The Q&A Archives: Do You Have Escarole Seed?

Question: I have been buying Burpee seed from my local Southern States store for a number of years but they don't always have all that you may carry. I have been looking for escarole seed. Does your catalog have that? I have ordered the catalog but I thought I'd ask in advance. When is a good time to start iceburg lettuce and escarole, late Feb.? How do you keep it from getting 'leggy'?<br>

Answer: Burpee does not currently carry escarole. Escarole is available from Fratelli Ingegnoli Italian Seeds at<br>You can also buy seeds from, The Cooks Garden P.O. Box 535 Londonderry, VT 05148 800-457-9703. According to The Cook's Garden, in temperate climates escarole seed may be sown in spring and fall; in cooler areas it is sown in the summer time. However, I think escarole tastes best when sown in midsummer and harvested as a fall crop. Iceberg varieties should be sown as soon as the ground can be worked in the spring, you could feasibly have lettuce for the table by Memorial Day! When you say leggy, I am guessing you are talking about bolting. Bolting can occur when crops such as these are subjected to heat. You can cut down on bolting by growing these greens in the very early spring and midsummer through fall as suggested. Some gardeners guard against bolting by screening their greens with netting, cheesecloth, or lath stretched across frames and placed on vertical supports. This offers some protection from the hot summer sun. I have also heard of gardeners planting lettuce in very light shade with good results.

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