This year I sowed my Radicchio in two batches - one on 27 May and another on 24 July. They were seeds of the variety "Firestorm", from Duchy Seeds. I used a recycled plastic mushroom box as a seed-tray. The ones sowed in May are the ones maturing at present, whereas the July ones are still quite small. My first photo was taken at the seedling stage, on 9 July, the day on which I planted them out into one of my raised beds.
I planted them at a spacing of about 25cm, because I knew they would get a lot bigger. Here they are on 17 July, well established and beginning to develop their first red streaks.
Radicchio requires very little attention - just occasional watering, though it is much less demanding than lettuce in this respect. It doesn't seem to suffer from attacks by slugs and snails as much as lettuce does either - perhaps they don't like its slightly bitter taste? This one is still immature, but beginning to "put on weight" and form a heart.
Here is one that is nearing maturity, looking glossy and well-presented.
This one is ready to harvest. The green outer leaves have gone ragged, and have fallen away, exposing the red heart of the vegetable.
You might think this one is "past it" or diseased, but you'd be wrong. I find that it is quite normal for Radicchio plants to go brown and squishy on the outside while remaining crisp and shiny on the inside.
Look at this: you peel back the brown outer leaf, and inside you get this bright red ball of loveliness!
Here it is all cleaned-up and ready to be taken into the kitchen. I should point out that although this one is only about the size of a tennis ball, it is very tightly-packed and will provide lots of edible leaves.
And of course, this is where it all ends up...
To me, Radicchio is in the same league as Borlotti beans when it comes to visual effect - the Premier league!
One final thought:- when harvesting, cut the plant at ground level, leaving the root in the soil. The root will re-sprout (but probably not until the Spring), and produce another crop of useable leaves, though regrettably not a second heart.