Gardenista’s members-only directory of landscape architects and garden designers. If you’re harvesting seeds, you will want to tie some small bags over the seed heads. Most varieties of fennel are herbal and will not produce a bulb. Have a great time growing fennel, green thumbs! So they are a very quick growing space filler! If you want your fennel to grow large bulbs, the plants have to be widely spaced. Fennel originated on the shores of the Mediterranean, so they will grow best in a sandy loam soil. When you sow directly you will be covering lightly with soil, so a shallow drill will be adequate. Above: Clip the top of the stalks with the flower heads and place them on a tray in a dark place to dry. You can even chew on a seed to freshen breath. When it comes to which part of the plant to harvest, the choice is yours. Use the pruning shears to trim feathery fennel leaves from the stems when they begin growing actively and the stems are at least 6 inches high. As Florence fennel develops, the stem grows fat and round until it is about the size of a tennis ball. You may need to prune back further at the start of the second year as this will encourage a bushier plant. eval(ez_write_tag([[468,60],'homegrownherbgarden_com-box-3','ezslot_12',106,'0','0'])); With so much of benefit to growing your own herb fennel, let’s look at how to do it! Store the seeds in an airtight container. Above: I stripped the stalks of any branches and flowers and left them to dry out. eval(ez_write_tag([[300,250],'homegrownherbgarden_com-large-mobile-banner-1','ezslot_1',113,'0','0'])); Cut it back after you have harvested the seeds. I plant my seeds a few at a time so bulbs don’t all form at once. Tag us using #gardenista. If the weather becomes unseasonably warm, all fennel, including finocchio, will bolt, which means it will produce flowers too soon and the bulb won’t form. Continue to harvest leaves as needed throughout the season. Many gardeners are seeking a plump fennel bulb from their plants but not all fennels are created equal. The flowers will also encourage the good bugs into your garden. About 90 days after sowing you will find that the plants start to flower. The main worry that you will have is protection from slugs and snails. If you can do without the large bulbs, you can group together a few more in a container for the leaves and seeds. It is recommended to harvest no more than one third of the plant at a time to keep it from being damaged. For this, you must pick a permanent spot for your fennel plant bed. Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. Fennel will be ready to plant out or sow directly from around mid May, as long as the evil frosts have passed (I am writing this in mid May and the frosts are being sneaky this year!). Care to try growing fennel in your garden this season? Though they’ll tolerate each other’s presence well enough, they’re close enough relatives to cross-pollinate and make saving seed for next year an issue. The definitive guide to stylish outdoor spaces, with garden tours, hardscape help, plant primers, and daily design news. Use it for another dinner as a salad addition or side dish. For optimal freshness, the seeds should be harvested just as the flowers are beginning to dry out and turn brown. How to Grow, Store, Cure and Smoke Garlic! So, when do I harvest my bulb fennel? Fennel seeds can be harvested as soon as they're ripe and the plant's flowers have turned brown. They’re a different and enjoyable dinnertime treat that can only be experienced during a limited time of year, and that makes them something special. Ta-da! Harvest the fennel seeds. Starting from scratch or upgrading an outdoor space? Everything you Need to Grow Your Own Herbs. Fennel bulbs take about 12 to 14 weeks from seed to harvest and depend on cool weather for bulb development. Place the fennel stump in a bowl with dechlorinated water and put it in a sunny windowsill. But fennel doesn’t divide well since they don’t like their roots disturbed. As they dry the seeds will fall into the paper bag and give you a good supply. Sourcebook for Cultivated Living, sister site to @remodelista Fennel can grow in pots and if you take this route, make sure to have enough space and drainage for this statuesque herb! Almost as easy as harvesting fennel seeds is this recipe for DIY Eau de Cologne. You may think that the two are very similar in flavour and aroma, however when they mix you get a very disappointing result and it will always mean a loss of taste and general lack of vibrancy. eval(ez_write_tag([[300,250],'homegrownherbgarden_com-box-4','ezslot_7',109,'0','0'])); When putting fennel into a container think about a passive watering system. Fennel bulbs take about 12 to 14 weeks from seed to harvest and depend on cool weather for bulb development. Pick the last of the seeds as you remove the empty heads. There are several species available for this use, including Foeniculum vulgare (common fennel), the wild fennel that grows along the roadsides in many parts of the United States. SOURCEBOOK FOR THE CONSIDERED HOME Space the seeds about 8 inches apart, you will need to thin to around a foot apart once the plants are around 6-10 inches in height. Carefully clear the soil away from the base of the bulb. Timing is important when growing fennel outdoors, especially if you want the plant to grow bulbs before bolting stunts bulb growth. Plan your trip with our destination guides to our favorite public gardens, hotels, restaurants, and shops. This will release seeds into the bags. Herb fennel will naturally begin to flower more toward the end of the season. You’ve just learned how to harvest fennel bulbs!