Fennel: everything you need to know for its cultivation in the garden

Growing fennel in the garden is a very rewarding experience, especially when you taste this delicious and unique bulb vegetable in different cooking recipes such as roasts, soups, sauces, purees, salads, etc.

Fennel, Foeniculum vulgare , is a biannual herbaceous horticultural plant native to the Mediterranean area that belongs to the botanical family Apiaceae  or Umbelifereae  like celery , parsley , dill and coriander . It has a large white bulb at the base of the stem with an aniseed flavor from which the stems emerge with elongated leaves and yellow flowers that are grouped in umbels. In the kitchen, both the stems and leaves and the bulb are used.

Fennel is a plant that attracts ladybugs or vaquitas, invaluable allies of market gardeners because they help prevent and combat some pests such as aphids. In addition, its flowers attract pollinating insects, so it is worth growing fennel in orchards and gardens to increase biodiversity and attract beneficial insects.

We also advise you which organic seeds to use , the best planters, growing boxes and tables for your garden and essential books to learn everything about organic gardening .

We are going to see how to plant fennel in the garden and what data is important.

Take a look at the lunar calendar of planting and labor

Fennel cultivation in the garden

Sowing fennel : we can opt for direct sowing or preparing seedlings or seedlings. If the seeds are kept at around 20ºC they will not take more than a week to germinate. In temperate climates we can start sowing fennel in February and March, in colder climates protected seedlings can be prepared or sown a few weeks later.

Fennel transplant : one month after sowing we can transplant the fennel seedlings to their final place. The afternoon before transplanting, water the area, add some compost or worm castings, and leave it well padded and soft. Remove the seedlings carefully from the seedlings trying to damage the roots and stems as little as possible and place the seedlings in holes, cover carefully with the soil and water lightly. Leave a space between plant and plant of 25 to 35 cm.

plant fennel Fennel hilling : in a period of 3 to 4 weeks after transplantation we carry out this work. Hilling consists of adding soil around the base of the stems to promote proper growth and make the celery more tender. And once done we water carefully.

Substrate for fennel : it is important that the fennel has enough space to grow and that is why we must provide it with deep, well-drained and loose soils. We must also add organic matter to the soil by adding compost or worm humus before planting this vegetable.

Sun Exposure : Fennel requires full sun exposure to grow best.

Temperature : ideally, fennel cultivation develops better in temperatures that are between 15 and 23 ºC. It does not tolerate excessively hot climates very well, nor does it tolerate cold ones.

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Watering fennel : it is a plant that requires regular, frequent and relatively generous waterings. It does not withstand water stress and if we do not provide enough water on a regular basis, neither the bulb nor the aerial parts develop well. I recommend that you use drip irrigation to make good use of the water and to maintain a constant degree of humidity in the soil.

Fennel diseases and pests : the most common pests of this vegetable are aphids and gray worms. As for fennel diseases, the most common may be botrytis. Both to prevent and combat pests and diseases you have a multitude of ecological remedies here .

Fennel harvest : after two and a half months we can begin to harvest the fennel leaves. We do this by cutting the stem from the base of the plant with clean scissors. Later the stems will sprout again. If we grow fennel to take advantage of its bulb, it is preferable to cut the stems regularly to favor the development of the bulb. In a period of approximately three and a half months we can begin to harvest the bulb.


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