Radicchio, Variegated Chiogga
Lovely Italian heirloom with variegated leaves.
Days To Maturity The average number of days from when the plant is actively growing in the garden to the expected time of harvest.
Sun The amount of sunlight this product needs daily in order to perform well in the garden. Full sun means 6 hours of direct sun per day; partial sun means 2-4 hours of direct sun per day; shade means little or no direct sun.
Spread The width of the plant at maturity.
Height The typical height of this product at maturity.
Sow Method This refers to whether the seed should be sown early indoors and the seedlings transplanted outside later, or if the seed should be sown directly in the garden at the recommended planting time.
Direct Sow/Indoor Sow
Planting Time The recommended time of the year in which this product should be planted.
How to Sow
- Sow in early spring 2-3 weeks before the last frost and again in midsummer for a fall harvest.
- Sow in average, well-worked soil in a sunny location.
- In rows 12 inches apart, sow seeds evenly and cover with ¼ inch of fine soil. Firm lightly and water gently.
- Seedlings emerge in 7-14 days depending on soil and weather conditions.
- Thin gradually to stand 12 inches apart starting when seedlings are about 3 inches high.
How to Grow
- New growth in cool weather produces the small, red, cabbage-like heads.
- For mid-summer plantings, cut off all leaves above the crown in early fall.
- Keep weeds under control during the growing season. Weeds compete with plants for water, space and nutrients, so control them by either cultivating often or use a mulch to prevent their seeds from germinating. Avoid disturbing the soil around the plants when weeding as radicchio is shallow rooted.
- Keep plants well watered during dry periods to promote rapid, uninterrupted growth. Plants need about 1 inch of rain per week during the growing season. Use a rain gauge to check to see if you need to add water. It’s best to water with a drip or trickle system that delivers water at low pressure at the soil level. If you water with overhead sprinklers, water early in the day so the foliage has time to dry off before evening, to minimize disease problems. Keep the soil moist but not saturated.
- Monitor for pests and diseases. Check with your local Cooperative Extension Service for pest controls recommended for your area.
Harvest and Preserving Tips
- Harvest individual leaves any time.
- Harvest heads when they are firm to touch, usually 60-65 days after sowing.
- Radicchio makes a great lettuce substitute in salads. Leaves can be sautéed or steamed as well as eaten raw.
- The older the head the more bitter the flavor.
- After a frost, harvest the head, remove and discard any leaves that are frozen on the outside.
- Store in a perforated plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 weeks.