Estimated delivery time : 4-6 Working Days
|Latin name:||Cichorium intybus 'Mechelse middelvroeg'|
|Guarantee:||1 year growth and flowering guarantee|
|Preferred location:||Sun, Half shadow|
|Leafs all year:||No|
|Harvesting:||September - November|
Chicory seed requires no prior treatment. Sow a short row every three weeks and you will have a continuous harvest of fresh chicory.
How to Sow
Sow under glass: February to April and September through October.
Sow in the garden: May to July
There are two ways to sow:
- These can be sown directly into the garden in a sunny spot from May through June. Loosen the soil with a fork to at least 30 cm deep. Make a straight grove approx. 1 cm deep and label the row. Mix the seed with dry, sharp sand and sow along the grove between thumb and forefinger as thinly as possible. Cover with half a centimetre of soil, press carefully down and sprinkle with water. Thin your seedlings out along the grove to one plant per 30 cm and extra rows 35 cm apart.
- Sow under glass (cold frame) in early spring and in September/October. Fill seed trays with a good, fine potting compost. Mix the seed with dry fine sand and sow evenly over the top of the soil. Cover with a maximum half a centimetre of soil and press it all lightly down. Sprinkle with water. Close the cold frame lid and only open it once the seeds have germinated.
Water extra in periods of drought, keep the bed free of weeds and your chicory should thrive. Chicory likes a well fertilised soil so do add some liquid fertiliser to your watering can regularly for lush growth.
Harvest from May to October. If using a cold frame or greenhouse, earlier or later.
Usually ready to pick ten weeks from sowing.
Do try to prevent your chicory from bolting (growing a flower stem, then flower buds). You will see this happen sometimes in the summer but can vary per variety of chicory. Just try to keep harvesting them on time before it does this.
Green chicory and red chicory
Cut these right at the base of the head, in the soil. Throw the outer leaves away.
Red chicory and white chicory
These are harvested with the use of the back of a rake in the autumn, root and all. Then cut the head of leaves from the root.
If pulling up in this way, plant the remaining roots in buckets or large planters (or just dig them back in if you have loads). Store the planters in a dark space and the roots will grow a second crop - white or white with a red edge to the leaf. After just a few months (usually already in the winter) you will be able to harvest a 2nd crop. The white ones grow less quickly but once they're as big as you want them, just cut them off with a sharp knife.
Chicory leaves in all varieties have delicious, tender leaves. The crop heads come in white, red or green. White chicory is not quite so bitter as green or red.
Commercial growers of chicory use giant coolers to enable the consumer to enjoy chicory all year round. They have also managed somehow to produce less bitter chicory varieties and these are more preferred by children.
Chicory is classified under Chichorium intybus var. follosum and falls under Compositae.