Endive, also known as curly chicory, is a vegetable widely used in salads because it contains many nutrients that are very beneficial for us, such as cobalt, iron, magnesium and zinc. They also have many properties such as appetizing, appetite stimulants, purifying, diuretic, laxative, refreshing and tonic. In addition to multivitamins such as vitamins A, B1, B2, C and K. These are the reasons why many people wonder how escarole plant.
For this reason, we are going to dedicate this article to telling you when and how to plant escarole and what aspects you should take into account.
Requirements for planting escarole
Like cabbage, escarole tolerates low temperatures better than high temperatures. The temperature range will be between a maximum of 30 ºC and a minimum of 6 ºC, although escarole can withstand temperatures down to –6 ºC. In culture, during the growth phase, 14-18ºC are required during the day and 5-8ºC at night.
- In the heart of endive, 10-12ºC is needed during the day and 3-5ºC at night.
- Soil temperature should not drop below 6-8°C.
- The temperature required for germination is at 22-24ºC for 2-3 days.
Because the endive root system is very small compared to the aerial parts, it is very sensitive to lack of moisture and cannot tolerate periods of drought, however brief, as they cause “tip burn” and favor “flowering.
Therefore, in the first 30 cm of soil, soil moisture should always remain close to 60% of its field capacity. An excess of environmental humidity favors the appearance of diseases.
The best soil for this crop is one with a clay-loam texture. It supports acidity better than alkalinity. The optimal pH is between 6 and 7. Prefers acidity to alkalinity. The soil within the entire crop should be kept moist, although the top layer should be visibly dry to prevent neck rot.
Steps to plant escarole
The endive crop cycle is a little longer and less defined, since the cut can be extended more or less, depending on the desired weight, market demands and even the organization of farm work.
First the ground will be leveled, especially in the case of waterlogged soils. Subsequently, furrowing will proceed and finally the ridge machine will mark the location of the plants, except for making small furrows to accommodate the dripper if localized irrigation is used.
Planting in the nursery is done automatically using pelletized seeds. The seedlings will remain in the nursery between 30 and 35 days. 260-unit polystyrene trays will be used They will be placed in a chamber with a temperature range of 20-25ºC.
Subsequently, the trays were transferred to a greenhouse with antithrips mesh to prevent virus transmission. The trays will be treated to control pests and diseases.
The transplant is usually done manually, although the use of transplanters has recently begun. escarole it can be placed in single or double rows with a space of 30 to 40 cm between the plants. Planting densities usually range between 45.000 and 55.000 plants/ha.
Irrigation and compost
During the first week after transplanting, it is recommended to use a mobile system for sprinkler irrigation. During the first vegetative stage of a plant, soil moisture must be maintained to promote rooting and root development.
The frequency of irrigation depends on the type of soil, the salinity of the water and the climatic conditions. Usually, water every 1-2 days, except in sandy soils that you have to water more than once a day.
The watering schedule will be first thing in the morning or late in the afternoon. If it is watered in hot weather, a mismatch can occur, causing yellowing of the leaves and paralysis of the vegetation.
In the case of greenhouse cultivation, fertilization will depend on the crop before and after the lettuce. 3 kg/m2 of well decomposed fertilizer can be provided when subsequent crops require it, not necessary if the crop preceding endive has been fertilized.
A common base fertilizer consists of 50 g/m2 of compound fertilizer 8-15-15, although this is not usually necessary in greenhouses as endive is often a secondary grain filler crop.
It is a crop with high potassium requirements. In gravity irrigation, the mulch fertilizer application rate is approximately 3 g/m2 of nitrogen per irrigation, and in no case exceeds 10 g/m2. If irrigation is not required, foliar fertilizers can be applied when the plants require nitrogen input.
Whitening when planting escarole
Weed control must be carried out in an integrated manner to minimize the environmental impact of weeding operations. In endive cultivation to combat annual weeds, Propyzamide 40% is recommended as a concentrated suspension at a dose of 1,75-3,75 l/ha.
In escarole, the objective is to bleach the leaves and reduce their bitterness. Blanching it can be done in several ways, depending on the type of lettuce:
- In the case of large diameter curly chicory, It is done by tying the outer leaves with raffia, esparto or any other material.
- In small caliber curly chicory, it is carried out using an inverted bell.
- For plain-leaved endive, blanch by folding each leaf inward to form a “head type,” which are pressed together to form a white-leaf center. If higher quality parts are required for this type, They can also be fixed to the ground using an inverted white polyethylene cover with metal rods.
- You can also cover or shade the plants with more or less wide plastic sheets.
As you can see, planting escarole needs some soil, irrigation and maintenance requirements that must be met if we want to have a good harvest. I hope that with this information you can learn more about how to plant escarole, its characteristics and when to plant it.
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