Root cultivation: sowing
The general guidelines for sowing chicory were drawn up a long time ago but are still in use today: the minimum recommended 24-hour temperature (this being the average of the day and night temperatures) for a good germination and emergence of the chicory seeds is 12°C. Low night temperatures (around freezing point) also increase the likelihood of shoot formation during the field phase. In other words, don’t sow until the average 24-hour temperature is about 12°C, which in the Netherlands does not normally happen before 5 May. If extremely early lifting is not essential then do not start sowing until about 20 May.
Do not sow too deep
The best emergence results are achieved with the shortest possible time to emergence. Shallow sowing (0.5-1.0 cm) in combination with irrigation offers the greatest chance of success. If irrigation is not possible, then deeper sowing will always increase the risks: the time to emergence will increase, and when the conditions deteriorate (lower temperatures, crust formation) then this can have disastrous consequences for the emergence of the seedlings. When sowing seeds with a pneumatic seed drill, Chicosem recommends a hole diameter of 0.55 - 0.65 mm for OK precision seeds (coated or uncoated) and a hole diameter of 0.9 - 1.0 mm for OK mini pills.
Irrigate in time
Most errors are made when rain is forecast. Seed that is swollen or actually beginning to germinate is extremely vulnerable to dehydration. Never delay irrigation: rain often arrives later than forecast. Moreover, a natural rain shower 1 or 2 days after irrigation can only be beneficial (the seeds remain moist longer, and crust-formation is delayed or prevented).
If the circumstances are not optimal, then delay sowing. The optimum sowing date for the early Hoquet varieties is after 20 May (when early lifting is not required). You can use the recommended seed quantities per hectare until about 5 to 10 June: thereafter you may need to adjust the seed quantity slightly. You can sow the seed until about 20 June.
More information - including technical information - about the various varieties is available under the "Varieties" tab.