How to Grow Chicory

How to Grow Chicory

Chicory – Cichorium intybus

This subject is often thought of as something that is mixed with coffee. It is the Magdeburg Chicory which, after drying, roasting and grinding, is used for this purpose. For providing a delicious salad in winter and spring, the Brussels Witloof Chicory should be grown. This becomes available when lettuce and endive are  usually scarce and expensive to buy. It can also be eaten like celery with cheese and  can be stewed and served with melted butter in the same way as seakale.

Sow in spring in rows 45cm apart, thinning the seedlings so there are 30cm between them. A well worked soil plentifully supplied with organic matter which does not dry out should be selected.

How-to-Grow-Chicory Forcing begins in succession in October when roots are lifted from the open ground. The best roots for forcing are about 40mm in diameter. Chicory can be forwarded in sheds, but a cool or cold greenhouse is better.

The procedure is simple. Make a trench 30cm deep and 60cm wide, fork the bottom and place the roots upright and close together. When the trench is full of roots water should be given. Soil from the second trench can be used to cover the roots in the first trench. A good watering will wash the soil around the roots. Then place the remainder of the soil over the roots to a depth of23 to 25cm The last soil covering must be dry to ensure clean, healthy heads. Chicory is ready for cutting when the tops, known as chicons, start showing through the soil. Keep them out of the light or they will turn green and become bitter and useless.

Another method is to cut off the leaves to within 25 mm of the crown in the autumn. Then earth up as for celery. Supplies of delicious heads will then be available during the winter.

Another variety Sugar Loaf (Pain de Sucre) can be strongly recommended. This has the appearance of well grown cos lettuce with a long standing head most useful for salads. Red Verona is another uncommon n variety, which when forced, produces a compact red head.

04. December 2010 by admin
Categories: Gardening Ideas, Vegetable Gardening | Tags: | Comments Off on How to Grow Chicory

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