Radicchio di Castelfranco - 30 seeds

Radicchio di Castelfranco - 30 seeds

2.99

Radicchio ‘Variegata di Castelfranco’ has a beautiful form with wide, slightly wavy leaves with small ribs and jagged edges. The apple-green leaves are flecked with purple to red-violet variegations. It has a fresh and a delicate taste that is sweet to pleasantly bitter and a crisp texture that makes this chicory so special.

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Chicory are incredibly hardy, totally invaluable plants for the winter vegetable patch and this traditional variety is one of the hardiest and easiest to grow from seed at any time in the year. Ideal for salads it can be sown all year round and eaten as a cut-and-come-again leaf. Traditionally sown in mid to late summer in May to August and left to heart up, the harvest begins in December and lasts well into winter.


Preparation:
Chicory grows well in most soils. Loose, fertile soils that have plenty of nutrients and good drainage are ideal. It grows best in soils with a pH of 5.5-6.8. Prepare the bed and rake it for a smooth finish, Mix compost into the soil prior to planting. Add fertiliser when planting


Sowing: Sow indoors February to April, or sow outdoors in midsummer, May to August.
If planted late it can still be harvested as a loose head. If dug and forced it creates a beautiful creamy-white and pink head similar to radicchio.
Seeds germinate best in soils around 16 to 18°C (60 to 65°F) Germination in 7 to 14 days.
Keep evenly moist for the tenderest leaves. Leaves that are stressed due to water shortage will turn bitter and taste terrible. It will withstand light frosts.


Sowing Indoors:
Sow into open flats or in cell packs 6 to 8 weeks before the last frost. Sow seeds in moist growing mix and thin to 1 plant every 5cm (2in) once seedlings have sprouted the first set of true leaves. Transplant seedlings outdoors when they are 10cm (4in) tall. Make sure the soil is moist and the seedlings do not dry out. Water well until they are firmly established.


Sowing Direct:
Sow into prepared beds as soon as the soil can be worked in the spring. Successive seedings ensures a continual harvest. Sow seeds every two weeks through to autumn. Sow 1 to 2 seeds every 10cm (4in). Sow 7mm (¼in) deep in rows 20cm (8in) apart. Once they are established, thin plants to 20cm (8in) in each direction.