Also known as blue dandelion and horseweed, chicory is a biennial scrub herb with brilliant blue flowers that is hardy in zones 3-9. The roasted root has been used as an alternative to coffee at least since colonial times. It also finds itself as an additive to stout beers. Chicory does well in a variety of soils, and seems to prefer challenging conditions. All parts of chicory are edible.
Growing information: 75-85 days. Seeds can be started 5 to 6 weeks before transplaning outdoors. Alternately, they can be direct sowed 3 to 4 weeks before the last frost. Sow the seeds 1/4" deep and keep evenly moist until germination in about 14-21 days. Chicory grown for roots should be thinned to about 6 to 10" between plants in rows 18-36" apart. Chicory only grows 1 or 2 flowers at a time, which last only a day. The flowers are edible but bitter. The leaves are similar to dandelion and the roots can be roasted and pulverized as a coffee substitute.
Min qty/packet: 200 seeds