RadicchioItalian chicory or Radicchio, developed by Italians in the 1950s, boasts bright ruby leaves that form a solid round head. It can be compared to a mixture of cabbage and lettuce; it has a bitter-spicy taste. It is an excellent addition to green salad or casseroles. Hardy and grows well in cool weather, light frost makes it sweet, and intense heat causes bitterness and curdling. Radicchio ripens in about 80 days.
Radicchio, a member of the chicory family, come from Egypt or the Mediterranean. Pliny the Elder praised its medicinal properties, stating that it purifies the blood and cures insomnia. As a result, it is trendy in the cuisines of Mediterranean countries, especially Italy, where it is often a tasty addition to salads. Radicchio, like Rossa di Verona, was bred in the 15th century in the Veneto region of Italy.
How to grow Radicchio from seeds:
- Sowing: Radicchio is a beautiful fall harvest, as light frost makes the taste sweet, and excessive heat causes bitterness or curling. For an early summer harvest, sow seeds indoors 2 months before the last spring frost, 1/4″ deep. When the seedlings are germinated, cut them 6 inches apart. Four weeks after planting, place them 12″ apart. For fall harvest, sow seeds 1/3″ in July. When the seedlings are germinated, cut them up to 12″ in all directions. In areas with warmer winters, you can plant winter crops about two months before the last frost.
- Plant Spacing: 6″.
- Growing of Radicchio: The soil must be moist to prevent hardness or bitterness. Avoid getting the leaves wet, as this can cause rotting. Mulch helps to retain moisture and fight weeds. Tie the outer leaves together to darken the inside of the plant 2-3 weeks before harvest. Please make sure the leaves of the plant are dehydrated before tying them to prevent rotting.
- Radicchio Soil Requirements for: Keep the soil evenly moist and warm.
- Radicchio Seeds Days to Germination: 14 days.
- Light Preference of Radicchio: Full Sun.
- Life Cycle of Radicchio: Annual.
- How and When to Harvest Radicchio: Cut the mature head when it reaches a diameter of approximately 5″.
- Radicchio Days to Maturity: up to 100 days.
- Radicchio's Seed Saving: Radicchio must overwinter for seeds to develop. The plant should be pruned to 2 inches for regions with harsh winters and the roots stored in wet sand. Maintain a temperature of 33-40 degrees F until spring, when you can replant them. Endive is hardy and can survive mild winters with a thick layer of mulch. When the Endive is blooming and producing seeds, wait for the seed heads to dry, and the seeds are dry and hard. Then, spread them out to dry completely. Stоre seeds in a cool, dry place for up to eight years.
- Common Names: Radicchio
- Latin Name: Cichorium intybus var. foliosum
- Species Origin: Northern Italy
- Type: Open Pollinated, Heirloom, Cool Season
- Life Cycle: Annual
- USDA Zones: 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
- Seeds per Ounce: 2,500
- Sunlight: Full Sun
- Height: 12 Inches
- Color: Red
- Uses: Culinary