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How to grow chicory: tips for the cultivation of chicory catalonia or of the more unusual variety, red chicory.
Desire of grow vegetables in your own garden? Spring, summer, early autumn… is always the perfect time to planting chicory catalonia or thered chicory, and harvest it within the first winter frosts.
Together with chard and spinach, the chicory are among the easiest leafy vegetables to cultivate. With the sowing, the cultivation of this vegetable begins with the first warm months (in the south since February / March) but if you have fertile ground you can go directly to the planting of seedlings provided with bread of earth.
There are many varieties of chicory that we can grow, each of which can be grown at a different time of the year.
On this page we will see thecultivation of chicory catalonia, and, in contrast to this great classic, we will give you indications for growing red chicory which for its beauty would almost seem an ornamental plant!
Catalonian chicory, cut chicory
Catalonian chicory is a cut chicory, so after the first harvest it will be necessary to wait for the leaf regeneration to provide for a second wave!
When sowing Catalonian chicory
The sowing period, in the open field, runs from June to September. You can anticipate sowing in cellular containers, in a protected environment. Calculate that the seedlings will be transplanted after 35 - 40 days from sowing, so you can anticipate it between April and May if you decide to sow in a protected environment. Another option is to start directly from the plant with earthen bread.
Variety of chicory catalonia
Go to any garden center or horticultural nursery and buy some seedlings of chicory catalonia supplies of earthen bread.
Choose the variety you prefer, the most widespread is the large-leaved catalonia chicory while if you aim for large quantities, the ideal is chicory clio.
For long leaves there is the Catalonian chicory with jagged leaves while if you live in Southern Italy and you want the so-called Puntarelle, choose the chicory Puntarella di Galatina.
How to grow Catalonian chicory
How to choose the right varieties, how to plant them and how to irrigate them to get a good harvest.
Planting can take place from June to September, or even until early October in southern Italy.
If you want to plant Catalonian chicory in late summer, you can take advantage of the soil where the old plants of the summer garden grew. In fact, if you have grown tomatoes or courgettes in your garden, it is now September, uproot everything, dig the soil to a depth of 25-30 cm, rake and plant your plants.
If your soil isn't enough fertile, you can enrich it, at the time of digging, with 30 grams of mineral superphosphate-19 and 35 grams of potassium sulphate-50 for each square meter of the surface intended for cultivation of chicory.
When planting the seedlings, enrich the soil with ammonium sulphate-20 with a dosage of 35-40 grams per square meter.
How do you proceed with the planting of the chicory?
In the ground, make a hole a little larger than the earthen bread anchored to the root of the seedling you purchased. Place the plant inside the hole and fill it with the same excavated earth. The plants must be arranged at a distance of 40 cm between one row and another 20 cm between one plant and another.
The crop can be irrigated regularly following the system for lateral infiltration sliding into special grooves - that's why it is necessary to leave a distance of at least 40 cm between one row and the other, so as to create the grooves in which the water will flow for the irrigation. The drip irrigation system is the most recommended for a suitable one water saving.
Protect chicory from the cold
Constantly keep your flower beds clean and eliminate weeds. If the cold comes early, to protect the cultivation: you can cover the plants with non-woven fabric.
Such material can lie on plants for up to 15 days. In any case, the period of the collected is close and the chicory catalonia it can be eaten fresh until late October. Harvesting can take place when the leaves are fully developed and can be done by cutting the leaves at the base with a knife or a leaf.
Be careful not to damage the base of the plant which must remain in the ground so as to have the possibility of revegetating and giving you a new crop.
Grow red orchid chicory
Red orchid chicory is very similar to the varietyred chicory grumolo Verona. Just like the Verona heart, it has crunchy and very consistent leaves. The leaves are completely red (no mottling). The chicory orchid variety is precocious, which is why it is harvested from October to January for cultivation with summer sowing, and from April to June for cultivation with winter sowing.
The instructions for thecultivationthey are the same as seen above.
Therechicory orchidit can be grown all year round. Sowing in a protected environment is always available while for those who want to sow the orchid in the open field, just start when the temperatures (even at night) do not drop below 10 ° C. Those who live in southern Italy can sowfrom February until October.
After sowing, the plants produced can be planted respecting a distance of 15 cm between one plant and another.
Where to buy orchid chicory seeds?
If the red chicory of Verona is very easily found (even as a seedling already developed with earthen bread), the orchid chicory is more difficult to find in agricultural consortia or garden centers.
In this context, online buying and selling can come by car. On Amazon, a sachet of red orchid chicory seeds can be bought at a price of 7.54 euros with free shipping.
For all the info on seeds: red orchid chicory
Just a little personal advice:
I bought two sachets, for summer 2017 sowing. Of the two sachets, one was expiring in 2018 and the other was dated July 2017. For July 2017 the seller replaced it for free, without even charging me the shipping costs to return the expiring sachet. Well ... when you receive the gear, make sure it has not expired otherwise the "germination" of the seeds decreases.