Chicory, Trieste Sweet (Organic)
Cichorium intybus. Rosette type. 35 days leaf; 60 head.
Trieste Sweet is a cut-and-come-again chicory that is usually broadcast sown, and harvested at baby leaf stage for use in salad mixes. Known for regrowth after harvest. Young leaves are smooth with round tips, thin stems that have almost no ribbing, and a mild sweet flavor that is great for raw eating. If left to grow to medium size, the plants resemble floppy boutonnieres, and when larger they develop into something like a loose sugarloaf type head. Flavor remains mild no matter what size but is sweetest when young. We were most impressed with Trieste Sweet during the winter of 2013, when plants bounced back after lows of 5°F without protection. Years later we still had plants from this trial sprouting back from the root, indicating Trieste Sweet might have perennial tendencies if ground is left untilled. A definite win if you love salad chicory as much as we do!
Sow indoors with good potting soil February through September. Transplant into the garden 3-4 weeks after sprouting. In our area, chicory can grow through the winter without protection but is best when sown in June or July for this purpose. Alternatively, direct sow March through August.
Collect seeds from 10 or more plants in second year when seeds have dried down. Cut whole plants, place on tarp, then dance and stomp to free the seed. Or place dry plants on tarps and drive on them. Screen and winnow to clean. Isolate from other Cichorium sp. by ½ mile.