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I am mad keen on chicory. They are incredibly hardy, totally invaluable plants for the winter vegetable patch and not nearly widely enough grown in Britain. Chicory is good raw in a mixed leaf salad and even better cooked when the leaves lose their bitterness.

This traditional variety of chicory is one of the hardiest and easiest to grow from seed anytime in the year. Leave it to heart up, or eat it as a cut-and-come-again leaf in a mixed salad bowl.

Please note, illustrated packets are being introduced gradually over the coming months, availability may vary.

Genus Cichorium
Group/Species intybus
Variety Variegato di Castelfranco
Common Name Chicory
Border Position Kitchen Garden
Soil Type Broad Tolerance
Site Full Sun
Moisture Moist
Height 30cm (12in)
Spacing 30cm (12in)
Sowing, Seeds, Planting Direct sow 1cm deep late May to July or into individual cells for planting out. Can be forced inside. You can speed the germination process up by sowing into a length of guttering under cover and transplanting outside.
Care Tips Can be grown in container pots or window boxes. Keep moist at all times, to avoid it becoming bitter.
Storing This will keep well for up to 2 weeks in a plastic bag in the freezer.
Harvesting October - April. Harvest the outer leaves as you want them, or cut above the root.
Cooking Notes Wash leaves well, and cook to bring out the sweetness - try Sarah's Chicory and lemon pasta recipe. with pancetta and white wine. Or enjoy raw with strong cheese and citrus flavours. The flowers are also edible.
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
  • Sow Under Cover/Plant Indoors
  • Direct Sow/Plant Outdoors
  • Flowers/Harvest
Chicory and blood orange salad recipe

Putting fruit in a salad may seem a bit retro but this salad looks beautiful and is ideal as a light winter first course.

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Sarah shares her favourite tulips for companion planting, growing in shade and pots.

Iranian herb and feta salad recipe

A simple and delicious starter, perfect for spring. Almost no preparation needed – everyone helps themselves, filling their own pitta bread.

Braised chicory recipe

An excellent, quick winter dish - perfect on its own or with pork.

How to store or force tender winter veg

Don’t let your crops go to waste. Sarah shares expert tips on how to store or force tender winter veg.

Chicory and lemon pasta recipe

This is a simple chicory and pasta dish, quick to prepare and delicious hot, or cold the next day.

Direct sowing seeds

Learn how to get great results when direct sowing hardy annual seeds.


Plant Delivery - When in stock, please allow up to 3-4 weeks for despatch. For fruit & veg bare roots/crowns, please allow up to 2 weeks for despatch.

Seeds Delivery - When in stock, please allow 2-3 days for despatch.

Click here to find out more information about our delivery rates and times.

Chicory 'Variegato di Castelfranco' reviews

* * * * * Average based on 2 reviews

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Reviewed 19th August 2019 by Margarita

trusted chicory that I have used for many years. hope it turns out well again. excellent service and purchase

Try This, You'll Be Amazed

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Reviewed 16th June 2014 by Wintersleap

As a renewed attempt to use the wonderful raised beds my husband has made for us all through the winter I thought I'd give this chicory a go. It's been fantastic - incredible germination (I sowed it directly into the ground in June) and I used thinnings in salads for ages till I had the right distance between plants to bulk up for the winter. Now, in Nov, the plants are big and blousy with the most fantastic colouring. Can't wait to eat them as a cooked veg. Next year I'll sow another row, perhaps even more thinly, and definitely so I'll have even more winter veg.