Growing Florence Fennel, also Finocchio

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

(Best months for growing Florence Fennel in Australia - tropical regions)

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 10°C and 25°C. (Show °F/in)
  • Space plants: Thin to 15 cm
  • Harvest in 14-20 weeks.
  • Compatible with (can grow beside): Lettuce, Chicory, Cucumber, peas, sage
  • Avoid growing close to: Beans, tomatoes
  • A fennel seedling
  • Ready to use

This is a perennial grown as an annual as the stems become more fibrous with age. Both seeds and leaves have a mild aniseed flavour. With its feathery leaves it makes a good background plant in a border. Grows to approx 1.5m (5ft) Can be repeat sown throughout the year or left to self seed.

Fennel prefers well-drained fertile soil.

Culinary hints - cooking and eating Florence Fennel

The swollen base of the stem is used.

Slice and steam/stir-fry the bulb, or use raw/grated in salads. Can be cooked and served with sauces or butter.

Your comments and tips

01 Oct 20, Anita (New Zealand - sub-tropical climate)
Have you found Florence fennel seeds, ??I could spare some, I grow this Jummy veg over the winter months in northland, cheers anita
12 Dec 17, Ilka Howell (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
What happens if you plant fennel with beans? I didn't know they shouldn't be grown together and have planted them in a large garden bed together. They are not right next to each other, have lettuce and radishes separating so approx 1m apart. Will they grow ok?
13 Dec 17, Mike (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
From Houzz Fennel is allelopathic to most garden plants, inhibiting growth, causing to bolt, or actually killing many plants. Like black walnut or elder, it produces some chemical or other which does bad things to its neighbours. Although it causes coriander to bolt, the coriander does help to prevent fennel from becoming too much of a weed. It depends which one you want to sacrifice, I guess! It will cross-pollinate with dill, resulting in a horrible-tasting plant. I think fennel will be OK if grown in a pot, but you'll need to be vigilant to stop it from going to seed (a pity if you want those seeds!) - those seeds can travel far and wide, making it a very invasive plant indeed.
17 Jan 18, Ilka (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
Very informative, thanks Mike! Sounds like the fennel will have to go :)
05 Nov 17, joel (Australia - temperate climate)
where in Australia can u grow fennel
02 Jun 17, Carol Grey (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
I have just dug out an enormous fennel in North Tasmania , Have little ones growing.
11 Apr 17, Wayne Grant (Australia - temperate climate)
I planted a fennel seed from a dried herb packet i bought from an organic store. What variety if fennel do they typically sell as a herb?
13 Apr 17, Ken (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
It could be any variety of fennel and chances are it is imported. I suggest you keep growing it and if you like the end result save some seed for next seasons planting.
10 Sep 15, Tracy Stanley (Australia - temperate climate)
Hello all, I have havested some fennel but have left the actual root in the ground and now I seem to have baby fennel growing again - from these roots. Does anyone know if I can leave the roots in the ground to keep sprouting? Much easier, if so, as I dont need to bother about tender seedlings. Cheers, Tracy
12 Sep 15, Tiffany (Australia - temperate climate)
Hi Tracy, I've had fennel growing from roots left in a large pot a for the past couple of years - just because I hadn't bothered doing anything with them. They don't seem to grow as bulbous like this, and tend to bolt quickly, which is great for the insects. I have eaten a few baby bulbs from it too. :)
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