- Plants are grown in the ground over the summer, then the roots are harvested.
- The roots are trimmed of all green leaves, then are replanted in sand in a dark location to force new growth.
The result growth is the familiar pale torpedo-shaped head of dense leaves, called a chicon.
When to plant: Direct seed in July–Aug
- The first harvest is the roots. They should be grown for about four months before harvest.
- Commercial Belgium endive is grown in warm, humid conditions and harvested in 3–4 weeks when 4–6" in length.
- Growing in Santa Clara Valley during the cool season, you can harvest individual leaves over a period of several weeks. See our Belgian Endive Trial for details on how we grew it.
- The more robust the roots, the more growth you will get when forcing new growth
- It is critical to keep the forced growth in complete darkness or the leaves will be bitter