How to Grow Chicory in Your Garden

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About How to Grow Chicory

Chicory, or chicons, are not one of the more popular vegetables in the home garden. Suffice it to say their tart, bitter taste is not for everyone. There is little written about them. They are, however, an interesting vegetable, and are used in salads and a variety of recipes around the world. Are you ready to give chicory a try in your vegetable garden? Use this “How to Grow Chicory” guide.

Varieties of Chicory

  • Forced – Put roots in the dark and harvest the white, closely bunched leaves.

  • Non-forcing – Harvest the leafy heads in the fall.

How to Grow Chicory

Thinly sow seeds 1/4 inch deep, in rows spaced about 1 1/2 feet apart. Thin to one every 6-9 inches.

Growing Chicory plants is easy. Chicory will grow in sunny to partly sunny locations. They will tolerate poor soils but respond well to rich compost.

Make sure to provide ample water to keep the soil moist.

Also, See:

Plant Problems

Soil Temperatures – Ideal germination temperature by vegetable

Ideal Soil pH: 5.0-6.5. See Soil pH of other vegetables

Insects and Pests

Chicory is susceptible to the same insects as the lettuce family. This includes snails and slugs, aphids, and a variety of cutworms and moth caterpillars.

Plant Disease

Wilting and summer rot from heat and humidity can occur.

How to Grow Chicory- Harvest Time

Days to Maturity: 80 to 90 days.

Harvest leaf Chicory as the leaf reaches sizable portions. Harvest the head before frost.

To grow the blanched chicons, harvest the roots, before frost. Place in a container covered by sand, in a dark room. Harvest tight yellow-white heads after they reach 6-7 inches, cutting them just below the surface.

How to Grow Chicory - Plant Hardiness

Like lettuce, Chicory is a tender vegetable. Plant just before the last spring frost date and harvest before the first fall frost.


Our Garden Recipe Collection – When you’re done gardening, it’s time to eat!

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