Harvest Monday, February 4, 2013 – Radicchio Surprise

No harvest this week, but had an interesting surprise.

Remember the radicchio from my 1/28/13 post? When I was separating the leaves from the core, I noticed roots and tiny radicchio shoots growing at the base of the core.


Core from the radicchio cut into 2 pieces. The US quarter next to them gives an idea of the size.
Those little pointy white growth are roots and the red spots among the roots are tiny radicchio shoots.


Decided to pot both pieces up in foam cup.
Placed the foam cups on the kitchen windowsill for observation.


Surprise! Both grew but the leaves turned green/brown.


Bumped up into larger pots.

Should have planted the cores in pots at the beginning, but I had no idea they would grow. Hope the disturbance from repotting did not cause any harm and both pieces will continue to grow.

The above observation got me thinking:

What if, this fall, when harvesting the radicchio, I cut the heads a little above soil level, dig up and replant the roots (that has a bit of stem (core) attached to each) into window boxes to over winter in the garage, will they grow new shoots? If so, will the shoots reach edible stage? Think I will give it a try, nothing to lose, something to gain.

Last year after I harvested the heads of radicchio, the roots went into the compost pile.

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Copyright © by Norma Chang. All Rights Reserved. Do not use/repost any photos and/or articles without permission.

Visit Daphne’s Dandelions http://daphnesdandelions.blogspot.com/ for more Harvest Mondays

About Norma Chang

I am the author/publisher of 2 user-friendly Chinese cookbooks: "My Students' Favorite Chinese Recipes (updated edition)" and "Wokking Your Way to Low Fat Cooking" A gardener who enjoys cooking and eating and loves to think outside the box A garden volunteer at Locust Grove Heritage Vegetable Garden Conduct hands-on cooking workshops for teenagers Conduct cultural programs for children and family Conduct healthy cooking classes for adults
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60 Responses to Harvest Monday, February 4, 2013 – Radicchio Surprise

  1. Amber says:

    Yes…if you leave the root in the ground and just cut the head off you will continue to get growth. Some say it is more bitter with the second growth, but I think it is still good. I have even got a 3rd and 4th growth out of many. Only issue is that the root becomes very strong and can be difficult to get up in the spring. If you leave it in it will keep growing! I have though I got all the root and left some in to find it popping up in my new veggies!

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Amber,
      Good to know that. But we have long and very cold winters in the Hudson Valley and the grounds are frozen solid, will the roots still survive?

      • Amber says:

        Hmmm…. under a hoop house it would probably last most of the winter. But that would be very experimental. If you go on my site and check out my Treviso radicchio blog posts that may be a great option for you too. After sowing in summer (perhaps June for you) the leaves grow for about 90-100 days then I pluck the whole root up, trim up the green part and leave the beginning red part and sit it in water in a cold dark spot (my garage). It’s a beautiful and yummy result 🙂

      • Norma Chang says:

        Hello Amber,
        Thanks, I will check out your Treviso radicchio blog posts.

  2. Daphne says:

    It sounds like a good experiment. No reason not to try.

  3. You have such green fingers Norma.
    🙂 Mandy

  4. Good thinking Norma. I think it will grow, maybe it will go in a short dormant stage and will start after a month or so. Or maybe it will just continue growing. Interesting, keep us posted!

  5. Lisa says:

    Wow. Who knew? I love learning things like this.

  6. Eva Taylor says:

    That’s very cool Norma, two perhaps three bangs for one! I love it. Gives a whole new meaning to recycling!

  7. leduesorelle says:

    A great experiment, and something to keep the gardener going through the depths of winter! I’ve come to appreciate how hardy the chicories are, and their suitability for season extension.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello leduesorelle,
      Definitely keeps me going through the depths of winter, not sure if they will reach edible stage but I am surely looking forward to trying again this fall.

  8. Norma, I wonder if you could cut the root into quarters or maybe thirds vertically to get even more heads. there appear to be multiple sprouts on the root to the left, and one root probably can’t support more than one new head. Might be worth trying with one of the roots next year.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Lou,
      Yes, there are mulitple sprouts on the section on the left. Love your idea to cut the section vertically into multiple heads, am going to think about it and decide whether I should do it now or wait until the sprouts grow a bit larger.

  9. Give it a shot my friend 😀
    Good luck!

    Choc Chip Uru

  10. Bee Girl says:

    This is brilliant! I love “recycled” veggies!

  11. Wow I learn so much from your blog Norma! Never heard of radicchio before 🙂

  12. I read celery grows from the root end and you can reuse your celery roots so it should work for radicchio too. I say go for it! Never know unless you try.


    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Nazneen,
      Thanks for the encouragement, I will be going for it this fall. Did not know about reusing celery root, will give that a try this fall too. Thanks also for visiting.

  13. hotlyspiced says:

    You have such a green thumb, Norma, well done with the radicchio. I do wonder how your ginger is coming along xx

  14. wok with ray says:

    You should really give that thought a try and you’ll never know — your theory could be right! This is very interesting, Norma. 🙂

  15. Andrea says:

    Amazing what you can grow with a bit of experimenting…………………….

  16. Liz says:

    I am going to try cut and come again too, although my raddichio has been buried underneath a sea of bean plants so i am hoping its still alive. If not I’ll try next time. Good tip.

  17. I love how you experiment Norma – I wish I had a greener thumb. I get inspiration from seeing what you grow.

  18. Purely.. Kay says:

    Now that you know they will grow, I can’t wait to see what you will do next :). I just l ove your green thumb 🙂

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Kay,
      One of my commenter suggested I cut the left section, that had many sprouts, vertically into a thirds or fourth to get more heads, am going to try that when the plant gets a little bigger.

  19. ChgoJohn says:

    Goodness, Norma! Look what you’ve discovered! And in the middle of Winter, no less. Good work and I can’t wait to see how this turns out, especially next Summer. 🙂

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello John,
      Wish I had discovered it earlier, I could be harvesting full heads of racicchio now from all those radicchio cores that went into the compost pile, what a waste. Well better late than never and this fall I am definitely going to do better.

  20. I always learn something here, Norma. I love how you experiment with plants and roots and I can imagine the bit of fascination it adds to the winter months to watch what happens. Makes me want to try some of this type of experimentation on my own.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Betsy,
      It makes the winter months go by faster and I am less antsy. Awaiting winter storm Nemo’s arrival on Friday, may get up to 12 inches of snow.
      I think you will enjoy experimenting with plants and roots I learn as much from the failure (actually more) as from the success. Did you harvest your broccoli?

      • I had to leave town before I could use it and it’s waiting for tomorrow night. Alas, our weather has been so warm that some critter has hatched and is mowing through all the kale and chard now…doesn’t seem to like the broccoli florets but does like the leaves. 😦

      • Norma Chang says:

        Hello Betsy,
        Are they little green caterpillars? If yes, they are cabbage worms, you can just pick them off by hand. They will hide in the broccoli florets, soak the heads in salted water to get rid of them.

      • So far I haven’t caught them in the act, but will look more closely now that I know what to look for, thanks!

  21. Kristy says:

    You just amaze me all the time Norma! Your growing abilities are incredible. You just have that nurturing touch. And I always love your experiments!

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Kristy,
      You flatter me, I am just fooling around. Seriously, I should start doing some kind of record keeping so I can look back and see when I start what and the results.

  22. What a great surprise! And I love all the garden experiments you do 🙂

  23. I always enjoy your experiments too Norma! Looking forward to seeing how this turns out. I’m really enjoying the extra light in the evenings . . . makes me feel like spring (and all that garden prep) is just around the corner.

  24. juliana says:

    In my opinion the radicchio will grow just fine and you will be able to harvest.
    Love your experiments Norma 🙂
    Hope you are having a wonderful week!

  25. Karen says:

    I’m happy that you are doing the experiment. It helps all the gardeners with short growing seasons learn new techniques.

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