About Chicory: Chicory has been in cultivation since the days of ancient Egypt. The oldest publication about herbs in existence, authored by Greek physician Dioscorides, includes information about chicory. Horticulture enthusiast and president Thomas Jefferson planted chicory in his gardens, recommending it in a letter to his friend George Washington as “one of the greatest acquisitions a farmer can have.” Chicory’s most well known culinary use is the use of the root as a coffee substitute or additive, since it has a soothing and relaxing effect that balances out the stimulation of coffee. Fresh leaves of specialty varieties of chicory such as radicchio and endive make wonderful salad greens, and even the leaves of wild chicory make an acceptable substitute for spinach. As a wildflower, this plant springs up everywhere with its bright blue dandelion-like flowers that open and close with the sun.
Chicory Germination: Direct sow in early spring, planting the seed 1/4” deep in loose soil; keep the soil lightly moist until germination, which should occur in 10-14 days. This plant grows best in rich soil, but also adapts well to poor soil.
Growing Chicory Seeds: As the seedlings develop, make sure to remove all weeds and keep the soil consistently moist. Mature plants tolerate drought well. We cannot sell this seed to customers in CO or SD.
Harvesting Chicory: Cut young, tender leaves for fresh greens; do not freeze or dry them, since this deprives them of all flavor. They can be stored in the refrigerator for several days. The root can be harvested any time after four months of growth, but before the ground freezes.
Saving Chicory Seeds: Allow the flowers to dry on the plant and develop into seed heads; the mature seed in the heads will be hard and brown. Remove the heads and spread them out for several days to dry completely. Crush the seed heads to remove the seed, and separate the seed from the chaff. Store the seed in a cool, dry place.
Detailed Chicory Info: Origin: Central Europe Other Common Names: Common Chicory, Blue Dandelion, Blue Sailors, Coffeeweed, Succory Duration: Perennial Bloom Time: Summer-Fall Height: 24-36 inches Spacing: 12-15 inches Light: Full Sun Soil Moisture: Medium USDA Zone: 4a-11 Seeds Per Oz: 27,000 Produces elongated, toothed leaves at the base and branching stems topped by 1-1½” lavender-blue, dandelion-like flowers.