturity.

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