Although endive is not very widely grown in the amateurs garden, it is worthy of note. It is mostly grown for autumn and winter salads, although it can be grown for harvest in spring and summer.
Seeds may be sown in June, July or August, in a good rich soil. The Reed should be sown a quarter of an inch deep in drills 4-6 inches apart. It is best to sow in moist weather, and if the ground is dry, plenty of water should be given. Although the soil needs to be rich, it should not be too heavy. When the seedlings are large enough they should be planted out, allowing 1 to li feet each way between the plants.
Blanching Endive is most essential. This should be done on a dry day, when they are almost ready for harvesting. The leaves should be gathered together and tied round with raffia, and the early crop will be ready in about ten days, but as the weather changes blanching will take from two to three weeks. A good method for blanching as required, is to lift the Endive into the cold frame. They should be packed tightly together and put into moist soil. As the plants are required they should be covered with hay to blanch them.
The plants must always be dry when they are lifted.
Some of the best varieties for cultivation in the amateurs garden are: Round-leaved Batavian; White curled. Improved Green Curled; Silver Moss Curled.
Parisian Summer; Queen of the Winter. Leek. This vegetable is very easily cultivated and is an excellent winter crop, although it is in use all the year round. It is very free from pests and diseases, and this fact makes it more worthy of cultivation.
It needs a deeply cultivated soil with plenty of farmyard manure added. One or two dressings of nitrate of soda added during the growing season, is also of great assistance. 1 lb. Per 40 square yards should be allowed.
Sowing should be done in March or April, in drills 1 inch deep and 1 foot apart. If the soil is light and warm the seedlings may be transplanted when the first crop of early potatoes has been dug. This should be in June. They should be planted into drills 3 inches deep and 1 foot apart, setting the plants 4-6 inches apart in the rows. The seedlings should be carefully lifted, and the holes to receive them large enough to prevent the roots being doubled up. Some gardeners cut off part of the roots when transplant ing, but this is a mistake and should never be done.
It will be necessary to earth up the leek3, and this is done by filling in the 3 inch drills. This will give them an additional blanching.
Some of the best varieties for the amateurs garden are: Ayton Castle Giant.