Chicory (Chihorium intybus) is an edible perennial herb native to North Africa, Europe and Asia. Today it can be found all over the world and especially on the lands with a mild temperate climate. It gained its fame in Antiquity because of its therapeutic usages and the old Egyptians would use it to treat the liver and gallbladder problems.
Also known as Italian dandelion, leaf chicory, spring chicory, rosette chicory. Cichorium intybus (Cutting chicory)
This bitter Italian green grows quickly, with immature leaves ready to harvest in just 3 to 5 weeks. Prefers cool weather but will produce greens throughout the season.
Lifecycle: annual, Biennial grown as an annual.
Shape: cushion, mound or clump
Common name: Chicory, witloof, French endive, Belgian endive, succory
Height: Height: 1 to 1.6 feet
Spread: 0.5 to 1 feet
Difficulty level: Easy
Planting & Care
Choose from heading and semi-heading varieties. Radicchio is best planted for fall harves; sow seeds in the garden 85 days before the first frost in fall; radicchio requires a long, cool season. Place a plastic mulch or plastic sheeting around the radicchio plants–white, black, or clear. Growing radicchio on plastic, not the soil, will increase the heading percentage significantly.
Sunlight: Full sun, part shade.
Soil: Requires well-drained soil, Tolerates a wide range of soils, but prefers well-drained, rich soil, high in organic matter, pH 6.0 to 7.5 and consistent, plentiful moisture.
Water: Keep plants evenly moist.
Temprature: 60° to 70°F.
Fertilizer: Add aged compost to planting beds before planting and again at mid-season.
- Soil preparation Chicory likes a sunny spot with well-drained soil.
- If you can, prepare soil for spring sowing by digging in the winter, adding plenty of well-rotted manure.
- Remove weeds, any very large stones and rake to leave a level finish.
- A week before sowing sprinkle a general purpose fertiliser (of approximately 30g per square metre) over the area and rake into the surface.
- How to sow seeds Sow seeds in July or August, for plants ready to be picked from October to December.
- To sow in rows, stretch a length of string between two canes to make a straight line and make a shallow trench, about 1cm deep, with a garden cane.
- Sow seeds thinly, then cover, water and label.
- Alternatively, fill a large 45cm (18in) diameter pot with compost, level and tap to settle - aim to leave a 2cm (1in) gap between the surface of the compost and the rim of the pot.
- Sow seeds thinly across the surface and cover with a 1cm (0.
- 5in) layer of vermiculite.
- Water and stand in a cold frame, or in a slightly shaded space in the garden.
Harvesting: Use a sharp knife to cut off the heads of sugarloaf varieties in late autumn, while varieties grown for their red leaves (which are green for much of the summer) should be harvested after a period of cold weather - only then do they turn completely dark.
- Seeds will take about two weeks to germinate.
- When seedlings are about 2cm (1in) tall, thin them out, leaving a plant every 15cm (6in).
- If plants are allowed to dry out they may run to seed, so water well and keep the soil free from weeds.
- Nothing much bothers these.
- You might have some problems with wire worms or root maggots in the early spring, but these can be controlled by using paper collars.
- Nutrition & Benefit
The Chicory or Cichorium intybus is invented as food such as Crispy chicken breast plus fennel salad and braised chicory, potato salad with Finger licking ribs, Stuffed saddle, Roast pheasant plus wild mushrooms and caramelized walnuts, Braised chicory with beans and so on.
Within Chicory there are several vitamins such as Vitamin B-12, Vitamin B-Complex, vitamin C, and vitamin D.
Chicory is produced as Chicory Syrup also known as Inulin.
- The Inulin always supports the ability of people’s bodies to absorb or attract calcium which assists in building and maintaining strong bones and teeth.
Chicory can be added to a lot of coffee in order to mellow the coffee quality in favour of young generations.
- Currently, in the America and other European countries there is a lot of consumption with popularity as well.
Though chicory is most famously used in teas, it has also traditionally been used to flavour coffees as well.