Growing Chicory

Botanical Name: Cichorium Intybus

Chicory is a perennial herbaceous plant originating from Europe. Known for its vibrant blue flowers, it produces crisp, slightly bitter leaves and roots, commonly used in salads and as a coffee substitute.

Do you want to learn about growing chicory? If so, let’s dive in.

  • Growing Chicory
  • Growing Chicory
Planting Guide Image

Chicory Planting Guide

Method

Direct

Sowing Depth

5 mm

Season

Spring and Autumn

Germination

4 – 7 Days @ 15 – 18 °C

Hardiness / Life Cycle

Hardy Perennial (usually grown as an annual)

Row Spacing

30 cm

Plant Spacing

15 cm

Position

Full sun

Days Until Maturity

40 days

Storage

Container in fridge with damn paper towel. Use quickly.

When to Plant Chicory in Australia

What growing
region am I in?
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Cool Plantable in Oct Plantable in Nov
Temperate Plantable in Sep Plantable in Oct Plantable in Nov
Sub-Tropical Plantable in Apr Plantable in May Plantable in Jun
Tropical Plantable in Apr Plantable in May Plantable in Jun
Arid Plantable in Jun Plantable in Jul
Cool Temperate Sub-Tropical Tropical Arid
Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr Plantable in Apr Plantable in Apr
May Plantable in May Plantable in May
Jun Plantable in Jun Plantable in Jun Plantable in Jun
Jul Plantable in Jul
Aug
Sep Plantable in Sep
Oct Plantable in Oct Plantable in Oct
Nov Plantable in Nov Plantable in Nov
Dec
What growing
region am I in?

Introduction to Growing Chicory

Chicory, a versatile and nutrient-rich leafy green, thrives in Australian gardens. This comprehensive guide will walk you through the essential steps of growing chicory, from seed germination to harvest. Discover the joys of cultivating this resilient plant and enjoy its culinary and health benefits.

Germinating Chicory Seeds

Chicory seeds can be sown directly into well-draining soil in early spring or autumn. Ensure a spacing of 15-20 cm between rows, allowing ample room for growth. Adequate sunlight and regular watering support successful germination.

Soil Preparation and Fertiliser

Prepare a fertile soil bed by incorporating organic matter, such as compost. Chicory prefers slightly acidic to neutral soil with a pH range of 6.0-7.0. A balanced fertiliser, rich in nitrogen, promotes robust leafy growth.

Caring for Chicory Plants in Australian Climates

Chicory is well-suited for the Australian climate, thriving in full sunlight and moderate temperatures. Regular watering, especially during dry periods, and mulching to conserve moisture contribute to healthy plant development.

Problems when Growing Chicory

Common Chicory Pests and Diseases

While chicory is generally resilient, pests like aphids and caterpillars can pose challenges. Implement organic pest control methods, such as neem oil, and maintain good garden hygiene to prevent the onset of diseases.

Chicory Companion Planting

Enhance your garden’s biodiversity by practising companion planting with chicory. Compatible companions include carrots, beans, and onions, promoting mutual growth benefits and deterring pests naturally.

Harvesting Chicory Leaves

Chicory leaves are ready for harvest when they reach a desirable size, typically around 8-12 weeks after planting. Harvest in the morning for the best flavour. The leaves can be used in salads, stir-fries, or as a unique addition to various dishes.

Conclusion

Growing chicory in your Australian garden is a rewarding experience that combines culinary pleasure with health benefits. By understanding the nuances of cultivation, from seed selection to harvesting, you can enjoy a continuous supply of this versatile leafy green. Embrace the diversity of chicory varieties and elevate your gardening and culinary skills with this resilient and flavorful plant. Happy growing in your Australian garden!