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Fennel

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Fennel

Post  swripley on 3/28/2010, 10:37 am

Any recommendations on starting seeds indoors or out? I'm in zone 4.

swripley

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Re: Fennel

Post  Lavender Debs on 3/28/2010, 11:56 am

This is my first year for this pricy veg (Florence for you?). I've grown the perennial in my herb garden and it was a no-brainer. Put it in once, it comes back every year. This must be different and thus the price in the market?

From my favorite Seattle garden writer: Annual or bulbing fennel…..is a fast-growing annual that can be sown in late winter (under cover) or in early to late spring. Sow …..in full sun. (I skipped the row garden, heavy soil information.

The TTS catalogue says that it can be grown spring through autumn. It is in the category of European Greens which are “generally cool season crops. . . .best direct sown,. . .best growth when days are between 60 to 70 degrees, 10 to 16 inches apart (so 1 to a square?) Re-sow every 2 to 4 weeks. Watch for aphids.

Geoff Hamilton (British “The Ornamental Kitchen Garden”) sows in shallow “drills” 9 inches apart. Keep the plants well watered or they will run to seed. When the bulbs start to swell, mulch between the plants and draw it up around the plants to keep them tender (this might be why they cost so much?) Harvest three weeks or so after dressing with compost. If the compost is drawn well up the plant it will stand a certain amount of frost.

Deborah (zone 7ish) ….I’ll be following your progress to encourage myself too.

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Re: Fennel

Post  swripley on 3/28/2010, 12:19 pm

Deborah - great info all. I am a big fennel fan and your right it is expensive.I think I am going with starting seeds outside 4 weeks before last frost and plant every two weeks, 3 squares total. I figure worse case scenerio I loose the earliest planting=just a few seeds. I'm going to push it to 2 per square as gardeners.com shows it 2 per in their design a kitchen garden section. gardenernet.com says "harvest bulbs when they reach tennis ball size or bigger. Pull every other one out as needed to allow those remaining to grow even bigger." So if I alternate square for harvest I should be okay. I'll keep you posted.

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Re: Fennel

Post  Lavender Debs on 3/28/2010, 12:41 pm

That is a great idea. I'm going to do that too. It has never hurt flowers to crowd them, why not fennel?

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