Endive and Escarole - 2010 Ohio Vegetable Production Guide
Endive is a cool-season crop. It grows best on soils that retain moisture and are high in organic matter and nutrients. Light soils are suitable for early crops, whereas heavier soils are preferred for later crops.
Start early transplants in the greenhouse. Set out hardened plants as soon as possible. Plants can be hardened by watering only enough to prevent wilting and by gradually reducing the temperature, starting about 14 days before transplanting. However, be watchful for bolting, which can be triggered by plant stress. Plants can be set by hand or by machine and are ready for harvest after about 6 weeks.
Fields can be direct-seeded as soon as the soil can be prepared. Endive and escarole bolt in response to low temperatures; transplants should be grown at temperatures about 65°F. Irrigation water should be heated to 65-70°F, and seeds should be germinated and grown in an artificial mix. Long days also trigger bolting of endive and escarole, as do any environmental stresses placed upon them. Examples of stresses are flooding and hot, dry weather.