Thursday, 21 July 2011

Chicory "Firestorm" and Flower Sprouts

A few days ago I planted out a batch of Chicory in the place recently vacated by my cabbages.

These are seedlings of the variety "Firestorm". It is a Radicchio-type chicory, and will hopefully go on to produce a tight bright red ball-shaped heart.

At this stage, the seedlings are almost entirely green, though you can see a few red streaks appearing already. In due course, as the plants get bigger, and when the weather turns cooler in the Autumn, they will become almost entirely red.

Not everybody likes Chicory, since it is quite bitter, but I like it that way. A mix of Chicory and Lettuce in a salad with a sweet dressing (maybe honey and mustard) is really nice. Last year my Chicory did not do very well. It never really hearted-up. I think this may have been because I was too late sowing it, and the plants hadn't had time to get nice and strong before the very cold weather arrived. This year I am hoping to have more success.

Next door to the Chicory (where the Kohlrabi used to be) I have planted two of my Flower Sprout plants. I would like to have used more (I had 10), but I expect them to get pretty big so I didn't want to overcrowd them. Maybe some more space will magically appear later! :)

One of them is a very deep purple colour. Perhaps some "Red Russian Kale" in the parentage? [This new type of vegetable is a cross between kale and Brussels Sprout.]

In the next-door bed I have put in a few more lettuces and endives, replacing some that I've harvested.

Celeriac (left), Lettuces and Endives, Red Cabbage (right)

Check out the size of that "Webbs Wonderful" lettuce at the top of the picture. It is absolutely enormous. 

 I only kept the inner leaves because the whole lettuce wouldn't fit in the fridge!

This Iceberg-style lettuce was crisp, crunchy and juicy. I can't recommend it highly enough.


  1. All your green things look yummy, especially the iceberg lettuce.

  2. As always your greens are superb! Interested in how the flower sprout turns out!

  3. I've never seen chicory growing. Now I know how they look. Is this also the type of chicory one can add to coffee, I wonder.

  4. Looks really healthy - and not a snail or slug bite in sight!

  5. Now I know why our first grown chicory batch suddenly have some red speckles on it when some of them were only green. I am trying to be brave to try eating them raw when they are ready.

  6. I like Webbs too for the lovely fresh crunchiness.

  7. Anita; No this type of chicory is not the one that is sometimes added to coffee. That is the "Witloof" or Belgian style endive, that is traditionally blanched to produce forced chicons.

  8. Various chicory make up some of our favorite garden plants...that variety you are growing sound slike a good one. That's some nice lettuce you have there.:)

  9. What nice looking greens! Very nice looking garden! Thank you for replying on my blog, we really enjoy the hanging tomato plants. I also enjoy starting plants from seeds for a very small price and getting a load of vegetables from them! Happy Gardening!

  10. What type of Iceburg lettuce is that? Not sure if it will withstand the heat of Queensland but I WANT ONE!


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