Chicory is one of the frugal plants that are easy to care for. Here you can find out what needs to be considered for the unusual cultivation in two phases.© photocrew - Fotolia.com
First of all: Do not grow your chicory in long, monotonous rows, but choose a varied mixed culture. For all plants involved, this has the advantage that species-specific pests and diseases can spread much more slowly. You then have more time to react and save your vegetables. Beans, fennel and carrots are good companions for chicory, for example, but onions and tomatoes are also excellent.
How to properly care for chicory
Floor / Location:
Chicory loves the sun and therefore thrives best in a warm, sunny location. However, the plants also get along well with light penumbra and interchangeable shade. If you choose to grow seeds from indoors, you must choose a bright window seat for the young plants before they are released outdoors.
Chicory is not very demanding in terms of soil quality. The plants like well-loosened, water-permeable and humus rich soil. You can easily optimize lean sandy soils and also heavily compacted clay or clay soils with organic material such as mature compost. Work in the compost best before you spread the seeds in May or take the young plants out of the house. This means that the nutrients have a little time to distribute themselves underground and are immediately available to the chicory.
Water your chicory regularly and, especially in hot summer months, make sure that the soil doesn't dry out for a long time. You should also avoid standing pools of water in the bed so that there are no signs of rotting on the roots. An additional fertilization of the plants is not necessary.
Driving chicory in the dark:
In the months of September to November, get your chicory out of the bed, leave the plants for a few days and then remove the leaves. The roots must now be driven in complete darkness. You can use soil from the bed as a substrate and large plastic tubs or buckets are available as containers.
If you do not have a dark room available, you can also use two tubs or buckets of the same size: one to put the roots in and one as a lid, but which leaves enough space for the newly sprouting leaves. Don't forget to keep the chicory moist when you drive it. Recommended reading: Harvest and store chicory - everything about the timing and process.