A Lettuce-like Endive

Westbrook, CT(Zone 6a)

     I sow salad greens indoors every two weeks (to avoid the summer heat) and routinely start 6 or 7 different varieties in my cut-and-come again gardens (one outdoors, and one in a shade house). I had tried all kinds of lettuce, but never endive, since I was told it was bitter. This year, though, as I was completing an order, I happened to notice a listing for Batavian Full Heart Endive, and it said it was a 1934 AAS selection, so I thought what the heck and added it to the cart.

     To my delight, this has turned out to be the most productive salad green in this year's mix. With high germination and quick growth, it continues to grow out even when the bigger leaves have been picked, and it is not bitter at all. Maybe it would have been if I let it go, but I am using the leaves too fast for that, and no, I have no intention of trying to blanch them, they are fine as they are. If there is a moral, I guess it's not to demur at trying new plants. You might be surprised, as I was.

Atlanta, GA(Zone 8a)

What method are you using to grow your salad greens in your shade house. I thought about setting up something like this youtube video.

Westbrook, CT(Zone 6a)

That's an interesting and apparently very productive method. Many years ago when I was at the Univ. of Arizona, I was shown their hydroponic system (which later was adopted by Epcot) where they grew all kinds of plants without soil.

My method is much simpler. I just sow the seeds in 6-packs, put them in 10x20 trays and bottom water them every two days. If it's winter or early spring, they are under lights (fluorescent or LED shoplights), and as soon as possible I move them into a plastic greenhouse on our deck. I pick those leaves young so they seldom get as big as those in the video. I do have other greens growing outdoors in gutters (to keep them out of the reach of our hungry chipmunks) that I let grow out for when we need large leaves for a recipe. I guess I'm lazy, but while I admire her industry, I'm not tempted to set up a hydroponic system!

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