Growing Italian Dandelion (AKA Chicory) Seeds
Italian Dandelion is not a dandelion at all but a variety of loose-leaf chicory commonly grown in Italy and used in Italian salads. Leafy greens are tender and slightly bitter. It is a cool-weather crop like most plants grown for leaf production. Don’t confuse this chicory variety with the invasive species that creep up in your lawn. Although those are edible also.
Days to Maturity: Annual, 65
Hardiness Zone: 3-9
Planting Depth: ¼”
Plant Spacing: 8”
Growth Habit: Upright
Soil Preference: Rich and well-drained
Temp Preference: Cool
Light Preference: Full sun or light shade
Flavor: Slightly sweet green leaves with hints of bitterness
Sowing and Growing
Prepare the soil with compost for best results of leaf production. Continue sowing seeds every three weeks for on-going harvests. Keep soil moist but not wet. Allow Italian dandelion to mature for two weeks before beginning the harvest process. Germination can take up to a month.
To harvest leaves, cut just above the crown when leaves are 10 to 12 inches in length—any longer will result in a bitter flavor. Try braising these greens as they make a great side dish in any meal. Harvest when the plant is still young and tender. When it goes to flower, it can become more bitter in flavor.
- 1 g - Approximately 700 Seeds
- 1/4 oz - Approximately 5,000 Seeds
- 1 oz - Approximately 20,000 Seeds
- 4 oz - Approximately 80,000 Seeds