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If you enjoy a salad with a slightly bitter flavour Chicory (Chicorium intybus) is the perfect plant to grow in your garden. Mostly used in Italian cuisine, the leaves can be added fresh to salads or sautéed to create a unique side dish. Better yet, the roots of the chicory plant can be roasted, ground and dried to create a caffeine free coffee substitute. Chicory is truly a no waste plant!


How to grow chicory in a garden

  1. Fill starter pots or trays with Yates Seed Raising Mix. Sow seeds, cover, firm down and water well. Keep the soil moist so the seeds don’t dry out.  
  2. While the seedlings are growing, choose a sunny spot in the garden and prepare the planting area well by digging in Yates Dynamic Lifter Soil Improver & Plant Fertiliser.  
  3. Once seedlings have emerged, feed weekly with Yates Thrive Vegie & Herb Liquid Plant Food. Allow seedlings to grow to about 3-4cm before transplanting.  
  4. When transplanting them into your prepared garden bed, ensure seedlings are well spaced – at least 30cm apart. Mulch with an organic mulch, such as sugar cane or pea straw and water in well. 
  5. Feed weekly with Yates Thrive Vegie & Herb Liquid Plant Food to ensure strong root development and a good leafy growth. 
  6. Harvest individual leaves as they grow or harvest entire plant two months after planting. 

     
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How to grow chicory in a pot

  1. Choose a pot at least 300mm wide and deep. Position in full sun.  
  2. Fill starter pots or trays with Yates Seed Raising Mix. Sow seeds, cover, firm down and water well. Keep the soil moist so the seeds don’t dry out.  
  3. Once seedlings reach 3-4cm tall, fill chosen pots with quality potting mix, such as Yates Potting Mix with Dynamic Lifter. Transplant seedling into pot and water in well with Yates Thrive Vegie & Herb Liquid Plant Food.  
  4. Feed weekly with Yates Thrive Vegie & Herb Liquid Plant Food.
  5. Harvest individual leaves as they grow or harvest entire plant two months after planting. 

Growing tips

  • When harvesting, dig up the entire plant or cut the chicory leaves off at the base near the crown. The root can be left in the soil to grow new shoots the following season.  
  • Chicory can also be used as a bee attracting plant in the garden. Avoid harvesting and allow them to go to flower. You will be rewarded with an abundance of blue flowers that bees just love! 
  • For those that are not fond of the strong bitter taste, harvest the leaves that are closest to the heart of the plant. The further away from the heart, the more bitter they become.  

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Yates Seed Raising Mix

An ideal mix for germination of vegetable, herb and flower seeds and for cutting propagation.