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Chop & Drop Chicory Question

 
Posts: 4
Location: Edmonton, Alberta, zone 3a, 140 frost free d/yr
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Alright... first time poster. Been browsing for awhile (and new podcast listener too)

So i'm looking for info about Chicory

I'm putting together a massive change on my corner lot in the city. Front yard hugelkultur, fruit trees and berries. Lots of berries

I'm new to permaculture and quite fascinated. Kinda tracking progress of the transformation on my urban food forest website.

anyway...

I'm looking at guilds. Considering putting in some chicory along with garlic chives, daikon (ravamping a clay soil that held a lawn for an unknown number of years), and comfrey

so I'm trying to determine if chicory is a chop and drop sort of accumulator as well as it's list of other benefits.

can I chop it and have it regrow?

I'm aware of it's ability to self seed if I'm not taking care of it, which further leads me to believe I should chop it.

I mean I'm picking the leaves to eat maybe, so a full chop should be fine.

give it a year to establish first?

so much respect for the knowledge on this site
 
Posts: 182
Location: CO; semi-arid: 10-12"; 6000 ft
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Hi Rob. Good question. I had to dig into my copy of How to Make a Forest Garden, by Patrick Whitefield. He has a lot of good info on the subject of forest gardens. He names chicory as being a good dynamic accumulator which can be used for animal grazing or in a fertility patch. He says the wild plant is a perennial, but most chicories are treated as annuals because their taste becomes very bitter with age. He doesn't talk about chop and drop, but as it self sows, it might be possible to let babies grow and then chop the ones you don't want to eat. Cutting too much of plants you want might weaken the plant, but I don't know too much about this particular plant. You might want to pick out one or a few to go to seed to make more, and chop the rest.

I know with my sorrel plants, comfrey, and wild spinach, etc, I can cut quite a bit without seeming to hurt the plant--but eventually the leaves get smaller and the plant just looks sad.
 
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