Planting Sugarloaf Salad - this is how we succeed in cultivating meatballs

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Sugarloaf - Meatweed - Cichorium intybus

With its tart and aromatic taste, Sugarloaf Salad brings vitamin-rich variety to the wintry menu. The high esteem of the native chicory species is based not least on an uncomplicated cultivation as a summer crop and a reliable frost tolerance up to - 4 degrees Celsius. In the summer, when the first harvest swept the kitchen garden, prudent home gardeners plant the tasty autumn chicory with the shapely heads. This manual explains step by step how to grow meatgrass.

Planting time is in the summer

The time window for planting or sowing opens at the end of June. Two arguments speak for this appointment. Experience has shown that Sugarloaf plants tend to shoot after earlier cultivation, which significantly affects quality. In addition, at that time the beds were harvested with spring crops and have left the ideal soil for your autumn chicory.
Tip: Meat herb is the ideal after-culture of legumes and spinach. In mixed culture Zuckerhut salad harmonizes wonderfully with carrots, tomatoes, fennel and lettuce. By contrast, autumn chicory should not share the bed with parsley or celery.


Sugarloaf salad thrives in all sunny to partially shaded locations with normal garden soil. Special location preferences are therefore not to be considered. Ideal is a fresh, moist, well-drained soil with a vital soil life. As a rule of thumb, where legumes prosper magnificently, meat-cutting gives its best.

Prepare the bed professionally

A mild, dry day between the end of June and the beginning of July offers the best conditions to prepare the bed for the cultivation of meat-weed. The following works create the ideal conditions for seedlings and seeds alike. How to do it right:
  • Rake the bed thoroughly with the cultivator
  • Carefully remove weeds, stones, clods and crop residues from the pre-culture
  • Smooth the crumbly soil with the rake
It is advantageous if you then superficially incorporate mature, screened compost. Alternatively, sprinkle the bed with diluted nettle for a vigorous growth of your sugarloaf plants from the beginning.

Plant seedlings

Sugarloaf - Meatweed - Cichorium intybus

Just in time for the beginning of the planting season, garden centers and specialist retailers are offering ready-made meat-herb seedlings. The shorter the time between purchase and planting, the better for the young plants. How to proceed professionally:
  • Put the still potted sugarloaf seedlings in water
  • Meanwhile, in the prepared bed tension a planting line for a straight alignment of the rows
  • Place the potted seedlings along the planting line at a distance of 30 cm
  • In the row spacing of 30 cm place other young plants offset by half the distance
With the help of a hand scoop, you can now lift a small planting hole for each sugar loaf. Insert a root ball so deep that it ends up just below the ground surface. Press the soil all around with your hands for a good ground connection without air holes. In the end, pour your pupils with the watering can.

Direct sowing - easy and inexpensive

To grow a larger number of sugarloaf salad or to save on the costs of acquiring preferred seedlings, direct sowing comes into focus. With regard to planting time and soil preparation, there are no differences between the two varieties of cultivation. How to sow the seeds correctly:
  • Pull a shallow sapling along a planting line
  • Sprinkle the seeds in them and thinly cover with soil or sift with sand
  • Lightly press the substrate with your hands or a board
  • In row spacing of 30 cm create further seed rows
  • Water the bed with a fine shower
  • Sowing with a tight mesh protects against birds and pests
A close sowing has the advantage that you can harvest seedlings from August with a stature height of 15 cm as cut salad. At a distance of 30 cm, leave each a herb to ripen until October / November for use as a winter salad.

Properly maintain until harvest - Tips & Tricks

Regular weeding is the key care measure in the first weeks in the Sugar Loaf bed. If the soil dries, pour the sugarloaf salad without moistening the leaves. If you carried out a basic fertilization as part of soil preparation, further nutrient supply is not required. Otherwise, work in mature compost every 4 weeks. The administration of heavily diluted nettle slurry naturally promotes the growth of the leaves. By switching to comfrey from September onwards, you strengthen the frost tolerance with the potassium in it.
The longer Zuckerhut salad can stay in the bed, the milder it will be in the taste.In order to delay the harvest as long as possible, the following trick has proven itself:
  • Put a clay pot over each sugarloaf salad
  • Alternatively, protect the heads with fleece or a thick layer of straw
So that no mold can form under the hood, the leaves should be completely dry on the meat weed.
Optionally, you can harvest mature autumn chicory with or without roots. For long storage, remove the outer leaves and wrap each head in towels or newspaper. In the cool, dark cellar or in the cold frame, the harvest remains fresh and crisp for many weeks.

Sugarloaf - Meatweed - Cichorium intybus

Tip: The bitter aftertaste of Sugarloaf salad can be significantly reduced with a simple trick. To do this, place the leaves in lukewarm water for a while before preparing.

Great moments in the diversity of varieties

For many years, the retailer had only a single variety on offer for the cultivation of sugar loaf salad. Following the desire for bulletproof hybrids with a milder flavor, the following modern varieties are available today:

Jupiter F1

The innovative breeding produces half-height heads and is suitable for early sowing from March / April. If the Jupiter Sugarloaf Salad briefly experiences frost of up to - 7 degrees Celsius, it noticeably loses its bitter taste.

Uranus F1

The heads of Uranus-Fleischkraut also remain halfway up the classical variety. As a special feature, this hybrid differs from its peers by much firmer salad heads, which can be stored until March. Even after sowing before the summertime ideal, Uranus does not tend to shoot.

Pluto F1

Downgraded from planet to dwarf planet in the cosmos, Pluto, as a Sugarloaf cultivar, does not let itself be trampled on by big, solid heads. Furthermore, the new breed scores with a wonderful, nutty aroma and a reliable frost tolerance up to - 8 degrees Celsius.
When the warm summer weather picks up speed, the starting signal for the planting of sugarloaf salad starts. The native chicory species brings fresh vitamin pleasure to the table until well into the winter, without first having to bear the stress of importing from distant lands. From the end of June to the beginning of July, seedlings come into the bed with a row and planting distance of 30 cm. Similarly, the direct sowing of seeds, which is protected by a network from uninvited guests. The uncomplicated care program consists of weeding, watering in case of dryness and fertilizing with compost or nettle. Although the regular harvest season starts at the end of October, the ripe lettuce heads should stay in the bed as long as possible, so that they come to the table with an extra mild taste. Only at temperatures below - 4 degrees Celsius does the robust meat weed reach the limits of its frost tolerance. Wrapped in cloths or newspaper, you can store the fresh food for weeks in the cool cellar.

Video Board: HSN | Kitchen Innovations featuring Montel Williams 05.15.2017 - 03 PM.

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