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How to grow Chioggia radicchioand thevariegated chicory. Advice on cultivation, late and early varieties, and bleaching instructions.
Radicchio cultivation in Italy
When it comes toradicchiowe refer to thosechicorywith leavesredmore or lessvariegatedwhich have found their widest diffusion in Veneto.
So even when we talk aboutvariegated chicory from Chioggiawe are describing aRed radish characterized by mottled leaves, therefore, in fact,variegated.
Thered chicory from Chioggiais among the varieties of chicorymost cultivated, followed by the Red radish of Verona, Treviso (Treviso radicchio) and the Variegated Radicchio of Castelfranco.
Veneto, with about 9 thousand cultivated hectares and a production of over 100 thousand tons, holds the record in cultivation of radicchioall over Italy.
Theradicchioit seems to be an all-Italian product. The first crops ofradicchioare the homegrown ones, its history began even before the fifteenth century, in the lands of Veneto and Friuli Venezia Giulia. Pliny the Elder spoke of the benefits of Radicchio in hisNaturalis Historia.
In Belgium, the botanist Francesco Van den Borre (in 1860), after countless crosses, gave birth to a variety of red radicchio very similar to our Radicchio di Treviso. The overseas growers of excellence do nothing but envy us this product: in the USA, the most popular radicchio is precisely that ofChioggia, known in Europe and the USA asRadicchio red ballfor its predominantly red leaves.
Because in the USA the chicory from Chioggia? For the same reason why this variety is also preferred in Southern Italy. Many varieties of radicchio are grown in northern Italy but only the one from Chioggia allows good results even in the milder areas of the Center-South of Italy. For thecultivation of radicchioit is important to choose varieties suitable for your climatic zone.
Cultivate the Chioggia radicchio
Thevariegated chicory from Chioggiait has a high adaptability to different conditions of both climate and soil: it prefers loose soils but in the home, a soil that does not have stagnant water will suffice.
Forcultivate Chioggia radicchioyou don't need to be an expert gardeners. The most delicate phase seems to be the choice of the line fromsow: on the market, as well as finding some chicory from Chioggia early or late, resistant to frost or more sensitive to cold, you can find varieties that allow you to obtain continuous production for about 10 months a year. Basically, with the right variety, yes sowingonce and harvest for 10 months!
After sowing, the orthoist will have to limit himself to eliminating the weeds, the maintenance work to be performed on acultivation of radicchiobut constant care is indispensable.
How to sow or plant the Chioggia radicchio
Before the sowing or planting, it will be necessary to continue plowing 30-40 cm deep and then burying manure or other well-decomposed organic fertilizer.
In cultivation, the rows must be distant from each other, about 40 cm while the distance between one end ofradicchioand the other on the row star must be about 30 cm.
When to grow radicchio, the right period based on the early or late variety
For what concernsowing periodwe refer you to the following table taken from number 1 of 2004, de "The Disseminator". Above you will notice reported iperiodsof thesowing and plantingof theearly Chioggia radicchiowhile, below, you will notice iperiods for sowing and plantingof theLate Chioggia radicchio.
When to sow or plant early radicchio
Theearly radicchio, more sensitive to cold, from December to March it can be sown in a nursery or heated greenhouse. From the end of February to May, it is possible to perform theplanting in the greenhouse.
Sowing in the open field can take place from mid-April to August, as long as a layer of mulching material is prepared. Without mulching, it will be possible to continue sowing in the open field between the months of June and July.
When to sow or plant late radicchio
Thelate Chioggia chicoryit is more resistant to cold. Direct sowing, in the open field, can take place from mid-October to mid-March. Also in this case, the agrarian adviser recommends mulching, alternatively it will be possible to transplant in the open field (then plant the radicchio already developed) between August and September.
Chioggia radicchio seeds, where to find them
Seeds andseedlingsit would be better to buy them from a trusted agricultural consortium. Those who want, however, can take advantage of online trading. Chioggia radicchio, in the rest of Europe, is known asradicchio red ball. On Amazon a sachet of variegated radicchio seeds from Chioggia can be bought at a price of 7.56 euros and shipping costs included. For all information, I refer you toThis Amazon Page.
I have reported an early variety, to be sown in the open field between June and July.
In the photo above, on the right, the red chicory of Chioggia and on the left, the variegated chicory of Chioggia.