How to Grow Radicchio

Radicchio is a chicory family member known for its vibrant red leaves and slightly bitter taste. Here�s how to grow radicchio using organic methods.

Materials Needed

  • Radicchio seeds
  • Rich, well-draining soil
  • Compost
  • Watering can or hose

Choosing Varieties

Radicchio comes in several varieties:

  • Chioggia: Round heads, deep red color.
  • Treviso: Elongated heads, milder flavor.
  • Castelfranco: Creamy white leaves with red speckles.

Soil Preparation

Radicchio prefers well-drained, fertile soil with a pH of 6.0-7.0:

  1. Loosen the Soil: Till to a depth of 8-10 inches (20-25 cm).
  2. Add Compost: Mix in 2-3 inches (5-7.5 cm) of compost.

Planting Radicchio

Sow seeds directly in the garden or use transplants:

  1. Spacing: Plant seeds 1/4 inch (0.6 cm) deep, 12 inches (30 cm) apart.
  2. Rows: Space rows 18 inches (45 cm) apart.

Watering and Mulching

Maintain consistent moisture:

  • Watering: Water regularly, especially during dry periods.
  • Mulching: Apply mulch to retain moisture and suppress weeds.

Organic Fertilizing

Radicchio benefits from regular feeding:

  • Use compost tea or a balanced organic fertilizer every 3-4 weeks.

Harvesting Radicchio

Harvest radicchio when heads are firm and full-sized:

  • Method: Cut heads at the base with a sharp knife.

Storing Radicchio

Store radicchio properly to maintain freshness:

  • In the Fridge: Store heads in a plastic bag in the crisper drawer. Use within a week.

Growing Tips

  • Blanch heads a week before harvest to reduce bitterness.
  • Rotate crops annually to prevent disease.

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