- I personally have a love-hate relationship with Chicory. Chicory looks beautiful in rows planted in the garden, However, I do not think the taste matches the level of effort required to grow. However, I recommend you give Chicory a go and formulate your own opinions:
There are three main types of chicory:
- Belgian/ Witloof
- Radicchio/ Red chicory
- Sugarloaf chicory
- Belgian has the characteristic pointy shape or 'chicons' as they are called.
- Radicchio has dense, tight curled head similar to little ice gem lettuce
- Sugarloaf has large leaves that are loose
- All are very bitter with Belgian chicory normally blanched to keep a level of sweetness.
Sowing & Growing
- When it comes to planting Chicory they are not fussy and will grow in most soil types.
- Chicory are also not too picky about sun, they will grow in full sun or part shade. I have grown in both with the same level of success.
- I would recommend sowing directly with chicory and the optimal time to do so is May or June.
- Sow seeds 1cm deep
- when the chicory starts to grow thin to 25cm and space rows 30cm apart
- Chicory can be fast to bolt so water regularly to avoid this.
- If you are blanching Belgian chicory, cover with a light proof pot as it starts to grow.
Between each plant
Between each row
Chicory Witloof/ Belgium
Sugar Loaf/ Radicchio
-Belgian: Apollo, Zoom
-Sugarloaf: Grumolo Verde, Pan di Zucchero
-Red Chicory: Pall a Rossa, Treviso Precooe Mesola, Variegata di Castlefranco