Heirloom. Organic. Florence fennel is the bulb type of fennel that is eaten as a vegetable. All parts of the plant are fragrant and can be used in culinary applications. Florence fennel cultivation began with the Greeks and Romans and filtered through the ages to Europe, the Middle East and Asia. Growing Florence fennel in the home garden is an easy way to bring this versatile , strongly perfumed plant into your recipes and home. Florence fennel, a wonderfully ornamental vegetable, is grown for its swollen leaf bases or ‘bulbs’ and edible leaves. When using in salads, the flavor can be improved by slicing the bulb and putting it in a bowl of water and ice cubes in the fridge for an hour. Steam, grill or boil the ‘bulbs’ and serve with cheese sauce or butter; infuse the leaves in vinegar or add as garnish to salad. Florence fennel does not like root disturbance, so either sow direct ½" deep in rows 12-18" apart, thinning eventually to about 12" each way, or sow in small pots or modules, hardening off before planting out at the same final spacing. This method is recommended for early sowings and late sowings transplanted under cover. The first outdoor plantings can be protected with crop covers such as fleece.
Planting Florence Fennel
While starting seeds of the Florence Fennel is not necessarily difficult, the right conditions will make the process successful. Most gardeners sow Florence Fennel Seeds directly in the ground in the spring when the threat of frost has passed. Keep the ground moist but not wet for the first couple of weeks. Pick a sunny, well-drained spot for planting for the best performance. Prefers a well-drained fertile soil in a sunny position. Heirloom / Open Pollinated Florence Fennel are cool weather loving plants that prefer well drained loose soil and an even amount of water. Plant heirloom Florence Fennel in rows or hills but make sure the soil is well warmed. Germination should occur in 21-25 days in soil 70-85°F.
In rows thin plants to or set out transplants 12-18" apart. Height: 20-24” Spacing: 12-18" inches, 12-18 inches between rows Depth: 1/4 inch Germination: 21-25 days
Starting from Seed Indoors
Do not try to transplant…this will not work.
Direct-seeding into the Garden
Turn over the area you've selected to a depth of approximately 2 inches. Rake the area until it's level and smooth. Water the area until the soil is damp but not saturated. Scatter the seeds in the area. Gently rake the area to distribute the seeds further and protect them from birds. Or, press the seeds into the soil and cover with no more than 1/4 inches of soil. You can also place 2 to 3 seeds every 12 inches in rows approximately 12-18 inches apart, and cover seeds with 1/4 inches of soil. Place planting stakes around the area so you will know where to water. Check on your seeds about once a day. Make sure to mist the soil whenever it appears dry. Germination for the Fennel plants is approximately 21 to 25 days, depending on the warmth of the soil. Some gardeners like to plant Fennel in small hills.
Growing plants from seeds successfully depends on a lot of factors and this makes it impossible to guarantee success on every batch of seeds planted. Factors include, soil composition, PH, temperature, moisture levels, seed depth, soil density, seed viability, seed storage and many others. We tested the germination of all our seeds and this seed variety is around 80%, but your results may vary based on exactly how you plant and all the environmental factors. Good luck.