imafan26
Mod
Posts: 11388
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2013 1:32 pm
Location: hawaii, zone 12a 587 ft elev.

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
Mod
Posts: 11388
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2013 1:32 pm
Location: hawaii, zone 12a 587 ft elev.

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
Senior Member
Posts: 266
Joined: Sun Jan 06, 2013 3:24 pm
Location: AZ, zone 9

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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