Sowing Guide

How to Sow Roman Endive Seeds

Growing Roman Endive from Seeds

Roman Endive, also known as Cichorium endivia Romanesca, is a classic Italian leafy green known for its slightly bitter, crisp texture and rich flavour. This versatile vegetable is ideal for salads and various dishes, adding a unique touch to your culinary creations. Roman Endive thrives in the UK climate, making it a popular choice for home gardeners. Each packet contains over 50 seeds, providing a generous start to your endive crop. With proper care and cultivation, Roman Endive can grow to a height of 20-30 cm (8-12 inches) and spread 20-25 cm (8-10 inches).

When to Sow Roman Endive Seeds in the UK

  • Sowing Temperature: For optimal germination, maintain soil temperatures between 15-21°C (59-70°F). This temperature range ensures quick and even sprouting of seeds.
  • Soil and Location: Select a location with fertile, well-drained soil that receives full sunlight. Roman Endive prefers soil amended with organic compost to provide the necessary nutrients for robust growth.
  • Seed Sowing Advice: Sow seeds at a depth of 6mm (1/4 inch). Keep the soil consistently moist but not waterlogged during the germination period, which typically takes 10-14 days.
  • Maintenance: Keep the soil moist but not waterlogged. Roman Endive benefits from regular watering, especially during dry periods, to develop its full size and flavor.
  • Weeding: Keep the area around Roman Endive free from weeds, which compete for nutrients and water. Gentle hand weeding is preferred to avoid disturbing the roots.
  • Mulching: Applying a layer of organic mulch helps retain soil moisture, suppress weeds, and regulate soil temperature.

Grow Your Own Roman Endive in Spring

  • Indoor Start: Begin sowing indoors in late winter to early spring, around February to April, to get a head start on the growing season. This is particularly useful in regions with shorter growing periods or cooler springs.
    Outdoor Transplanting: Transplant seedlings outdoors when they are sturdy enough and the risk of frost has passed, typically from late May to June. Ensure soil temperatures have consistently reached 15°C (59°F) for best results.
  • Harvesting: To harvest, first pull up every other plant and then pick a few of the outer leaves from the remaining plants. This method encourages continuous growth and provides a steady supply of fresh endive.

Growing Roman Endive from Seeds in Summer

  • Direct Sowing: In areas with a longer growing season, direct sowing outdoors can be done in early to mid-summer, around June to July. This timing is ideal for harvesting in late autumn.
  • Considerations: Ensure the soil is warm and there’s sufficient time for the plants to mature before the colder months. Summer sowing may require additional watering to keep the soil moist due to higher temperatures.

Growing Roman Endive in Autumn/Winter

  • Overwintering: In milder UK regions, sowing in autumn for overwintering can yield an early harvest the following year. Sow directly in the ground in September or October.
  • Protection: Provide protection with fleece or a cloche as temperatures drop to shield young plants from severe frost and ensure their survival over winter.
    Caring for Roman Endive Plants & Seedlings
  • Transplanting: When transplanting seedlings outdoors, plant them 6mm (1/4 inch) deep and space the plants 20 cm (8 inches) apart to allow for ample growth. Ensure the soil is well-drained and rich in organic matter.

Frequently Bought Together

Main Menu x