Kitchen Garden Seeds

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Fennel

A long-cherished favorite in European bistro cuisine, Fennel is best raised as a seedling in a well-ventilated, well-lit spot and transplanted into a sunny, well-draining spot in the garden after the last frost date (with as little root disturbance as possible). Harvest is a snap~when the "bulb" is 3" to 5" high, cut it off at the base; it may even resprout. Its "bulb" (not really a bulb at all but composite, thickened stalks) and its foliage are readily incorporated into a myriad of crisp-raw salads, crudities, Potato mashes, soups, pasta dishes and savory gratins paired with ham and Potatoes. We adore it in Creamy Corn and Fennel, Ina Garten's Potato-Fennel Gratin (the best Potato dish ever) and in our Roasted Vegetable Mélange. Deer resistant.

Average seed life: 2 years.

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Gardening Tips

Direct-Sow Basics

Fennel Sowing Instructions
Planting Depth
:1/2”
Row Spacing:12”
Plant Spacing:8”-10”
Days to Germination:7-14 days
Germination Temperature:65°F

To raise Fennel transplants, sow seed sparingly in pots, provide good sunlight, good air ventilation and warm conditions (but not overly hot). Prepare the Fennel bed in moderately fertile, loamy, well-draining soil. Accustom seedlings gradually to the outdoors, moving them into the garden after the danger of frost has passed. Disturbing the roots of the seedlings may impair bulb formation, causing only leafy growth, so be careful when handling the seedlings. Incorporate organic fertilizer around each transplant and water well. Or, direct-sow when the danger of frost has passed. Thin out when seedlings are 2" tall. Fennel likes neutral pH soil. Keep the soil moist and fertilize as needed. Pinch off flower stalks to keep the plant’s energy directed into the bulb. Harvest round, plump bulbs by cutting to the soil level – tiny Fennels may then sprout from the base.

Deer Resistant Seed Varieties

Fennel is Our Friend