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FENNEL


  How To Grow Fennel


PLANT TYPE: Perennial
SCIENTIFIC NAME: Foeniculum vulgare
ZONE / HARDINESS: 5 to 10
MATURE PLANT SIZE: 48 inches high x 24 inches wide
LIGHT: Full Sun
FLOWERING PERIOD: July to October
SOIL TYPE: Average, very well-drained soil
pH RANGE: 6.5
KNOWN PESTS: N/A
KNOWN DISEASES: N/A


OVERVIEW:

Fennel is a perennial that grows to about 3 to 4 feet tall. The leaves are finely divided into thread-like segments and are light green.

Fennel seeds are used as a condiment. The leaves have an anise-like flavor and the stems can be eaten like celery. Seeds can be used in cheese spreads and vegetable dishes.

In late spring or early summer, sow seeds directly into the garden about 1/8 inch deep about 6 to 12 inches apart. Prefers well drained soil and full sun. Heavy clay soils will hinder seed growth. The beds should be kept moist for 2 weeks or until the first leaves appear. Take care then not to overwater.


PROPAGATION / SOWING:

Seeds. Sow seeds directly into the garden about 1/8 inch deep about 6 to 12 inches apart.


COMPANION PLANTING:

Do not plant fennel near coriander, caraway, or wormwood as they hinder each other.


CARE & GROWING:

In late spring or early summer, sow seeds directly into the garden in shallow drills about 6 to 12 inches apart. Thin seedlings to 8 inches apart. Heavy clay soils will hinder seed growth. Keep beds moist until the first few leaves appear; then do not overwater.


HARVESTING:

Harvest fennel seeds as soon as the flowers start to turn brown. For best storage, put the seeds in a brown paper bag and store them in a cool, dry place. The white bulb of the fennel plant is delicious in its own right, and is found in many traditional Italian recipes.


USAGE:

Aromatic, cosmetic, culinary, decorative, and medicinal. Fennel adds fragrance to creams, perfumes, soaps, liqueurs, and potpourris. An infusion of ground stems is used for cleansing and medicating the skin. The licorice-flavored plant is used in sauces, soups, stews, and salads and as garnish for fish. The stems can be eaten like celery, and the roots can be boiled as a vegetable. The seeds can be used whole or ground in desserts, breads, cakes, cookies, teas, and beverages. The plant is used to make bright yellow or gold dye. It also can be grown in large containers. Fennel is said to have some medicinal qualities.












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Fennel will grow in most soils in an open area and self-sow freely. Do not plant fennel next to dill, beans or tomatoes, as they tend to cross-pollinate.






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