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Growing Chicory, also Witloof, Belgian endive

Jan F M A M J J A S O N Dec
    S P P              

(Best months for growing Chicory in USA - Zone 5a regions)

S = Plant undercover in seed trays P = Sow seed

  • Sow in garden. Sow seed at a depth approximately three times the diameter of the seed. Best planted at soil temperatures between 50°F and 68°F. (Show °C/cm)
  • Space plants: 10 - 12 inches apart
  • Harvest in 16-24 weeks. Will need forcing before final harvest.
  • Compatible with (can grow beside): Carrots, onions, Florence fennel, tomatoes.
  • Forced (blanched) witloof
    Forced (blanched) witloof

Harvest - to prepare to store for forcing at around 4-5 months . The second stage, blanching will take 8 - 12 weeks. To Blanch:- Lift the plants and cut off the leaves about 5cm (2in) above the roots. Shorten the roots to about 20-25cm (8-10in) and replant close together (3-5cm apart)in a pot filled with loose soil. Keep damp but not soggy. Cover to exclude light and keep out of the sunlight, but not below 10 C (50 F)

Exclude light until you use the witloof, if it goes green it will be bitter.

Culinary hints - cooking and eating Chicory

Good in salads
Grill lightly with butter
Bake with ham and cheese

Your comments and tips

31 Aug 07, Ellen (Unknown climate)
Hi, I grew witloof two years ago in NZ cold/mountain climate with quite a success. I sew the seeds in spring and up rooted them in autumn to go into the dark. I got my seeds from KingSeeds and have another go this year. Brilliant website though, just what I was looking for. Thank you very much for setting it up. Keep up the good work. Cheers Ellen
14 Sep 07, yvan garcia (Unknown climate)
i would like to grow witloof chicory i live in qld australia but i do not know how can you help? thankyou yvan
11 Sep 12, piero carrarq (South Africa - Semi-arid climate)
where can I get witloof seeds in za - jhb - your help would be much appreciated.
04 Oct 12, Catharina Claessens (Australia - temperate climate)
I am from belgium and this is one of the very few things i miss from that cold country! In my 5years here i've only found it once, just a random addition to the regular veggies at woolies one week, but sadly never again. Does anyone know where i could buy over here (or seeds and try and grow it i suppose, although thats a lot of hassle in this case i reckon)? And my suggestion is definitely in the oven with ham and lots of cheese ;)
04 Oct 12, Steve (Australia - temperate climate)
Our local Coles had it for the last 3 months, but I think it's out of season now. Maybe try them instead of Woolies? Eden Seeds had seed
12 Dec 12, Reinout (South Africa - Summer rainfall climate)
Hi Piero, I brought some witlof seeds from holland two years back. Don't mind sharing. I'm in Wesdene, JHB.
15 Dec 12, Carol (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
How about roots
22 Jan 13, (Australia - arid climate)
On lineThe Italian Gardener
22 Jan 13, Chris Czarnik (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
When is the best time to plant Witloof and, Chicory in Brisbane. Thank you
15 Apr 13, marian seegers (New Zealand - cool/mountain climate)
Please have you any idea where I can buy witloof here in New Zealand (south Island)?
Showing 1 - 10 of 41 comments

How about roots

- Carol

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This planting guide is a general reference intended for home gardeners. We recommend that you take into account your local conditions in making planting decisions. Gardenate is not a farming or commercial advisory service. For specific advice, please contact your local plant suppliers, gardening groups, or agricultural department. The information on this site is presented in good faith, but we take no responsibility as to the accuracy of the information provided.
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