Single Packet of 350 Seeds
Thought to be native to Turkey, western Syria and other parts of the Eastern Mediterranean, the Green Curled Ruffec was popularly cultivated by the ancient Egyptians and produced as a crop by the Greeks and Romans to be used in their salads. Before the fourteenth century, the Green Curled Ruffec was viewed as having medicinal properties as well as eaten with salads mixed with oils and other vegetables. It wasn't until the late fifteenth century that the Veneto region of Northern Italy became known as the heart of Green Curled Ruffec farming, hence the mistaken perception that it is of Italian origin.
This plant resembles lettuce as it grows, having a loosely disposed head of curled leaves around a centralized talk that can be harvested once. It is necessary to give your Green Curled Ruffec crop some protection during the colder days of late autumn as winter rolls in, and their leaves can be enjoyed all the way until the holiday season. They have a bitter taste of any endive, and was quite popular for generations among the Italians in dishes such as minestra maritata and straciatella soup.
This hardy and cold resistant variety of endive grows 12 inches tall and spreads 12 to 18 inches in diameter, low-lying and spreading out with deeply cut dark green leaves with a thick, white midrib and are quite tufted. As is seen throughout most of the endive species, hot weather causes it to produce a bitter taste, while the frosty seasons create a much more sweeter taste within its leaves.
The Green Curled Ruffec has most of the same pests as do the other endives. The list of diseases and insects that can damage and kill Green Curled Ruffecs is a long one, so we only listed a few for you to keep a look out for:
- A fungus called Anthrcnose causes small circular or irregular shaped dry spots that are gray in color on the leaves. If a large number of these gray spots form on the leaves, this will cause the infected leaves to die, in turn resulting in the entire plant dying most often than not.
- Aphids (green peach aphid, Lettuce aphid, Plum aphid) are tiny soft bodied insects that gather in large numbers underneath the leaves and stem of the plant. It is their sticky, sugary honeydew which they secrete that causes the plants to become yellow and distorted, with necrotic spots on stunted leaves and shoots.
- Bacterial soft rot are water-soaked lesions which enlarge to become an expanded form of large rotted mass of cream colored tissue which liquifies beneath the leaf. As the surface of these lesions crack open, they release a slimy liquid which turns tan to black when exposed to the air. This will eventually cause the plant to die.
- Darkling beetles are a dull blue-black or brown insect that feed on the stems of plants, damaging them; they will cause the death of seedlings; and they are known to dig up seeds from the ground.
For a full list, please check out our source here.
Sowing The Seed
Endive seeds are best established directly out in the garden, when the weather is warm and all danger of frost has passed. Begin by clearing the sowing area of all unwanted plant life and weeds. Create rows, sowing each seed at a depth of 1/4” under topsoil. Check below for additional spacing and growth habits.
Endives will thrive in an area of full sunlight, with temperatures of at least 45F to 75F. The soil should be rich in organic matter, but also well drained. We recommend adding a light compost to areas that contain hard, compact soil, to improve drainage. Water your plants with a light water setting to provide ample moisture, but be careful not to overwater.
Germination & Growth
Endive seeds will begin to germinate in roughly 7 to 14 days after sowing. The plants will reach a mature height of roughly 12 inches tall and can spread a good 24 inches wide. Sow in rows, spacing the plants 12 inches apart, in rows that are spaced 18 inches apart. Harvest after roughly 90 to 95 days.