*This seed is offered as part of the "Gusto Italiano Project", a collaborative partnership between Uprising Seeds, Italian breeders Smarties.Bio, and the Culinary Breeding Network. Certified organic seed is grown in Italy by Smarties.Bio.
Type: Rosa del Veneto
Days to Maturity (slot): 100 days (early)
We're very excited about this latest introduction from our friends at Smarties.bio. Along radicchio's inevitable march to becoming America's Favorite Vegetable™, few types have captured the attention of the food loving public more than the pink rosettes of Rosa del Veneto. It's the glitterati of the radicchio family.
One of the biggest drawbacks, from a growing perspective however is that they historically have been very late to mature. And its not just a matter of sizing up...they are usually actually almost entirely green until at least late November when they start to develop a pink core of leaves that fills into the characteristic loose head. In places like the Northeast that often see rapid transitions to very cold winter temps by then, it could be very hard to get them to full maturity.
'Jolanda' is a special selection for early coloring and we were hugely impressed with the results in an observation trial at the home farm this year. We had beautifully colored hearts by the second week of October, and while the heads continued to fill in for the next two months after that, loose heads with the fantastic salmon pink color could be harvested for salad much earlier than other varieties of the type. It did not appear to us as though there was much of a downside later in the season either, as the heads never became "overmature" if left to grow longer. In fact, we found the quality of heading to be among the best and most uniform we have yet seen for the pinks. Andrea and the Smarties crew are onto something with this selection. Highly recommended.
(The first photo shows unheaded October color, while the second photo shows the fully mature December headed form)
About the named varieties... For most vegetables, in order to provide a continuous harvest over a long period of time, growers stagger planting dates throughout the season which in turn provides a continuous harvest as the plants mature to eating stage. With radicchio, a different strategy is employed. For the most part, the majority of heading radicchio is best suited to seeding around the summer solstice (transplanting in the second-third week of July). To achieve a longer harvest period, rather than staggering planting dates, breeders have developed different varieties within a type with different days-to-maturity harvests. These are often referred to as "slots" with many types having early, mid, and late slotted varieties.
100 days from transplant
Packet: 100 seeds