Click for image info.

Member of:

Approaches to growing:

Chicory (Cichorium intybus)   Edit Report inappropriate crop

Chicory is grown to provide autumn/winter salads; either succulent 'chicons' which are forced in the dark or for heads of autumn/winter lettuce (including 'radiccio'). Although it can be bitter, home-grown chicory is much less so than that bought in supermarkets. The growing process is lengthy and quite involved but relatively easy, given a deeply-cultivated, lightish soil which has preferably been manured for the previous crop (fresh manure may lead to divided roots).

Likes and dislikes
pH5.5 - 7.5
Previous cropprefer
Previous autumndislike
Before plantingdislike
Full sunprefer
Partial shadeok

Forcing seed

sow outdoors sow outdoors

Between plants: 23cm
Between rows: 30cm

Sow thinly in 1cm drills and thin to 23 cm apart.

plant plant

Dig up large carrot-like roots. Remove leaves to within 2cm of crown and trim roots to about 15-20cm and store horizontally in sand in a cool, frost-free place until ready for forcing. Force at intervals of 3-4 weeks by planting close together (4-5 roots in a 23cm pot) in damp sand or compost. Exclude light with black plastic or another pot with a blocked drainage hole. Keep above 10°C.\n

harvest harvest

Harvest chicons 3-4 weeks after beginning forcing by cutting off at ground level. Water compost and recover for a second, smaller crop. Pick immediately before use to avoid wilting.

Non-forcing (radiccio) seed

sow outdoors sow outdoors

Between plants: 30cm
Between rows: 30cm

Soe in drills 1cm deep. Thin to 30cm apart.

harvest harvest

Cut off at ground level. Stumps from early cutting may grow a second head. Protection from frosts may be needed later in the season depending upon variety.

Top tips
Login or register above to add your own tip.