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ElizabethB
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Growing fennel.

Late last summer I picked up a couple of fennel plants from the quick sale rack at the nursery. I obviously did not plant them correctly because they died. Should I try growing them from seed? Anyone have experience with fennel? I grow my herbs in pots near the house for easy harvest. I still have rosemary, sage and one basil plant from last year. I also have a dill that seeded voluntarily. I harvested dill and basil seed to plant this year. I grow parsley, cilantro, thyme - different ones and oregano. I love using herbs in cooking. Any thing else I should try? Between the herbs and the ornamental pots I have to do a lot of watering so I am thinking about putting in a micro drip system with a timer on the faucet. Comments please. I used to use the micro irrigation systems in landscaping beds for my clients. When combined with timers they worked very well. I have never tried using a micro system with pots. I still have lots of tubing in the shop. If it hasn't dry rotted all I have to do is get drip heads and a timer. If the tubing is shot it isn't that expensive to replace. I use soaker hoses in the veggie garden. During the heat of summer I have to water heavily every other day. I just run the regular hose to the garden the night before, hook it up and set the timer for the wee hours of the morning.

Thanks all.
Elizabeth - or Your Majesty

Living and growing in Lafayette, La.

When weeding, the best way to make sure you are removing a weed and not a valuable plant is to pull on it. If it comes out of the ground easily, it is a valuable plant. ~Author Unknown

Bobberman
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I grew fennel this past year but the dry weather kept them small like a foot high! I have six plants from last year still growing in m greenhouse. They are over a foot tal and really healthy but growing slow in on 10 inch deep container. iread that they grow as high as 6 feet tall! I have never used fennel so I am new to it! I think there is another name for the seeds like Collinder am I right or wrong? I too would like to know more on this plant?
I enjoy fishing ,gardening and a solar greenhouse! carpet installation repair and sales for over 45 years! I am the inventor of the Bobber With A Brain - Fishing Bobber!

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ElizabethB
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Bobber - are you thinking coriander? I looked it up and it is actually the seed from cilantro. Who knew - I sure didn't.

https://theepicentre.com/spice/coriander/

Still looking for advice on sucessful fennel growing and comments on irrigation.
Elizabeth - or Your Majesty

Living and growing in Lafayette, La.

When weeding, the best way to make sure you are removing a weed and not a valuable plant is to pull on it. If it comes out of the ground easily, it is a valuable plant. ~Author Unknown

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lorax
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ElizabethB, have you ever grown Dill before? Fennel behaves in much the same way, especially when grown from seed. Fast drainage if it's in pots, and fairly abundant water and nutrients are the key. You can't let it dry out too too much, but it hates wet feet as well.

Also, are you growing for fennelweed, seed, or bulbs? The plants will have different cultural requirements in each case. For weed or seed (the former is for hedgewitchery - it calms upset tummies and helps reduce flatulence, normally taken as a tea; the latter is for baking, breath freshening, and the production of absinthe in the home distillery, as the seed is almost indistinguishable in flavour from the closely-related anise.) If you're growing for bulbs (used in Italian cooking), you need to make sure you plant Florentine Fennel, which is the only cultivar that forms them.

Bobberman - fennel seeds are called fennel seeds. Coriander is the seeds of Cilantro, and a Collander is used for straining pasta out of water. :D

Edited because that should have read "grown from seed" not "grown for seed" up in the first paragraph... (facepalm)
Last edited by lorax on Sat Dec 29, 2012 3:46 am, edited 1 time in total.

Bobberman
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ElizabethB wrote:Bobber - are you thinking coriander? I looked it up and it is actually the seed from cilantro. Who knew - I sure didn't.

https://theepicentre.com/spice/coriander/

Still looking for advice on sucessful fennel growing and comments on irrigation.
Ya cilantro seed is called coriander Thanks!
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ElizabethB
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Lorax I do want the bulbs for cooking. I bought some semi mature plants and probaby killed them by planting to deep. I will try seeds. Thanks for the recommendation. Any other herb recommendations or comments on irrigation?

I really do love to cook. Love using fresh herbs. Not much of a baker but a pretty good cook when it comes to savories - meats, fish, seafood, veggies and sauces. Also love appetizers so if you ever need unusual delicious appetizers for a party pm me for recipes.
Elizabeth - or Your Majesty

Living and growing in Lafayette, La.

When weeding, the best way to make sure you are removing a weed and not a valuable plant is to pull on it. If it comes out of the ground easily, it is a valuable plant. ~Author Unknown

Susan W
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E, I am the master gardener of Trial and Error, especially with the herbs. I grow over 15 varieties, most in containers for the farmers market (sell fresh cut and a few starts). I just finished up 2nd season at the market and consider this a learning curve, with curve steeper than I am at times! Last count before the frosty temps about 150 containers plus some in ground.

The larger the pot, easier to control temp and moisture which is basic! I have a few 10", mostly to be portable to be inside and out with the colder temps. Then a mess of 12, 14, 16 and a precious few large black plastic tree/shrub tubs.

With our hot climate, I find most do better with some break from afternoon sun, though the ones in ground can take long hot sun better.
Watering? I go for 2 x week, depending on rain of course. I do water PM before harvesting. A few smaller basil pots on the deck get an extra splash here and there. Now if the g-son is here with the hose in his hands no telling as everything is watered including himself and me!

Varieties? Another thread (s). As mentioned, constant learning and sharing. I can easily blame friends/teasers here to prompt one to try something different. HaHa
Have fun!
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ElizabethB
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I grow my basil in 12" - 14" pots. With my long growing season thay get very large. My favorite herb so I have several. My dill is in a 48" long narrow kind of window box pot. 3 plants in the pot. My rosemary is currently in a 12" pot and looking wimpy so I need to pot it up the same with my sage. My parsley and cilantro do fine in 8" - 10" pots. I do have to move them around during the heat of summer. I am serious about the need for every other day deep watering during the heat of summer. If not I would have sticks. That is why I was asking for opinions on irrigation. Last summer I spent 2 -3 hours every other day watering my herbs and ornamental pot plants. The veggie garden has soaker hoses so that is OK.

Guess I will try fennel from seed and hope for some success. What about curry? Have any of you tried that?
Elizabeth - or Your Majesty

Living and growing in Lafayette, La.

When weeding, the best way to make sure you are removing a weed and not a valuable plant is to pull on it. If it comes out of the ground easily, it is a valuable plant. ~Author Unknown

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PunkRotten
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I am growing it right now. So far so good. I had a few plants and thinned it out to one now it is getting taller and the stem is getting thicker. Not sure what I am going to do with it when it is ready.

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rainbowgardener
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I grow fennel from seed for fennel weed and fennel seed. Haven't grown the bulbing kind. In my climate I just treat it like an annual and start over each year. It is slow from seed, need to start early, but not difficult.

You didn't mention mint, which is the classic herb to grow in pots. Also chives. My favorite herb to grow is lavender which I do use in cooking as well as for fragrances etc. I don't know if you call them herbs or not, but I grow anise hyssop (bees and butterflies love it) and lemon balm for tea blends.

In your climate, you could grow lemon verbena, lemon grass, ginger....

Other possibilities are marjoram, chervil, bay tree.

Herbs are my favorite things to grow!
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ElizabethB
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Thanks all. Forgot about mint. In a pot for sure! In fact it makes a great hanging basket. I have a 2' x 2' clump of chives that has been in the garden for several years. I cut what I need and ocassionally pull some to use the bulb. It just keeps on growing. Yes on the margoram - forgot about that as well. I like the idea of ginger. That is another one I would want to keep contained. I have never grown culinary ginger but if it is as invasive as ornamental ginger then I want it contained. I planted the sun chokes in a 30 gallon nursery pot. That should work for ginger as well.

Thanks all.
Elizabeth - or Your Majesty

Living and growing in Lafayette, La.

When weeding, the best way to make sure you are removing a weed and not a valuable plant is to pull on it. If it comes out of the ground easily, it is a valuable plant. ~Author Unknown

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rainbowgardener
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And I forgot the chamomile, which also is lovely in teas!

And in teas I also use yarrow and bee balm... not sure how far the word herb stretches, but bee balm is in the mint family.
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

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ElizabethB
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Yes chamomile. Very familiar with bee balm - the butterflies and humming birds love it!
Elizabeth - or Your Majesty

Living and growing in Lafayette, La.

When weeding, the best way to make sure you are removing a weed and not a valuable plant is to pull on it. If it comes out of the ground easily, it is a valuable plant. ~Author Unknown

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lorax
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ElizabethB - make sure you get Florence or Florentine fennel, then, and I'd go from seed because that way you don't have to muck about with replanting.

I'm a baker and personal chef, but I'm crud on appetizers - I may take you up on that offer!

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ElizabethB
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Thanks for the recommendations Lorax. I have 2 sisters and we love hosting parties - mostly cocktail parties with finger food so yes I have plenty of recipes to share any time.

We normally host 3 or 4 parties a year but 2 years ago we went nuts and hosted 5 in a 6 month period of time. Engagement party for niece, surprise 50th party for youngest sister, 80'th birthday party for Mom, 70'th birthday party for a dear friend and a 60'th party for my brother -in-law. Yep - nuts. We have learned to do as much early prep as possible and serve what can be eaten at room temp. Don't want to be in the kitchen with guest - much rather visit.

There I go again - ramble - ramble. Any time Lorax just pm.
Elizabeth - or Your Majesty

Living and growing in Lafayette, La.

When weeding, the best way to make sure you are removing a weed and not a valuable plant is to pull on it. If it comes out of the ground easily, it is a valuable plant. ~Author Unknown

imafan26
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fennel

I have grown fennel from seed for a couple of years now. Fennel starts readily. I actually only keep a few plants. I do grow bulbing fennel because the bulbs have a nice licorice flavor and fennel slaw is great. Mostly I grow fennel because it attracts beneficial insects to the garden. It can be perennial but it only produces bulbs when young, so I replant every year.

While fennel attracts beneficial insects like parasitc wasps, hover flies, lady bugs, and lacewings. Unfortunately fennel does not like company so I plant it in a corner away from most other plants. It especially does not like to be anywhere near its' relatives, dill, parsley,coriander, or most other plants. I have fennel planted next to gingers, horseradish, and gynuura, since these plants do not appear to mind the fennel. Fennel will stunt nearly everything else around it.

I grow fennel in the ground and bulbing fennel gets to be about thirty inches tall. It can be grown in a pot, it does not need a lot of fertilizer and should not be over watered. I pot up seedlings from 4" to 6" and eventually to 5 gallon pots.

Cilantro can be grown in the cooler months and they can last up to six months with regular cutting, but they only last 6 weeks in summer. If the plants are happy they reseed like crazy, otherwise replacements have to be planted every month. I also like basil, but downy mildew is a problem and only lemon basil is thriving. Mints need to be contained and divided regularly or they either escape or choke themselves to death. Rosemary is pretty carefree if it can be kept on the dry side in the rainy season. Thyme and sage like alkaline conditions and good drainage. Lavender wants to be in the ground. Lavender needs to be cut back in January. Gingers need to be harvested after they go dormant and replanted when the new fingers sprout. 8)
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

imafan26
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if you are growing fennel from seedlings, make sure when they are transplanted, you do not break the taproot or they will die. I transplant seedling about 3 inches high. I do not plant them deep, the tops get a little floppy, and will lie down, but they usually come back up in a day or two. Direct seeding works too. They do not need a lot of help. Fennel likes more water than dill and dill does not like wet weather. Fennel will reseed. At the end of the year, all I do is cut the fennel down, pull the weeds, add a little compost and sometimes the seedlings come up by themselves.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

sepeters
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If you are still thinking about the drip system for those pots, I will recommend it! We put one in last spring and it watered both the main bed and all except the smallest pots with flowers, which generally have a different watering cycle anyway.

My boyfriend installed it, so I can't give particulars about that but...he used different sized drippers so each pot got only the water it needed and installed little shut-off gauges (i don't believe that's the technical term... :wink: ) which allowed me to turn the side with all the pots off and leave the other side on to water the bed for longer. Each dripper head also had a little open-close gauge so I could control the water on an individual basis, too. Ours was not on a timer, in fact, I had to attach it to a hose everyday and run the hose into the kitchen sink :lol:, a timer would be good.

I used to spend about an hour watering all the pots by hand and often had to water everyday in the oppressive heat of summer. The job is done about ten minutes (max) with the drip system, and I don't get sunburned! You won't regret installing it! If you move your pots around a lot or change their locations seasonally (as I do) you might not want to make it too permanent. I water by hand in the cooler months because it brings me joy :D and I only need to water twice a week. Ours is above ground, so I was able to take it apart in a few large pieces and store it in the shed.



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