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Introduction on how to grow fennel from seed at home
Although not every gardener grows fennel in his or her garden, the plant is very well known. Fennel was already grown as a medicine in the Egyptian time.
The plant is native to southern Europe and is now grown all over Europe.
In fact, it’s grown all over the world now. And many chefs love to use it in their cuisine.
The plant has 3 uses. It’s a vegetable, it’s a herb. And it’medicine.
what is fennel?
In nature, there’s only one kind of fennel, it’s called Foeniculum vulgare in Latin. It’s a biennial or perennial plant with round high stems and a sturdy root.
In this article, I want to talk about the bulbing kind of fennel. There is another variety that doesn’t bulb up and is grown as a perennial herb instead.
All parts of the plants can be used for their aroma.
In the second year, when the plant is flowering, you can see tiny yellow flowers in big screens on top of the plant.
where to grow fennel?
Fennel likes a fertile well-draining but moist soil. Don’t let the soil dry out between watering.
Put the plant where it gets full sun for at least 6 hours.
I looked up the hardiness of the plant. It should be hardy to zone 4. I’m not sure of this as I live in zone 8b.
When to grow fennel?
Fennel can be grown both in spring and in fall. But the plant will bolt a lot sooner in spring due to the days getting longer.
The bulbing kind of fennel will take about 80 days to where you can harvest it.
You can start fennel seeds about 8 weeks before the last frost in spring. As soon as they have one or two true leaves, you can plant them out. If the temperature is still really cold, it’s best to plant them in a cold frame. Or you can use a cloche to cover them from the hard wind.
taking care of fennel
Fennel doesn’t like you to mess too much with the roots. The plant sends out a taproot that goes deep into the soil. If this taproot breaks or gets squished, the plant may perish.
So always make sure to treat the plant really gently.
You can use paper pots to start the seeds indoors and transplant as soon as possible. This way the taproot isn’t totally developed when you transplant the plant.
As already mentioned, fennel loves moist soil. Don’t overdo it though as root rot can kill the plant if the soil is soggy.
To keep the bulb white and tender, cover the bulb with soil or a mulch layer as it grows. If the plant is grown in a pot, make sure there’s enough space to the rim so you can fill the pot with more potting soil to cover up the bulb, once it’s growing.
transplanting or planting fennel
As already mentioned, fennel doesn’t like to be transplanted due to its taproot. So transplant before the taproot develops.
You should be transplanting as soon as you see the first real leave popping up.
It’s possible to sow the seeds in paper pots but make sure there’s enough depth in the paper pots.
Harvesting bulbing fennel is easy, just pull out the bulb from the soil, clean it and you can eat it for dinner.
diseases and pests
Fennel doesn’t have that much trouble with diseases. It’s possible that you get in trouble with white fly or aphids but those can be washed off and killed with a good insecticidal soap mixture.
Aphids are a pest where ever you get them and they will also populate your parsley plants. Getting rid of aphids can be done with a water hose if you have enough water pressure to give a blast and blow off the little buggers.
A couple of tablespoons of dish soap mixed with a bucket of lukewarm water can do the trick as well. Just spray the mixture on the plants covering top and bottom of the leaves to dry out the aphids. This works because dish soap will dissolve the waxy coat the aphids have around their body, making them dry out after a while.
closing on how to grow fennel from seed.
So this is it for this article on how to grow fennel from seed, I hope you’ve found it interesting. If so, please share on social media, with friends, and other gardeners.
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