Fennel - Bulb Style - Started from our Seeds
All of our Seedlings are grown from my late mothers Organic Seed Collection - I do not know the Specific "variety" - but It appears to be "Florence" , and is easy to grow here in Florida.
Fennel - (Bulb style) which produces crisp celery-like bulbs bursting with anise-like flavor in addition to fragrant foliage and seeds. In Florida, you may grow it as a perennial or possibly biennial. However, it won’t withstand a hard frost and grows in most places as an annual.
We grow our Fennel in our Garden in Rows, but you may wish to grow Fennel in containers on a patio or balcony. Two things to remember here:
- The tap root is about a foot long, so you’ll need a deep pot.
- Pots dry out quickly, so be vigilant with watering.
Ideally, Fennel bulbs mature before flower buds appear. You won’t get blossoms or seeds if you harvest the bulbs, but the vegetable will be at the peak of sweetness.
Bulb varieties may reach three feet tall as fine, dense leaves form and the vegetable begins to enlarge. Once you see swelling, mound dirt up around the bulb to protect it from sunburn. This technique is called “blanching.”
To get the best bang for your buck, snip the ends of the foliage before they begin to bud for exceptional bulb development. Preventing the formation of buds – and hence, seeds – is also an excellent way to curb the invasive tendencies of the plant.
Delicate and delicious foliage and blossoms may be harvested throughout the growing season for use in salads, and as attractive garnishes. The rule of thumb here is to harvest bulbs when they are about tennis ball-sized. Slice each off cleanly at ground level with a clean knife, and slice the elongated stems and profusion of leaves off at about three to six inches above the bulb. (See photo) All parts are edible.