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Growing Florence Fennel, also Finocchio

Jan F M A M J J A S O N Dec
    S T P              

(Best months for growing Florence Fennel in USA - Zone 5a regions)

S = Plant undercover in seed trays T = Plant out (transplant) seedlings P = Sow seed

  • Easy to grow. Sow in garden. Sow seed at a depth approximately three times the diameter of the seed. Best planted at soil temperatures between 50°F and 77°F. (Show °C/cm)
  • Space plants: Thin to 6 inches
  • Harvest in 14-20 weeks.
  • Compatible with (can grow beside): Lettuce, Chicory, Cucumber, peas, sage
  • Avoid growing close to: Beans, tomatoes

Your comments and tips

15 Jun 12, Diana (Australia - arid climate)
Did you have any luck finding the fennel seedlings? I live in SW NSW and have a couple of patches of fennel going wild and self seeding. I'm on a property and am experimenting with what I can grow that is easy care - and fennel is one of them (so long as the soil is kept mulched during seed germination time and early seedling stage). I don't water my gardens often so I don't get as good a bulb size than if I did water - but fennel doesn't mind the lack of watering once established.
12 May 12, Heather Houston (Australia - temperate climate)
We have just purchased a home with an old herb garden, I am sure that fennel is growing but it doesnt have the bulb - it has been left overgrown for years. What should I do pull it all out or persevere?
01 Jul 12, Melody (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Hi Heather, I think I've heard that Bulb Fennel can have male or female plants for example some will fillout to a bulb and others will stay sort of flat. If thats not the case then its possible you actually have a Dill plant! I'd persever and see what you get and dry some of the fronds for kitchen use.
24 Feb 12, Corinne Cowper (Australia - temperate climate)
When your crop has finished what do you need to do to the soil to make it ready for your next crop? I understand about crop rotation but not sure when I should be adding fertiliser and compost.
17 Apr 13, Andrew S (Australia - temperate climate)
Late reply..but here goes.. all I do is a mix of compost or worm castings..maybe with a dash of seaweed solution or worm juice. Even a crop of peas just to help break up the soil a bit with a nitrogen fix.
05 Dec 11, Karen McGregor (Australia - temperate climate)
My fennel seems to be making more frondy vegetation and the bulbs don't seem to be growing.What am I doing wrong? My soil is good and I feed my plants with worm tea.
11 Feb 12, peter (Australia - temperate climate)
I think you should be sowing seed late summer for picking in June / July
03 Apr 11, Michael (Australia - temperate climate)
Does anyone know where Fennel seedlings can be purchased around inner city Melbourne?
22 Mar 11, Erin (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
Hi Ingrid, I also live in Monbulk. I got my seed through Diggers as i heard that most of the local nurseries are prohibited from selling Florence fennel as it is considered an invasive weed up here. They sell bronze fennel, but it is non-bulbing and only good for foliage and seed. Good luck!
12 Mar 11, Simon Grove (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
I had a good crop of Florence fennel (swollen bases) in its first spring in my Tas garden, but then left the residual roots and stems to grow over the summer, which they have done flourishingly (I removed the flowerheads before they seed). Is it feasible to get another crop in subsequent springs if I cut these plants right back now - or will these older plants not redevelop those swollen bases next time around?
Showing 21 - 30 of 45 comments

We have just purchased a home with an old herb garden, I am sure that fennel is growing but it doesnt have the bulb - it has been left overgrown for years. What should I do pull it all out or persevere?

- Heather Houston

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This planting guide is a general reference intended for home gardeners. We recommend that you take into account your local conditions in making planting decisions. Gardenate is not a farming or commercial advisory service. For specific advice, please contact your local plant suppliers, gardening groups, or agricultural department. The information on this site is presented in good faith, but we take no responsibility as to the accuracy of the information provided.
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