HOW AND WHEN DOES A HOME GARDNER KNOW TO HARVEST BELGIAN EDIVE.
Asked by: kevsdeal-ga
List Price: $10.00
20 Oct 2002 08:09 PDT
Expires: 19 Nov 2002 07:09 PST
Question ID: 85465
I PLANTED BELGIAN EDVIVE IN THE SUMMER, i KNOW IT IS HARVESTED IN FALL, HOW DO i KNOW IF IT IS READY AND WHAT IT SHOULD LOOK LIKE. HOW DO I HARVEST IT.
Re: HOW AND WHEN DOES A HOME GARDNER KNOW TO HARVEST BELGIAN EDIVE.
Answered By: blinkwilliams-ga on 20 Oct 2002 09:27 PDT
Hello and thanks for the question. Because the Belgian endive is a biannual plant there are two phases to its growing cycle. During the first phase the seeds are planted in the late spring or early summer. The plant grows through the summer and into the autumn. During this period none of the leaves from the plant should be harvested. A very helpful article on this subject is "Belgian Endive Provides Winter Fare" by Lee Reich which can be found at: Lifewise http://www.canoe.ca/LifewiseHomeYardWeekend00/1230_endive_ap.html According to this website and several others, the outdoor growth period should take about three to four months. The foliage that results from the outdoor growing period is similar to that of Romaine lettuce. The roots of the endives should be dug up before the ground freezes in the autumn. As to how the roots should be harvested, Reich's article states, "Before the ground freezes solid in autumn, dig the roots and save for forcing those that are straight and an inch or two thick at their tops. With a sharp knife, cut off any side roots, cut the leafy tops to within an inch of the crowns, and shorten each root to a manageable length of about eight inches." The edible head will grow from the top of the root once the endives are "forced" inside. The next step involves placing the roots in a cold storage area. The article suggests placing the roots in a perforated plastic bag in the refrigerator. According to another website (http://www.sfc.ucdavis.edu/cgi-bin/spec_crop.exe/show_cult&ID=12) "Cold storage, whether in the field or in cold storage rooms, is needed to vernalize the tissue. Without proper vernalization, forcing at raised temperatures will be erratic." While in cold storage, remove a few roots at a time and prepare them for forcing. The endives are "forced" by placing them in a deep flower pot or cardboard box. According to the article cited above: "Pack the roots upright into the container, sifting well-drained garden soil, sand, or new or used potting soil into the spaces between the roots. Water thoroughly." For best results keep the leaves of the endive in the dark and "and keep the growing heads tight by covering the crowns of the plants with about eight inches of dry sand, soil, or sawdust." After about three or four weeks (some websites say 20-28 days) the tips of the leafy heads will appear through the top layer. At this point you can take the covering off and harvest the heads by snapping them from the roots. Hope that helps! The links below contain further information on growing and harvesting Belgian endives. Links Lifewise - "Belgian Endive Provides Winter Fare" by Lee Reich http://www.canoe.ca/LifewiseHomeYardWeekend00/1230_endive_ap.html University of California I also found this page very helpful http://www.sfc.ucdavis.edu/cgi-bin/spec_crop.exe/show_cult&ID=12 Endive World Contains an informative FAQ http://www.endive.com/about_faq.cfm Rain.org http://www.rain.org/greennet/docs/exoticveggies/html/belgianendive.htm Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries Government of British Columbia http://www.agf.gov.bc.ca/aboutind/products/plant/belgian_endive.htm Search Strategy belgian endive harvest belgian endive forcing belgian endive cold storage belgian endive growing Best of Luck! -blinkwilliams-ga
rated this answer:
This does not help because it is too technical, when can I take it out of the ground and eat it, do I eat the root, the above ground stuff, what? I have no clue what forcing is or whatever, can someone explain in plain english
Re: HOW AND WHEN DOES A HOME GARDNER KNOW TO HARVEST BELGIAN EDIVE.
From: aceresearcher-ga on 20 Oct 2002 17:47 PDT
"Forcing" is the gardener's term for persuading an outdoor plant to grow and/or bloom indoors. Plants have evolved to recognize what season it is by the outdoor day and night temperatures, as well as amounts of moisture. The gardener tricks the plant into thinking it's time to grow again by manipulating aspects of the indoor environment such as temperature, amount of light received in a 24-hour period, and amount of moisture received. When the gardener tricks a plant in this way, they have "forced" it to grow/bloom. Belgian endive (a.k.a "Witloof Chicory") is a biennial, which means that in the first year, the plant grows and develops a good root system, but does not develop blossoms or seed pods. The second year, the plant will develop blossoms and seeds. In order to get a biennial to flourish, you will need to not harvest any the first year (yes, the delay is annoying, isn't it?). "Witloof Chicory: A New Vegetable Crop in the United States", by Kenneth A. Corey, David J. Marchant, and Lester F. Whitney (1990): "During the first year of growth, the plant develops a deep taproot and produces a rosette of leaves on a short stem. Following a period of cold exposure, the plant develops a floral meristem. Commercial production involves harvesting the plant following the attainment of a proper stage of maturity of the root, followed by floral bud induction (cold storage) and then an accelerated but controlled development of the floral axis and surrounding basal leaves in the dark (forcing). The end product of forcing is a chicon (Fig. 1), a small white head of leaves ringed with regions of yellow-green... Forcing is the production phase with high value added and may be conducted using hydroponic methods or by conventional methods whereby a solid medium is used. Since the development and commercial application of hydroponic forcing methods has become a widespread means of producing this crop on a large scale, we have chosen to describe it here in more detail." http://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/proceedings1990/v1-414.html The procedure described by blinkwilliams above is for shortening the wait time by tricking the endive plants into thinking the second year is here already, so it will produce the heads that you can eat. The reason the procedure talks about covering the endive with an 8-inch layer is that, for best taste and results, the endive should not be exposed to light while it is growing. "Belgian Endive: Because they're protected from light as they grow, Belgian endive's small, smooth, slender heads are almost white in color. The flavor is strong and pleasantly bitter. If the leaves are more green than white, it is likely to be very bitter." http://www.efn.org/~sundance/Salads.html So, what the documents whose links appear above are saying is that you need to have a root cellar or other contained system where you can manipulate the environment to produce good endive; unfortunately, you can't just strew the seeds in the ground and harvest later in the season the way you can with many types of lettuce. I found a Communications For A Sustainable Future's Q&A forum, with posting requesting information about growing endive, and CSF's Adam Honigman's response to the question. It lists several other good web articles: http://csf.colorado.edu/archive/2001/garden/msg01212.html Since you've already gotten through the taproot development stage, you are ready for the harvestin and forcing stages. However, if you are a novice gardener, this may all seem very daunting (it is to ME, and I have been gardening for several years now!). If it is more than you are able or willing to take on right now, you may want to try advertising in local daily and weekly newspapers for someone who has the facilities to see if they would take it from here in exchange for half of the endive crop. Otherwise, all the links listed here should be able to walk you through the harvesting and forcing process. If there is anything on this page or in any of the linked pages that you do not understand and you would like further clarification, please post a clarification request and I will do my best to help you out. I hope this information will be of assistance to you!
If you feel that you have found inappropriate content, please let us know by emailing us at email@example.com with the question ID listed above. Thank you.
|Search Google Answers for|