Gardening Questions And Answers
Winter chicory can withstand extreme below freezing temperatures, especially with a little protection. Chicory will start showing new leafy growth as soon as soil is warm enough to be workable. During the winter, the leaves will drop and growth slows down significantly, exactly like a hibernating bear.
Plant chicory seeds ¼ inch deep in early spring. Thin seedlings or transplant witloof 9 inches apart in the row with rows 20 inches apart. Plant radicchio 8 inches apart in the row with rows spaced 12 inches apart. Avoid excessive nitrogen fertilization to retain tight heads and healthy root formation.
Cicorium endivia florets are self-pollinating but tend to be allogamous. They therefore do not need insects to be fertilised. Cicorium intybus florets, however, are self-sterile, so they do need pollinating insects. To avoid cross-pollination, two varieties of chicory should be grown at least 500 meters apart.
Common chicory (Cichorium intybus) is a somewhat woody, perennial herbaceous plant of the daisy family Asteraceae, usually with bright blue flowers, rarely white or pink. Many varieties are cultivated for salad leaves, chicons (blanched buds), or roots (var. Chicory is grown as a forage crop for livestock.
They are cool-weather crops and grow best at temperatures of 60–65°F (15.5–18.3°C). Careful variety selection is important for hot-weather plantings. For baby-leaf production, see the Baby Leaf Chicory culture. THERMAL DORMANCY: Endive seed can enter thermal dormancy when exposed to high temperatures above 77°F (25°C).
It may appear at any time of the season, but is most often a problem in humid areas, especially in cool (below 75 degrees F) wet weather (the spores need water to germinate and grow). The spores can travel long distances on the wind, especially in moist air. Some varieties are resistant to downy mildew.