This lettuce-chicory is also called "Italian Dandelion" with long dark-green, deeply cut leaves with a white juicy nerve in the middle, resembling dandelion leaves. They can be harvested as baby plants as well as fully grown with stronger flavour. The flower stem is used as asparagus. Plants, sown in summer, can winter over. Catalogna has a milder bitterness and is late blooming. A portion contains about 300 seeds.
|Scientific name:||Cichorium intybus var. foliosum|
|Botanic family:||The Sunflower Family - Asteraceae|
|Days to maturity:||40|
|Sowing time:||Pre-cultivate: April–May/Direct sow: June|
|Sowing depth:||1 cm|
|Germination time:||6–10 days|
|Plant spacing:||20–30 cm|
|Row spacing:||40–50 cm|
|Plant location:||Sun–Half shade|
SowingSow 1 cm deep, when the soil has warmed up to at least 10°C. The risk of bolters from the plant grows when the soil is too cold.
SpacingThin out to 20-30 cm between the plants and 40-50 cm between the rows.
HarvestLettuce-chicory is cultivated because of the leaves and heads and can be harvested far into autumn. The root- or forced chicory yields a strong pole-root for forcing during winter. It can be dried, toasted and ground for coffee surrogate, which is very common on the continent.
Roots for forcing are harvested late. Cut off the tops a few cm above the neck of the root, trim and shorten to 15-20 cm. Let them dry a little before storing in the same way as carrots. To force-grow pack them close together in a deep box or bucket with soil, moist sawdust or peat. If the space they are in is absolutely dark there is no need to cover, but the best crop comes from covering the roots with a 20 cm thick layer of dry sawdust or peat. Keep the box in darkness at a temperature of 15-20°C. After 4-6 weeks yellow-white, crisp heads can be harvested. If lighted they turn green and bitter.
SeedAbout 700 seeds/g, one portion sows at least 5 m and 7-10 g sows 100 m.
A portion contains about 300 seeds.