Fennel

The extraordinary foliage of Florentine fennel has a feathery structure and is used to flavor salads, fish, sauces, and other ethnic foods. The base of the stem resembles celery, it is prepared like a vegetable, and the smell and taste are reminiscent of anise.
In ancient Greece, fennel has a long history, where it was called "marathon" and was considered a symbol of victory. The marathon battle in 490 BC and the Italian city of the same name got their names from this plant. Multiple medicinal properties include the ability to suppress appetite. In the 13th century England, people ate fennel seeds during fasting or long sermons to satisfy some of their hunger. In addition, fennel tea is a well-known remedy for childhood colic and digestive disorders. Fennel seeds are popular in Middle Eastern cuisines, and the bulbous part of the plant is popular in Italian and German cuisines. Cooking is safe, but pregnant women should consume moderate amounts of fennel.

 

How to grow Fennel from seeds:

  • Sowing: Plant seeds indoors a month before the last frost in 1/4 inch deep in peat pots. For best germination, maintain the desired temperature around 65-75 degrees Fahrenheit. Plant fennel directly when soil temperatures are 65 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the seedlings or seeds about 12 inches apart in fertile, well-drained soil and full sun. Repot seedlings carefully so as not to shock and twist them. Plant Fennel away from other garden plants, as it can negatively affect their growth.
    • Plant Spacing: 12-15″.
    • Growing of Fennel (Finocchio):  The soil must be constantly moist. A layer of mulch helps retain moisture, fights weeds, and whitens the delicate fennel bulb.
    • Fennel (Finocchio) Soil Requirements for: Grows best in rich, well-drained soil.
    • Fennel (Finocchio) Seeds Days to Germination: 14 days.
    • Light Preference of Fennel (Finocchio): Full Sun/Part Shade.
    • Life Cycle of Fennel (Finocchio) : Annual
    • How and When to Harvest Fennel (Finocchio): Leaves and stems can be harvested when they reach the desired size. Harvest carefully to prevent stunting of the bulb. When the bulb goes 4', it has a better aroma and tenderness. It's harvest time. For the best freshness and flavor, fennel should be used within two days of harvest. Collect the seed heads individually when they turn light brown. Spread them out to dry, then rub gently to separate the seeds from the stems. It would be best if you store seeds in an airtight container.
    • Fennel (Finocchio) Days to Maturity: 50 days for baby, 80 days for full size.
    • Fennel's (Finocchio'і) Seed Saving: When the flowering heads are ripe and have developed seeds, the seeds can be harvested. You must remove them individually when they turn light brown. Don't miss a moment as they lose seeds quickly. Spread them out to dry in direct sunlight, then rub gently to separate the seeds from the stems. Store seeds in an airtight container in a cool, dry place.
  • Common Names: Finocchio, Fennel
  • Latin Name: Foeniculum vulgare
  • Species Origin: Mediterranean
  • Life Cycle: Annual
  • USDA Zones: 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
  • Seeds per Ounce: 10,000
  • Sunlight: Full Sun
  • Height: 48 Inches
  • Color: Green, Yellow
  • Bloom Season: Blooms Late Summer, Blooms Early Fall
  • Uses: Culinary, Aromatic, Attracts Butterflies, Deer Resistant

 

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