Gardening With Chicory Plants

Gardening With Chicory Plants

Chicory plant (Cichorium intybus) is an herbaceous biennial that is not native to the United States but has made itself at home. Widely grown in Europe for its root, chicory is a Mediterranean herb used as a coffee filler or substitute. In North America, this plant, also known as blue-sailors, grows wild. It is a blue-flowered herb with a long white root. The leaves of the plant are known as endive, and are found in salads, as either a vegetable or a green. Gardening with chicory plants, seeds can be started indoors five to six weeks before they are moved outdoors. In warm climates, sowing outdoors or transplanting occurs September through March. Gardening with chicory in cooler climates should be done three to four weeks before the danger of frost has passed. Sow chicory seeds 6 to 10 inches apart in rows that are 2 to 3 feet apart. You can always thin the plants if they crowd each other but close planting discourages weeds. The seeds are planted ¼ inch deep and thinning is done when the plants have three to four true leaves. You can also sow a crop for fall harvest if you choose a variety that has an early maturation date.

Gardening with chicory seed 75 to 85 days before anticipated harvest will ensure a late crop. Chicory herb plants that are to be forced for blanched leaves will need to have the roots dug up before the first frost. Cut the leaves to 1 inch and store the roots for three to seven weeks in the refrigerator before forcing. Plant the roots individually after chilling to force the leaves to grow in a tight, blanched head.

Outdoor Yard With Flowering Chicory Plants

Outdoor Yard With Flowering Chicory Plants

The chicory plant has a lifespan of about seven years, and it is quite easy to cultivate.

Purple Flowering Chicory Plants

Purple Flowering Chicory Plants

Plant chicory in a sunny bed if growing for its roots or under partial shade if growing it to harvest the leaves.

Outdoor Garden Chicory Plants

Outdoor Garden Chicory Plants

Chicory requires little care if planted in a garden bed with deep, fertile soil and full sun exposure.

Chicory Plants Featured Flowers

Chicory Plants Featured Flowers

The highly adaptable and rugged nature of chicory allows it to thrive virtually anywhere, although it grows best within U.S. Department of Agriculture hardiness zones 3 to 9.

Backyard With Flowering Chicory Plants

Backyard With Flowering Chicory Plants

If growing chicory by seed in areas with very cold winters, it is usually best to carry out the sowing in early spring or early summer; this will ensure that the chicory plants can be harvested before the frost or snow.

Backyard Garden With Chicory Plants

Backyard Garden With Chicory Plants

Best known as a roadside weed, chicory (Cichorium intybus) has long been cultivated for its edible leaves and root, which are roasted and used as a coffee substitute.

Chicory Plants In The Backyard Garden

Chicory Plants In The Backyard Garden

Chicory requires well drained soil with plenty of organic matter. It performs best when temperatures are below 75 degrees F. (24 C.).

Flowering Purple Garden Chicory Plants

Flowering Purple Garden Chicory Plants

Growing chicory as a forced vegetable necessitates row covers or individual plantings that are kept from light.

Label: gardening tips, chicory herb plants, chicory herbs, gardening pics, gardening images, .

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