The chicory plant is a herbaceous biennial that is native to the United States. Chicory grows wild and is mostly used for its roots and leaves and grows in cold weather climates. There are many different varieties of the chicory plant, but whichever you choose to grow, the gardening instructions will be the same. Keep reading to learn more information on how to grow chicory, care for it, and harvest it.
How to Grow Chicory
There are different varieties of chicory you can grow:
Whitloof Chicory Plants:
Chicory Plants For Leaves Only:
- Rossa di Treviso
- Rossa di Verona
- Seeds can be started indoors 5-6 weeks before the last frost date.
- Sow the seeds 6-10 inches apart in rows that are 2-3 feet apart.
- Plant each seed about 1/4 inch deep and don't worry about thinning: if they are close to one another this will prevent weeds from growing.
- If you DO want to thin them, you can do so once the chicory plant has 3-4 true leaves.
- Grow in well drained soil with lots of organic matter. In fact, growing chicory is very similar to growing any other leafy greens such as lettuce.
Caring for Chicory Plant:
- Make sure the bed is free of weeds.
- Moisture should be constant, so add a layer of mulch.
- 1-2 inches of water per week.
- Fertilize with 1/4 cup of nitrogen based fertilizer such as 21-0-0 for 10 feet of row. Apply every 4 weeks after transplant.
- Depending on the variety you've grown, chicory plants should be ready for harvest within 70-95 days.
- Chicory leaves or roots can be harvested once matured.
Now that you know how to grow chicory, it's time to roll up your sleeves and get to planting!