Radicchio, Palla Rossa - Italian Chicory (Cichorium intybus) - 100 Seeds
•American grown seeds
•USDA Zones: 4-10
•Sow spring or late summer
An early heading selection of this increasingly popular vegetable. Firm red heads with Beautiful red and green leaves and white veins. Can also be sown and left un-thinned for 'salad leaves' adding zest and a hint of bitterness to the mixed salad. Can be planted for both summer and fall harvest.
Radicchio, also known as Italian chicory, is a bold, bitter green that is generally used in salads and Italian cooking. In Italy, the colorful vegetable is often sautéed then added to pasta dishes, risotto, and stews to balance the richness or paired with crumbled cheese, dried fruits, and nuts.
Radicchio provides the body with a few (but not many) vitamins and minerals. It is primarily a good source of vitamin K. One serving provides your body with 128 percent of your recommended daily intake of vitamin K. Radicchio also provides a small amount of vitamin C (3.2 mg), vitamin E (0.9 mg), and small amounts of vitamin B6, folate, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, and niacin. Radicchio provides minerals in small amounts, including copper, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, manganese, and selenium.
Sow radicchio seeds directly into your garden starting in the early spring 2-3 weeks before the final frost of the season. Sow in late summer for a fall harvest. Radicchio grows best when the weather is chilly outside, so it’s an ideal spring and fall crop. Start indoors 4-6 weeks before the last frost date in the spring, and 8-10 weeks before the first frost date in the fall. Radicchio prefers to have a sunny location in your garden, but it can handle a bit of shade, especially in the fall. Spring planted radicchio should be planted in full sun to give it some warmth during the cooler weather. For your fall crop, pick a location that has a bit of afternoon shade to help the seeds germinate and not suffer in the heat. Mix organic matter into the soil before planting. The goal is to add some texture and nutrients to your soil. Organic matter helps to improve the moisture content in the earth. Due to their shallow roots, radicchio needs to have the ground consistently moist. Radicchio prefers a sandy, humus-rich loam with pH between 6.0-6.5.
Indoors, plant radicchio seeds in biodegradable containers and harden off for one week before planting in the garden. Transplant in the spring while temperatures are still cool but not freezing. Plant in the fall as temps start to cool down. Radicchio grows fabulous in containers so long as you use a seed-starting potting mix with the proper nutrients. Use a large pot that is at least 8-inches deep, and make sure to water the plants frequently.
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