HoneyBerry
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1124
Joined: Sat Jul 18, 2015 5:10 pm
Location: Zone 8A Western Washington State

Spaced-Out Fennel

I bought some Florence Fennel seeds. I want to grow some for my bird. He loves fennel tops. Fennel tops for the bird (who, by the way, runs this place) and fennel bulbs for the human servants. The seed packet instructions say to plant mid summer for a fall harvest. I'd like to space the plantings so that the harvest is spread out rather than all at once. So my plan is to start planting June 1 for a Sept 1 harvest. Then successive plantings through June 30 for a final harvest the first week of October. Does this sound like a good plan? I've never grown fennel before.
ISFP "The Artist"

User avatar
rainbowgardener
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 25303
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 11:04 pm
Location: TN/GA 7b

Re: Spaced-Out Fennel

As far as the fennel tops, one fennel plant produces tons of feathery leaves. You can keep cutting it and it will keep growing more. If you are only talking about one bird, I'm sure you could keep it in fennel all season from one plant.

Image

In all honesty, my fennel which is in a container does not get that tall. But it gets about 3' tall and wide and keeps producing more stems and leaves all the time.
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

HoneyBerry
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1124
Joined: Sat Jul 18, 2015 5:10 pm
Location: Zone 8A Western Washington State

Re: Spaced-Out Fennel

That's good to know. I'll save some seeds for next year.
ISFP "The Artist"

imafan26
Mod
Posts: 11231
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2013 1:32 pm
Location: hawaii, zone 12a 587 ft elev.

Re: Spaced-Out Fennel

I plant fennel aroung December January every year. In my frost free zone it is perennial but I replace it every year anyway. If you want bulbs you might want to space your plantings a bit. Florence fennel bulbs need to be harvested before they open up and the fennel flowers. The fennel flowers will last for months. It also attracts beneficial insects to the pollen and ladybugs like to lay their eggs on the fennel to eat the aphids that are attracted to them. The aphids don't seem to bother the fennel much but it is one of the reasons why you plant fennel by itself.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

HoneyBerry
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1124
Joined: Sat Jul 18, 2015 5:10 pm
Location: Zone 8A Western Washington State

Re: Spaced-Out Fennel

Thank you imafan. I didn't know all that about fennel. It would be fun to have ladybugs in my yard. I had a whole tree full of ladybug larva one year. I will start planting fennel in June and see how it goes. My bird is a seed junkie. Fennel is the only veggie that he will eat. So I want to grow some for him. Fennel is not always available at the store. And the fennel at the store doesn't have very much of the fronds part. I guess fennel is really a herb, but the bulb seems veggie-like.
ISFP "The Artist"

User avatar
applestar
Mod
Posts: 27657
Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 11:21 pm
Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

Re: Spaced-Out Fennel

Oooh, does the store fennel bulb come with any bit of the more corky base? I wonder if they leaf sufficient amount of the base of the bulb to grow roots? I saw fennel bulbs at the store the other day, but was in a hurry and didn't look at them closely. It's been a while since I bought one. Celery with sufficient basal tissue will root and grow.

Fennel seems pretty cold hardy -- they were one of the last plants to die after frost last fall. I wondered if they might have made it if we had a mild winter... But we didn't.
Learning never ends because we can share what we've learned. And in sharing our collective experiences, we gain deeper understanding of what we learned.

HoneyBerry
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1124
Joined: Sat Jul 18, 2015 5:10 pm
Location: Zone 8A Western Washington State

Re: Spaced-Out Fennel

The store fennel is trimmed up pretty clean. I guess I could see if they would sell me some untrimmed fennel that is like "fresh-from-the-garden". Sometimes the produce section accommodates special requests. For example, sometimes they give me carrot tops for the bunnies that show up in my yard. (Yes, I do feed the little rascals, instead of shooing them away.) I have to compete with several other rabbit people and horse people and one donkey person. The produce people call us 'the compost people'. The produce is nice stuff, all organic. I am lucky to have access to such a place.

My neighbor has some old fennel plants on the side of the house, but it doesn't look so good. I think it is a different variety, not the edible variety.
ISFP "The Artist"

User avatar
Gary350
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 4801
Joined: Mon Mar 23, 2009 5:59 pm
Location: TN. 50 years of gardening experience.

Re: Spaced-Out Fennel

I have never grown Fennel. I have no clue what to do with it? Do you eat it or just smell it?

If they make flowers all summer and the birds like them, I can't think of a better reason to plant Fennel.

User avatar
Lindsaylew82
Mod
Posts: 2116
Joined: Thu May 22, 2014 1:26 am
Location: Upstate, SC

Re: Spaced-Out Fennel

Those things are HUGE!

We had bronze fennel that came back for 2 years after the first year we planted, but not again after that! It only got about 2 feet high. I don't remember it ever blooming! Shame, cause I LOOOOOOOOOOVE fennel seed in my red pasta sauce!
Lindsay
Upstate, SC
USDA Zone 7b/ Sunset Zone 31

HoneyBerry
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1124
Joined: Sat Jul 18, 2015 5:10 pm
Location: Zone 8A Western Washington State

Re: Spaced-Out Fennel

The fennel that I buy at the health food store is really good. The bulb part is crunchy like celery and has a mild licorice-like flavor. It is good in salads, or eaten raw by itself like celery. I have a Fennel Slaw recipe that I haven't tried yet. The fennel that I plan to grow is Florence Fennel and it is green. Fennel is considered to be a health food.
A customer behind me in the grocery line saw my fennel and made a comment. He said that he likes fennel because it "relaxes his colon". Did I need to know that? :eek:

I have seen bronze fennel before in gardens. I don't know much about bronze fennel. It seems to be very different from the green Florence Fennel that is good to eat. I don't know that bronze fennel is necessarily good to eat. I want to learn more about bronze fennel and fennel in general.
ISFP "The Artist"

User avatar
Lindsaylew82
Mod
Posts: 2116
Joined: Thu May 22, 2014 1:26 am
Location: Upstate, SC

Re: Spaced-Out Fennel

I like to slice it, toss with salt and pepper and EVOO, and roast it at 400F till it's all brown and roasty delicious! Mmmmmmmmm!

The bronze is more ornamental. I didn't realize that when I purchased it. We nibbled the tops some. It was VERY licorice-y. I'm not even really sure why I got it, maybe as a beneficial attractant? I can't remember.... I know I only had one, and I planted it right on the edge of a garden row.
Lindsay
Upstate, SC
USDA Zone 7b/ Sunset Zone 31

HoneyBerry
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1124
Joined: Sat Jul 18, 2015 5:10 pm
Location: Zone 8A Western Washington State

Re: Spaced-Out Fennel

I think that the tall fennel in the picture must be a different variety than the Florence Fennel that I plan to grow.
Florence Fennel is smaller and it is grown for the bulb.
I think that Florence Fennel is an annual.
ISFP "The Artist"

HoneyBerry
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1124
Joined: Sat Jul 18, 2015 5:10 pm
Location: Zone 8A Western Washington State

Re: Spaced-Out Fennel

I like the looks of that tall fennel. I think I will grow that variety too. I'm sure the birds would like that variety. I have a good spot for it.
ISFP "The Artist"

User avatar
rainbowgardener
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 25303
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 11:04 pm
Location: TN/GA 7b

Re: Spaced-Out Fennel

The florence fennel is a perennial, but people grow it as an annual, because once you dig and eat the bulb, it is gone. But mine I have in a container overwintered and is producing new bulbs. I ate one, but mostly I use it for fennel leaf and fennel seed.
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

User avatar
Gary350
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 4801
Joined: Mon Mar 23, 2009 5:59 pm
Location: TN. 50 years of gardening experience.

Re: Spaced-Out Fennel

BirdLover wrote:The fennel that I buy at the health food store is really good. The bulb part is crunchy like celery and has a mild licorice-like flavor. It is good in salads, or eaten raw by itself like celery. I have a Fennel Slaw recipe that I haven't tried yet. The fennel that I plan to grow is Florence Fennel and it is green. Fennel is considered to be a health food.
A customer behind me in the grocery line saw my fennel and made a comment. He said that he likes fennel because it "relaxes his colon". Did I need to know that? :eek: .
That is funny. LOL Next time I see someone buying a plant of any kind I am going to say. I like those plants they relaxe my colon. LOL.

Return to “Vegetable Gardening Forum”