How to grow radicchio for seed?

Im interested in saving seed from radicchio as my local supplier sells if for more than crack occaine. (They dont sell rock. You have to get that somewhere else.) Ive only ever saved seed from lettuce and spinach.
When do you plant it? How do you look after it? What do you do with it over the winter? Im afraid that I havent figured out what my Zone is but I am in a submediterranean climate. The variety that Im growing is some kind of Palla Rossa (85 days).
Robin
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Hello Robin, I have grown radicchio here in Seattle (zone whacko). In a mild winter it lives all year, but does go to flower. The flowers are a lovely blue and the stalks get really tall, but the bees love them so I leave them. I have always cut the stalks before they go to seed, but presumably, like most flowers, if left alone they will produce seed. I have volunteer mustard, arugula, garlic chives, oregano & marjoram from flowers that have gone to seed.
Radicchio does OK as long as you don't have a killing frost/freeze. Plant it any time now, unless you still have danger of deadly frost. It does grow slowly, so be patient.
Angela
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Radicchio survives outside in Michigan through the winter. It dies to the ground but then it restarts the next year. Being a biennial, it will produce flowers and seeds the next year. The seeds are very recessed inside the seed pods, they have the shape of an arrow tip, the color ranging from black to beige. You have to actively break the seed pod to get the seeds. In Michigan, the seeds are ready by July-august. they are best planted immediately, young radicchio grows best in summer. One plant will give you about 1000 seeds (this is one tough weed). I usually let one plant go to seed to provide a fellow guinea pig owner with enough seeds for the beasts. I plant about 500 radicchios for the family every summer.
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500 radicchios!? wow! How do you prepare it usually? salad/grilled? Just curious. Thomas

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salad, but I grow also the elongated ones which, grilled, are divine. They make an excellent salad all by themselves, specially considering that I grow the red ones, but also speckled, lime and dark green. Keep in mind that from november to april the garden here yields only radicchio, kale and collard, and I don't particularly like the last two. Radicchio is also one of the few veggies my daughter will eat, and my wife loves it. I make substantially smaller heads than those you buy, I don't fertilize or water them, and I plant them in my shadier beds or in between main crops, such as under tomatoes. Their tap root is long enough that they can scavenge whatever gets under the tomatoes, I guess. They are also really very good at conditioning the soil, the taproot composts really fast and basically deposits organic matter down to five or six feet below.
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il Mon, 04 Apr 2005 20:49:26 GMT, "Robin H" ha scritto:

I had some seeds from italy and I just planted them in soil, let them grow and go to seed. Some people put stockings over the seedheads to collect the seeds before they blow away. If you've done lettuces and spinach you should have no trouble. It all depends if you have a hybrid or not as to whether you'll like the new plants. Over winter mine sits in a small plastic container, the sort one gets when buying small servings from a supermarket. Just make sure they're dry before sealing the lid. I don't think they stay viable for long though.
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