Growing Fennel, Planting, Harvesting Seeds and Leaves
Today, we learn the topic of growing fennel plants in your backyard. Also, we talk step by step of planting fennel, caring fennel plants and harvesting method of fennel for leaves and seeds.
How to Grow fennel in the Backyard of your Home
Fennels are native to Mediterranean region ad they are grown for the purpose of their bulb mostly. It is also called finocchio or sweet anise. The growth of fennel is an excellent way for adding spice to any recipe by making use of homemade ingredients. The aroma of fennel which is pungent will be very inviting whereas the flavor which is earthy and rich is well known to the contribution of taste to many of the dishes. There are many Fennel plant uses. Fennels are rich in the content of vitamin C and they have been used as a remedy for digestion problems for many years. Adding to this, the green fronds which are delicate are very pleasing which makes the fennel a wonderful addition to any garden. In this article, we will learn how to grow fennel in your backyard garden along with the fennel growing tips.
Plantation of fennel:
- In the first place, you will need to select a variety of fennel to grow. The fennel type you select for growing will be completely based on the part of the fennel you desire to use like the seeds or the bulb or the fronds.
- Florence fennel is the one which is grown for the purpose of its stem which is bulbous. It can be consumed raw, baked or grilled. You can also eat the stalks which are thicker. These stalks sprout from the bulb and they are somewhat similar to the celery.
- Herb fennel will never produce the bulbous stem. This herb fennel is grown for the purpose of its leaves which are delicate. Herb fennel will produce the seeds which have a flavor like licorice and are mostly used for the purpose of seasoning.
- The plantation process of both the fennel varieties is the same. The plantation of the fennel seeds has to done directly in the backyard at the end of the spring season.
- The fennel seeds have to be planted in the soil which is fertile and also well-drained. If required, the soil has to be loosened somewhat more before the plantation and you will need to add some amount of compost and a little amount of soil for the sake of drainage.
- The seeds have to be planted at a distance of approximately 10 inches from each other and you will need to then cover them with a slight layer of soil for about a depth of ⅙ th. It is always a very good idea to plant a few more amount of seeds than you actually require and later, you can thin them.
- The fennel has to be planted far away from coriander or dill. These plants will undergo cross-pollination which will decrease the production of seeds and also affect the taste of the fennel.
Care and maintenance of the fennel:
- Fennel will grow to its best when placed in full sun. In the initial stage, you will need to water it on a regular basis for keeping the soil in a moist condition. Once the establishment of the fennel is done, you can water it when there is a drought in your locality. Make sure that you are not overwatering as this will cause rotting in the roots. There is no requirement for the fertilization of soil at the time of the growing season.
- As soon as the formation of bulb starts at the stem’s base, you will need to hill up to the soil which is surrounding the plant to cover it up. This will protect it from the sun and also helps to prevent it from turning into a green color. This is actually called as blanching as it will keep the bulb sweet and white.
- Fennel is generally not affected by pests and diseases, but in some occasions, you will see the aphids or whiteflies on the leaves of the fennel plant. If you see them, you can make use of an insecticidal soap which is pyrethrin-based in order to get rid of them.
Harvesting Fennel leaves:
- You can begin harvesting the leaves of the fennel once you see that the plant is established well.
- Make sure that you are not taking more number of leaves at a time as this may cause harm to the plant.
- The leaves of the fennel can be added as a flavor which is anise, aromatic or licorice to the salads, soups and other diets which are of Mediterranean style.
- If you intend to use fennel on a regular basis, then you can go ahead and plant multiple fennel plants. You can harvest one plant for a week, but always keep in mind to water and fertilize the plant after the harvest is done.
Harvesting the bulb:
- You can harvest the Florence fennel bulbs once they will reach the size of a tiny tennis ball, this will generally happen at the end of summer or at the start of autumn.
- For harvesting, you will need to cut the fennel which is below the bulb at the soil surface. You can use it immediately or you can store it in the refrigerator for many days.
- There is no need to rush and harvest the fennel bulbs as soon as the climatic conditions become cool as they will stay for almost two frosts. Anyways, make sure that you are not allowing the fennel bulb to grow too much large or the taste of it will become bitter.
Harvesting the Fennel seeds:
- Now, let us learn how to harvest fennel seeds. The seeds of the fennel need to be harvested as soon as they become ripe and the flowers of the plant have become brown.
- The seeds will be very loose. So it is always best to collect them and keep them in a bowl or sheet which is largely below the plant and shake the head of the seed. As an alternative, you can also start wrapping the seed heads by making use of a cheesecloth when you are removing the stalks and the seeds can be removed later.
- Let the seeds to completely dry and then store them in a place which is cool and dark in a container which has an airtight lid. They will be up to 180 days.
That’s all folks about growing fennel techniques and tips your backyard. Keep Gardening!.
Read: How to Make Clove Oil.