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Need help with Chicory question  RSS feed

 
Anne Miller
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My DH (dear hubby) pulled up my Chicory. I had three plants I planted from seed but only one was really nice the other two were small to tiny. I said something got my Chicory and he said "Oh you can plant more from seed, I thought it was a weed". He showed me where he threw it out and helped me replant it but I don't think that is going to work as the leaves are all wilted and the wind keeps pulling it out of ground.

Should I put it in water and hope it gets more roots or should I just roast it and grind it up?

Any comments would be appreciated!
 
Tyler Ludens
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Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
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I think if you cut off the top and removed most of the leaves and replanted it, it might survive, but just in case, obtain some more seeds and plant more!
 
Anne Miller
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Thanks for the reply. I have lots more seed but I thought it might be too hot to try to plant from seed this year. I guess it can't hurt to try. He said the small one he only pulled the top off so I've been hoping it would come back up.
 
Anne Miller
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Location: USDA Zone 8a
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Ok, I would like to know more about Chicory from those that grow it...in Texas would it be a biannual or a perennial? I have been reading up on it and now finding much more than I found prior to planting it. DH bought the seeds several years ago and had not planted them so I thought I would try. They are Chicorium intybus and it said they were a perennial. I thought I would try the greens and later harvest the roots, maybe not this year. I read the plant only lives 2 or 3 years. Another article talks about putting the root in the fridge for several weeks to force it to become endive??

A rabbit pulled it up and ate all the wilted leaves so I put it in water and now have replanted it in a cage where the rabbit can't get it.

I tried searching the forum but didn't find much on growing it other than a lot of people grow it.

Any help would be appreciated.
 
John Elliott
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I have many different varieties planted and it is almost naturalized in my garden (and escaping to other areas). It seems to be perennial, as it comes back in the same place year after year. In a couple of places that I have encouraged it, it is 5' high and thick enough to crowd out even tenacious weeds like Carolina geranium, vetch, and Japanese honeysuckle. Right now, it is about peak flower, and it's keeping many different species of bumblebee happy. In a few weeks, when it has all gone to seed, I will run over it with the lawn mower and see what new places it can colonize.

Yanking them up and forcing them in low light conditions to turn into Belgian endive is a specialized art, probably best done in Belgian conditions of light, weather, and seasons. I wouldn't want to try it here in Georgia, and Texas is more like Georgia climate-wise than like Belgium.

I also have some Italian radicchio type, but I don't get very good head formation. In the late winter there is some heading, but our winters are not consistently cool enough to allow the heads to get to a big size. All it takes is a few February days in the 60s (and we have many of them), and it seems to want to put out more rosette leaves instead of increasing the size of the head.

The Italian frastagliate (jagged leaf) type is my favorite. It stir-fries up nice and pairs nice with fava or white beans. I also don't have to worry about heading (like with radicchio) or forcing (like with endive). There is also a loose-leaf type, looks kind of like a big head of leaf lettuce, but it has too much chicory bitterness for me, so I mostly feed it to the animals.

The word about me growing a lot of chicory seems to have spread to the local rabbit community. I'm noticing a lot more cottontails as I go about my gardening. When I startle them, they dart into the blackberry brambles or into a thicket of chicory.
 
Anne Miller
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Location: USDA Zone 8a
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Thank you for the reply. I don't want to attract deer or rabbits, only hummingbirds and butterflies. Maybe I will just see what happens with the one plant.

Thanks again as you have told me a lot more than the internet ever said.


 
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