Chicory needs to be watered quite regularly and, if possible, in the very first hours of the morning so that the water has all the time necessary for proper evaporation (and therefore humidification of the environment). It is essential that no water stagnation is created. Too much water, in fact, leads to an inevitable rottenness of the roots of the plant, with irreversible consequences. In addition to the roots, the chicory collar is also highly susceptible to rot.
If, during the summer season, watering must absolutely not be desired, during the winter period it is essential that the soil is kept only moist. This means that it must never be completely dry. Chicory leaves should never be wet to avoid disease.
How to grow and care for chicory
In chicory growing, soil preparation is very important. First of all, you have to eat it very deeply. It is essential to bury a couple of kilograms of mature manure for every square metre of soil. In addition, it is advisable to have a good mineral supplement with special fertilizers. The seeds must be planted at a depth of about half a centimetre and spaced out by an average of 15 centimetres. The cultivation needs of chicory are really scarce.
It is sufficient that the soil is not excessively clayey or stony and that it is adequately fertilized. The seeds must be buried at the depths indicated in different periods according to the variety of chicory. Frequent coating is important to ensure greater aeration of the plants, taking great care not to affect the root system of each chicory.
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The importance of proper fertilization
Fertilization is a very important phase in the cultivation of chicory. This plant absolutely needs a perfect integration of the necessary nutrients inside the soil. Before sowing, it is therefore essential to proceed with the placement of a certain amount of mature manure in the soil. This must have a high degree of ripeness. Mineral fertilizers must also be added.
During the growth phase of the chicory, it is important to administer about ten grams of calcium nitrate, in order to stimulate the most adequate growth possible and with a perfect immunization from diseases. In contrast to many other green plants, chicory does not require a lot of nitrogen, so fertilization in this sense can be well rationed.
Chicory: Exposure and possible diseases of chicory
Despite the fact that chicory is a very resistant plant that shows an excellent adaptation to heat and cold, in winter the exposure must be well sunny. The sun, in fact, is a determining factor for the correct growth of chicory. In spring and summer, on the other hand, it is better to have a slightly more sheltered area to avoid burning the plant. Chicory can be subject to various problems caused mainly by insects and parasites that ruin, often severely, both the leaves and the roots.
Aphids, snails and snails are always lurking and can attack the leaves of chicory. The grillotalpa and the cockchafer, on the other hand, attack the roots. Products with sulphur-based formulations are an excellent remedy. The “downy mildew” is fought with special products.