Loved by connoisseurs of winter salads for its tangy bitter-sweet taste and crisp texture.

Sow seed in early summer directly into moist, rich soil.

Germination can be erratic in hot weather, but growth is rapid once the seedlings emerge.

Salad chicories are sown in summer and grown like lettuce, while for chicon production a late winter sowing gives a harvest in autumn, spring sowing gives chicons for winter use.

Sow salad chicories in shallow drills 12in (30cm) apart and thin out to 5in (13cm) apart.

For chicons sow in drills 15in (38cm) apart, and thin out to 9in (23cm).