Among the many cultivated varieties of fennel, Florence Fennel (Common fennel was. azoric) or Fennel from Provence also called Sweet Dill. This perennial plant of the family of Apiaceae is highly regarded for its bulbous bulge eaten as a vegetable, but its seeds, stems and leaves are also used as aromatics in the kitchen. All the edible parts of this fennel have a anise flavor. Rich in vitamins, minerals and trace elements, Fennel is low in calories. It is therefore a health ally and a slimming friend that deserves its place in the vegetable garden. Let’s see how to grow it and when to harvest it.
This is in spring Fennel is sown in place, but with the exception of the southern regions, the seedlings must be sheltered because at this time of the year, there is still a risk of frost. We can for example protect seedlings under a forcing veil, a frame or even a tunnel. The Fennel sowing method is as follows:
- Draw a furrow,
- Place the seeds, making sure they are not too tight,
- Cover them with a thin layer of potting soil, about 1 cm,
- Water in a fine rain so as not to dig up the seeds.
If you want to sow in several rows, they must be spaced about forty centimeters apart.
When the seedlings begin to appear, it is necessary to carry out thethinning to keep only one foot every 20 cm. The plants that are removed can of course be transplanted to another place in the vegetable garden, but for this they must be about 10 cm high.
We can wait mid-May early June pour buy some fennel plants in pots in order to be exempted from sowing. This avoids having to install shelters because at this time the temperatures are much milder. We then proceed to transplanting without waiting, respecting a depth of 6 cm and a distance of 20 cm between the young plants. It only remains to water copiously at the foot of the small Fennel.
This plant of southern origin likes sunny exposures. Not hardy, Fennel fears the slightest frost. He appreciates the neutral solsfurniture, devoid of stones, costs well riches.
It is important to prepare the soil before planting the fennels. You have to dig, remove all the stones, eliminate weeds, taking great care not to leave roots. Must also enrich the soil with organic matter. For example, manure or compost can be used once they are ripe.
Caring for Fennel in the Garden
Here is how to maintain your fennel crop which, it must be admitted, does not pose any particular problem.
It is essential to always ensure that keep the soil cool thanks to regular watering because the lack of water leads to a hardening of the bulbous bulge, this part that is eaten as a vegetable. Vigilance is therefore essential in summer because the soil tends to dry out very quickly. The ideal is to water early in the morning or at the beginning of the evening, generously wetting the soil all around the feet.
Hoeing from time to time helps maintain the lightness of the soil because Fennel likes loosened soil. Use this to eliminate weeds.
Two weeks before harvest, the pseudo-bulbs of fennel appear out of the ground because they have grown well. It is therefore necessary to mound in order to cover them. This consists of bringing soil to the base of the plants.
Pests and diseases
Fennel is interesting because of its great resistance to undesirables and diseases. He’s not sensitive to much and that’s good. At most we can see some aphidsbut it is easy to dislodge them as soon as they appear by spraying them.
You can start harvesting your Fennel around three months after sowing. It is necessary to use a spade fork to gently lift the root blocks in order to cut the edible bulbous part so as to leave the roots in the ground. Harvesting is done as needed.
The fact of leaving the roots of Fennel in the ground after the harvest makes it possible to see developing rather quickly feathery shoots that can be used in cooking because they are very aromatic.