Radicchio, Variegata di Chioggia (Organic)
Cichorium intybus. Round heading type. 75 days.
Another standout from our extensive radicchio trials. Best for fall and early winter harvest. Heads are slightly variable in shape and size but all have a nice red-pink and white variegation, lacking the green of Castelfranco and Luisa types. Large, round heads (think iceberg lettuce) are beautiful and the flavor is delicious, somewhere between the sweeter Castelfranco and the stronger flavored Rosso di Chioggia. According to Italian historical accounts, Variegata di Chioggia was selected out from a cross with Castelfranco and then the much redder Rosso di Chioggia was selected from Variegata di Chioggia. Originating near Chioggia, Italy.
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.