Witloof Bruxelles (Chicory/French Endive)
Latin Name: Chicoriumintybus
Item #: 416C
CHICORY (FRENCH ENDIVE) - for forcing or greens
2.5 lbs/1 kg per acre; oz/28 gr sows 250 ft/76 m.
Chicory is classed in three groups:
(a) Witloof - for gourmet restaurants, (b) Cicoria - tops are harvested for leaf salads or harvested like asparagus. (c) Magdeburgh - roots are used to make artificial coffee flavor, WITLOOF type can be sown in the greenhouse in late April, then transplanted outdoors in late May, Sow seed outdoors at 2 or 3 seeds per in/25 mm early in June. Cover seeds 0.25-0.5 in/6-13 mm deep. Space rows 18 in/46 cm apart. Thin seedlings 3-4 in/8-10 cm. apart. The tops grow quite rapidly and resemble smooth dandelion leaves. During the summer the outer leaves may be partially harvested for salad greens. As the fall approaches, the inner leaves become upright and resemble Cos lettuce. Commercial growers blanch these heads during the winter months. Plants are pulled up, roots and all, in late fall. Roots are trimmed to 8 in/20 cm in length. Tops are trimmed, leaving leaf stubs 2 in/5 cm long. Transplant into bushels or root cellar beds containing 4 in/10 cm of moist sand around the roots. Discard roots smaller than 0.75 in/2 cm in diameter. Cover the leaf stubs with 4 in/10 cm. of dry sandy soil, Total depth of sand in the bushels or bed should be 8-9 in/20-23 cm. Examine the root bed in about 20 days to see if the heads are coming through the surface. Maintain total darkness for well blanched heads. Fresh white heads are harvested when 4-5 in/10-13 cm long and 3 oz/85 g in weight. If you ever visit Montreal Canada, France, or Belgium - order Witloof Chicory - It's a gourmet dish!
(b) CICORIA - Sow outdoors as above in June. Catalogna or Radichetta is sown earlier in April. Early shoots are cut like asparagus in the spring. Leaves are harvested as greens during the summer.
(c) MAGDEBURGH - Sow outdoors as above in June. Leaves may be harvested for greens. Roots are dug in the fall, dried, ground and used as a coffee additive or substitute.