CERTIFIED ORGANIC! Like many crops, when fennel bulbs are ready they need to be harvested — if they're not picked right away, they tend to bolt. When fennel plants bolt, the growth is very fast, almost sudden. The quest for bolt-resistant bulbing fennel has led to the new hybrid, Preludio Organic. Its bulbs are heavy and substantial, shiny smooth on the outside, and packed with flavour. They are dense and uniform, with firm, crisp texture, and the tops are verdant and upright, so they look fabulous on the market table. This is the best variety for late summer and early fall harvests in most areas.
Matures in 80 days - 50 days for baby bulbs. (Hybrid seeds)
Lacy, beautiful fennel plants grace planter boxes and the delicate leaves are lovely in salads. Like dill and parsley, the flowers of fennel are intensely attractive to beneficial insects. Grow fennel in a sunny position in well-drained loamy soil. If your soil is on the clay side, add some sharp sand to the bed. In the first year, fennel will grow to about 60cm (24″) tall, but in mild areas plants can reach 2m (6′) tall. Follow these How to Grow Dill instructions.
Season & Zone
Season: Warm season
Exposure: Full sun
Zone: Hardy to Zone 5
Direct sow any time after last frost to early summer. Fennel can be started indoors, but like its close relative dill, it responds to transplant shock by bolting. Peat, coir, or newspaper pots may help prevent this. Optimal soil temperature for germination: 15-21°C (60-70°F).
Sow seeds 1cm (½”) deep, a few seeds in each spot you want a plant to grow. Thin or space to 30cm (12″) apart.
Grow fennel in a sunny position in well-drained loamy soil. If your soil is on the clay side, add some sharp sand to the bed. In the first year, fennel will grow to about 60cm (24″) tall, but in mild areas plants can reach 2m (6′) tall.
Gather the fronds to use in salads and dressings. Use the seeds in baking. These plants will self-sow readily and become a weed if the seedheads are not removed in the fall.
Usual seed life: 3 years.
Not a companion for any garden food plant, fennel will actually inhibit growth in bush beans, kohlrabi, tomatoes, and others. Plant it, but keep it out of the veggie garden.
More on Companion Planting.