Adds beautiful red color to salad mix.
Bold red stems and midribs for vibrant contrast. Deeply lobed leaves with excellent flavor. Good cold tolerance. Shows some variation in plant habit and leaf shape and color. Avg. 327,700 seeds/lb. Packet: 200 seeds.
SCIENTIFIC NAME:Cichorium intybus
CULTURE:Italian dandelion is hardy and can be planted as early as the soil can be worked. It is a cool weather crop and grows best at temperatures of 60-65°F (15.5-18.3°C). Careful variety selection is important for hot weather plantings. Sow every 3 weeks for a continuous supply of fresh Italian dandelion.
THERMAL DORMANCY:Italian dandelion seed can enter thermal dormancy when exposed to high temperatures above 77°F (25°C). Optimum germination results at soil temperatures of 60-68°F (15.5-20°C).
TRANSPLANTING:Sow in flats, 4 seeds/in., or in ¾" plug trays, barely covering seeds with fine vermiculite, 3-4 weeks before transplanting outdoors. Shade the flats on sunny, warm days if necessary to keep the soil surface cool, below 75°F (24°C), until germination. If sowing into flats, transplant 1-2" apart into flats, pots, or cell-type containers about 2 weeks later. Harden seedlings by reducing water and temperature for 2-3 days before planting outdoors. Properly hardened transplants can survive temperatures as low as 20°F (-6°C). For full-size bunches, space 6-8" apart and clip leaves at any stage but especially when young, less than 10" tall.
DIRECT SEEDING:Seeds will germinate from 41-85°F (5-29°C), but the highest germination percentage will occur around 75°F (24°C), depending on the variety and seed lot. Sow seeds 1" apart, rows 12-18" apart. Cover seed lightly, about 1/8", and firm soil gently. Thin to 6-8" apart as soon as seedlings are large enough to handle. Dry soil must be watered to ensure coolness and moisture, and for uniform germination.
SALAD MIX/BABY LEAF:Sow in a 2-4" wide band, about 60 seeds/ft. Harvest in 4-5 weeks.
HARVEST:Unharvested plants will eventually make a flower stalk with the characteristic blue chicory flowers. The flavor is bitter, with background sweetness. Pick at any stage of growth.
DAYS TO MATURITY:From direct seeding; for days to maturity from transplant date, subtract 10–14 days.
AVG. DIRECT SEEDING RATE:For single heads: 1 oz./1,900′, 1 lb./acre at 12 seeds/ft. in rows 18" apart. For baby leaf: Sow in 2-4" wide bands, 4 seeds/in., 1M/20′, 5M/100′, 1 oz./285′, 1 lb./4,600′.
TRANSPLANTS:500 plants/M (2 seeds per cell thinned to one seedling).
SEED SPECS:SEEDS/OZ: Avg. 19,650).
PACKET:200 seeds, sows 14′ full size and 4′ baby leaf.