Dixana
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Location: zone 4

fennel???

I'm planning a round herb and flower garden to put out by the road and was going to put fennel in the center as I had read that fennel gets five feet tall.
After doing some research I'm finding fennel only hits three feet in my area (zone 4 bordering zone 5)
Anyone in zone 4-5 ever grown fennel? How big did yours get both up and around..
I planned on placing them in a pattern similar to a soccer ball how much space do they need apart?
You must be the change you wish to see in the world.
-Gandhi

lily51
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Location: Ohio, Zone 5

This was the first year I've grown fennel.
My granddaughters planted in one of my
Beds that I let them have and my daughter
Planted it. It gre like crazy everywhere it was
Planted. It's in raised beds and stands as tall
As me from ground up (slightly taller than
5').
An added benefit is that swallowtail butterfly
Caterpillars love it, so we're looking forward
To more butterflies in 2012. :)

CharlieBear
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Location: Pacific NW

Warning, true fennel is spread by the birds and can get into the water shed. In many states it is on the notious weed list or even banned, so check first. The only way to get around it is to cut the stocks long before the seeds ripen which is a lot of work.
Angelica is another really tall herb. Under perfect conditions it can even reach 7 feet. But you are not in such a place. Bergamont and Lovage can also be quite tall. I have not yet seen any warnings on these, but there could be where you are, so check first.

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digitS'
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Location: ID/Wa! border

I have grown bulb fennel - which I didn't know what to do with. It grew easily and to about 3 1/2 or 4 feet.

Then, I planted sweet fennel seed and it grew into a tall plant of about 4 feet. It flowered and was covered with bees but, very late in the season. I wanted to use the sweet fennel seed for tea. It never had time to mature seed.

So, I planted it again the next year and it again grew and flowered -- too late to mature seed :roll: .

Be advised that some folks say that fennel makes a poor neighbor for other herbs which will not grow well close by. I don't know if that is true or not.

Steve
We are each other's harvest; we are each other's business; we are each other's magnitude and bond. ~ Gwendolyn Brooks

Dixana
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Location: zone 4

Way to rain on my parade guys :(
Really Steve you don't know what to do with the fennel bulbs? They're AMAZING and I love to cook with them. The hubby loves when I cook with it too, he says it makes the whole house smell good. Fennel bulbs have the slightest hint in smell and taste, of anice. It is a house favorite but not cheap or easy to find here.
You must be the change you wish to see in the world.
-Gandhi

Father's Daughter
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Location: MA-NH Border

I grew both bulb and sweet fennel this year. The bulb fennel grew to about three feet and produced a lot of foliage, but the bulbs didn't get that big. The sweet fennel grew much taller, was loaded with flowers, and without support was flopping over quite a bit. The bees loved the flowers! I let the first flowers go to seed and harvested about a cups worth. They are actually much sweeter with less of an anise flavor. The later flowers I picked and dried before they went to seed and harvested about a cup of fennel pollen. I started them indoors in February and planted them out in early May, if I remember correctly. I suspect I will see a lot of volunteer fennel plants next year from what I've read. I wasn't aware it had been banned in some areas--I'll have to check into that.

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digitS'
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I think you should try that bulb fennel, Dixana. It grew fine for me.

No, I'd seen those stories about Florence fennel in soup. I like licorice/anise flavor but just couldn't imagine liking it in soup ;) .

DD was here a few days ago and brought this tiny pizza to put in the toaster oven for her lunch. She said that she'd share with me and I told her that she didn't have to - it was a real small pizza.

She said, "Well, only 1 piece." It seemed quite oddly seasoned - star anise and fennel seeds . . ! Yeah, I ended up with 3 of the 4 slices. DD's enthusiasm for her pizza went out the window with her 1st bite. I liked the artichoke hearts & mushrooms :) .

Different tastes - different people. Maybe if I had it prepared in different ways, there would be some fennel foods that would be irresistible to me also. Hyper-palatable, as David Kessler would say! I mean, the candy I'm the most likely to buy is Panda Licorice, just wouldn't put it in a soup!

Steve
We are each other's harvest; we are each other's business; we are each other's magnitude and bond. ~ Gwendolyn Brooks

Dixana
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Location: zone 4

It's kind of funny, I HATE anise/black licorice. But fennel just brings a freshness and flavor to food that is amazing.
My favorite dish with it is autumn pasta. Chicken, brussel sprouts, tomatoes, fennel, lemon, garlic, with olive oil and parm cheese. Mix in multicolored rotini pasta. Delicious!
You must be the change you wish to see in the world.
-Gandhi

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