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My Endive, and my Chard have bolted fiercely, and my lettuce also, recently. Have they been too dry? fons, , Posted: 28/08/2011


Yes, the soil has been very dry since April, despite frequent showers. These have not soaked down to depth and many vegetables have run dry and bolted, especially in raised beds, which tend to dry out very quickly, and are really only of value on heavy soil in Irish conditions.


forcing chicory

We have grown chicory Witloof for many years. We bring the roots in pots covered with garden soil into a warmish , dark kitchen cupboard. We get lovely salad leaves after about 3 weeks but would love to know how to produce hearts. By mistake my husband planted a root upside down and this produced a perfect (upside down) heart! Is this the answer?! BallyloughanHouse, , Co Donegal Posted: 17/02/2010


Try covering them with black polythene as well. The leaves will try to open if there is any bit of light.


endive, chinese leafs to tie or not to tie?

It is recommended to tie together leaves of some vegetables. I tried that with Chin. L. as well as with End. But the C.L. started to rot in the heart, perhaps because of the water trapped inside. The End. became a victim of slugs, wilting and rot under the bucket I put over them. (Covering prevents a regular check for e.g. slugs.) How to go about with tieing up? fons, , Posted: 01/02/2010


If Chinese leaves means Chinese cabbage, there is no real advantage in trying to blanch them, which is the reason for tying.

In the case of endive, the reason for blanching is to reduce the bitter taste of the leaves. If covered too long, they rot. Two to three weeks is enough, the longer time in cold weather. Slugs can be a problem.



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