Heirloom Herb. Florence Fennel seeds produce a plant with a swollen, bulbous base that has a pleasing anise-like flavour. It is absolutely superb when used raw in salads or cooked in chicken dishes. Above the bulbous root, lacy carrot-like foliage grows to about 75 cm (2.5′) high. Interestingly, many gardeners report that their younger children really appreciate fennel’s irresistible aroma and taste. Some gardeners also report that fennel seems to inhibit bean and tomato growth if roots of these plants intermingle. Fennel, like dill, also attracts a range of beneficial insects to the garden.
How to Grow
280 seed/gram. Sow seed directly outdoors in a sunny site with average soil in mid-to-late May. Seed can also be started indoors in a soil-less mix 8 weeks before last frost date. Keep temperature at 21 C (70 F) for the 10-14 day germination period, then grow on at a slightly cooler temperature before hardening off and transplanting outside after the danger of frost has passed. Sow seed 3 mm (1/8″) deep and 2.5 cm (1″) apart then thin to 25-30 cm (10-12″) apart in the garden. It is our experience that direct sowing works best with fennel.