Growing and Irrigating Chicory: A Comprehensive Guide


Chicory (Cichorium intybus) is a versatile and economically viable crop that is gaining popularity among farmers worldwide. Known for its hardiness and adaptability, chicory offers numerous benefits, making it an excellent choice for agricultural cultivation. In this article, we will explore the process of growing chicory and discuss efficient irrigation methods to ensure optimal crop yield and water sustainability.

Why Choose Chicory for Economical Cultivation?

Chicory possesses several qualities that make it a great choice for economically efficient cultivation. Firstly, chicory has a wide range of uses, both as a food source and in the production of herbal teas and coffee substitutes. This versatility allows farmers to tap into multiple markets and diversify their revenue streams.

Additionally, chicory is a resilient plant that can thrive in various soil conditions, including sandy or loamy soils. It requires minimal inputs in terms of fertilizers and pesticides, reducing production costs. Moreover, chicory has a relatively short growth cycle, allowing for multiple harvests in a single year, further maximizing profitability.

Necessary Requirements for Growing Chicory

To successfully grow chicory, certain requirements must be met. Here are the key factors to consider:

Climate and Soil

Chicory is a cool-season crop that prefers moderate temperatures ranging from 10-20°C (50-68°F). It thrives in regions with mild winters and moderate rainfall. The ideal soil for chicory cultivation is well-drained loam or sandy loam soil with a pH level between 6.0 and 7.5.

Seed Selection and Sowing

Selecting high-quality chicory seeds is crucial for a successful crop. Look for certified seeds from reputable suppliers. Sow the seeds directly into the prepared soil, ensuring a spacing of 20-30 cm (8-12 inches) between plants. The optimal sowing depth is approximately 1 cm (0.4 inches).

Fertilization and Weed Control

Chicory requires moderate fertilization. Conduct a soil test to determine the nutrient deficiencies and apply fertilizers accordingly. Nitrogen is particularly important during the early growth stages. Additionally, implement weed control measures, such as mulching or manual weeding, to prevent weed competition and ensure optimal growth.


Chicory is typically harvested when the plants reach full maturity, which is around 90-120 days after sowing. Harvest the leaves before flowering for culinary purposes, while the roots are harvested for their inulin content. Carefully dig out the roots, remove excess soil and store them in a cool, dry place.

Efficient Irrigation Methods for Chicory

Water is a vital resource for crop growth and adopting efficient irrigation methods is essential for sustainable agriculture. Here are some modern irrigation techniques that can be employed for chicory cultivation:

Drip Irrigation

Drip irrigation is a highly efficient method that delivers water directly to the plant's root zone. It minimizes water wastage by reducing evaporation and runoff. Drip systems can be customized to provide precise water application, matching the crop's water requirements. This method also helps prevent foliar diseases, as the foliage remains dry.

Sprinkler Irrigation

Sprinkler irrigation involves the application of water through overhead sprinklers. It is suitable for larger areas and can distribute water evenly across the field. Sprinklers can be adjusted to deliver water in a manner that mimics natural rainfall, reducing water stress on the plants. However, care must be taken to avoid excessive wetting of the foliage, as it can lead to fungal diseases.


Micro-irrigation combines elements of both drip and sprinkler irrigation. It utilizes low-pressure systems to deliver water directly to the plant's root zone, minimizing water loss. Micro-irrigation methods include micro-sprinklers and micro-jets, which are ideal for smaller areas or irregularly shaped fields.

A Guide to Perfect Irrigation Setup for Chicory

To set up an efficient irrigation system for chicory cultivation, follow these steps:

  1. Assess the field: Determine the size and shape of the field, as well as the water source availability and pressure.

  2. Design the system: Based on the field assessment, design an irrigation system that includes the appropriate combination of drippers, sprinklers, valves, filters, fittings, hoses and lay flat pipes. Consider the crop's water requirements, soil type and topography.

  3. Install the system: Lay out the main water lines, sub-main lines and lateral lines according to the design. Install the necessary components, such as filters and valves, at strategic points. Ensure proper connections and fittings to avoid leaks.

  4. Test the system: Before planting, thoroughly test the irrigation system to identify any leaks or malfunctions. Check the water distribution pattern and adjust the system as needed.

  5. Monitor and maintain: Regularly monitor the irrigation system to ensure proper functioning. Clean filters, check for clogged drippers or nozzles and make any necessary repairs or adjustments. Proper maintenance will optimize water efficiency and crop yield.

Promoting DripPro Irrigation Systems for Chicory Cultivation

DripPro Irrigation Systems offers a wide range of agricultural irrigation products that are well-suited for chicory cultivation. Their high-quality drips, sprinklers, valves, filters, fittings, hoses and lay flat pipes are designed to enhance water efficiency and crop productivity.

By using DripPro products, chicory growers can experience several benefits. The precision of drip irrigation ensures that each plant receives the required amount of water, reducing water waste and maximizing yield. The use of filters and valves helps maintain the system's integrity and prevents clogging, ensuring uninterrupted water supply. Additionally, DripPro's durable and reliable products minimize maintenance requirements and provide long-term cost savings.

In conclusion, chicory cultivation offers a promising opportunity for farmers seeking economically efficient crops. By following the necessary requirements and employing modern irrigation methods, such as drip irrigation or sprinkler systems, farmers can optimize water usage and maximize crop yield. Utilizing high-quality irrigation products, like those offered by DripPro Irrigation Systems, further enhances the efficiency and profitability of chicory cultivation.