Quick and easy to grow endive

Spring has arrived, which means salad season is just around the corner. And there's nothing like picking fresh salad ingredients straight out of your garden.

I've talked a lot about the different salad plants (typically lettuces) we have available at Awapuni - iceberg, baby cos, red, triumph, just to name a few. But for some reason I've never mentioned endive in one of these articles. And I'm not really sure why.

Endive is a great addition to any salad. I like to partner its fine curled, mid-green leaves with rocket. To my mind, endive is a bit bitter and and rocket is a little peppery and together they're a great combo.

What's equally important, and another reason why I'm surprised I haven't mentioned endive in the past, is it's so easy and quick to grow. Unlike most lettuces, it doesn't need to create a heart in the centre so it's very quick to produce. Simply pick the leaves off as you need them.

To plant, look for a well-drained spot in the garden. If the soil is still a bit wet and cold from winter, try growing endive in a pot. Just add some good quality potting mix, plant a couple of seedlings around 5cm apart and away you go.

Depending on where you are in New Zealand and how warm the soil is yet, it will take around four to six weeks for your endive to be ready to harvest. Remember, you can tell the soil is warming up when you need to start mowing your lawns again.

So next time you're browsing our online shop thinking about what salad ingredients to order, take a chance on endive. You might just like what you grow!

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