Contributors to this thread:
Planted chicory for the first time last year so I do not have any experience with the plant.
The plants appear to have flowered (pretty light blue flowers) which I assume means it is going to seed. Should I mow the plot (it would be the second time this year) or let it go to seed and mow it later in the fall. The end of July and the month of August are usually quite hot and I did not know: 1) If I let it go to seed would the deer stop utilizing it 2) Is it not advisable to stress the plant by mowing in hot weather.
What is the best practice here?
I mow my chicory and it responds well. Chicory is very easy to reseed by hand. I would not worry about mowing it - unless it's extremely hot and dry and you might wait for cooler temps or better moisture.
I have had chicory in Wisconsin for 10 years now. I mow it all the time with a self propelled lawn mower. I put lawn mower as high of a setting as it will go. I have 3 plots about the size of 1/2 football field. I mow late in the day with rain in the forecast. Better to mow and knock weeds down.
I was always advised it was best to mow it before it bolted and flowered. Was that bad advice, do you guys allow it to re-seed itself?
I guess if it go's to flower the chicory pedals aren't paliable for the deer. My chicory fields get sprayed with clethodim for grass control. So after time my fields start to get invaded with clover which isn't a bad thing. After time I just till them over and replant chicory again
I reseed mine all the time. I have mowed mine with a brush hog and didn't like that very much. Had to go back to lawn mower with a bagger on it. I am looking to start using a riding lawn mower with a bagger or more of a pull behind finishing mower.
I mowed mine last night with a bush hog. Flowers had dropped by the time I got to it. I took off about the top 1/4 of the leaf and the longer stem that used to hold flowers. Rain is scheduled for this Sunday, and temps are forecasted to be on the mid to low 80s for the next 10 days or so.
I appreciate the feed back from everyone.
When mine flowered, the deer ate the flowers and stem like they were candy.
How was the response, Osceola?
I decided to mow. I cut off everything above and about an inch of the leaf. I received less than an inch of rain since the original post with it coming in several small rains of 30 hundreds or less. Despite the lack of rain, the chicory is holding up well and several plants either re-flowered or were just late bloomers. I am leaving those flowers go to seed as there is not much chance of rain and temps are to mainly be 90's or above for the next 15 days.
It seems chicory plant is very well suited for dry conditions. Overall, I am glad I did mow as Pat said above, it seemed to respond well to it.
The next 3 days are forecasted to have highs of 98, 100, 100. So to make lemonade out of those lemons, I am heading to western Nebraska for a week to hunt antelope by water. Should be good conditions for that hunt as they are dry there too.
I forgot to thank all of you for the responses, it certainly helps ones' confidence to hear other's experiences.