How to Grow Florence Fennel:
Florence fennel is an ornamental-style vegetable which is just grown for an ornamental vegetable which is grown since its swollen leaf bases or "bulbs" and edible leafs. Florence fennel can be used in anything from salads to bulbs that can be steamed, boiled, or otherwise cooked to be a side dishes to other sorts of already-made dishes sauteed in butter or sauce to help make them taste delectable. Leafs can also soak in vinegar to make a great addition to any sort of salad someone may want to make.
Seed Sowing Depth: The average Florence fennel seeds should be sown at a depth of about 6.35 mm (1/4 inch) deep and each set of seeds should be sown in rows about 30 mm (12 inches) apart to provide adequate room for each plant to grow.
When to Sow: Seeds for Florence fennel should be sown between mid-May and the end of July during the warmer months to ensure that the seeds grow to full maturation without any complications. It's best to use bolt-resistant cultivators for mid-June harvesting and the same goes for any harvesting thereafter, later on in the growing season. Seeds are generally sown in a soil with a pH of 5.5 to 6.8 for the best Florence fennel to be harvested. The more sun the plant gets the better the growth results will be. Full sun is idea, but mostly sunny is required to keep the plants growing in the best way possible.
Sowing Indoors/Outdoors: Bulbs do the best in sunny, summer weather meaning that they should be [planted outside when at all possible. Most bulbs will be ready to be harvested in the mid-summer to mid-autumn time frame. Bulbs will grow best in mounds of dirt and should be harvested before the first frosts of the fall hit. These mounds will be 7-10 cm (3-4 inches) across and the largest bulbs will grow in sunny weather in moist soil which provides your Florence fennel the best growing environment possible.
Plant Height & Width: The average Florence fennel plant will end up growing to be about big enough to take up 4 to 6 inches in width and they will need each row to be about 24 to 36 inches apart as the plant will, in most cases, fill out to be about that wide. This space is vital for the plant to grow to its fullest without being overcrowded and that about 4 to 6 inches wide and 24 to 36 inches around and tall is about tall as the average Florence fennel plant will become.
Leafs Color/Description: Florence fennel is a bulb-based plant that grow out of the ground with multiple "limbs" of greenery growing from each of the bulbs. The tops of the plant are thin, green, vein-y leaves that protrude in a plethora of directions from each "arm" that protrudes from the bulb. This makes quite a large plant from the bulb to all of the greenery that comes from the each "arm" of the bulb as it protrudes in various directions.
Growth Habits: Florence fennel grows best in the warmer spring-to-summer months from mid-May to about the end of September when weather is at its warmest. Florence fennel will thrive on this hot weather and grow more rapidly during this time than during any other time of the year. Grow the average Florence fennel in soil with a pH of 5.5 to 7.0 and sow seeds about 1/8 to 1/4 inch under the soil for the best plants. Plan to get all harvests in 6 to 8 weeks before the first frost of your zone depending on where you live as to when the first frost occurs to receive the best quality Florence fennel you can grow.
General Information about Florence Fennel & It's Uses: Florence fennel can be grown for a variety of reasons including as a tool used for a variety of various culinary uses that this highly aromatic herb provides. It tastes similar to anise as far as herbs and spices go. Florence fennelmakes a great salad when mixed with other simple ingredients such as lemon and mint and can also be mixed into things like pistachio rice for added flavor. Fennel is also great added to stuffing or even served with things like scallops as an edible blossom on top of the other parts of the meal.
Occasionally the stalks and stems are able to be used to flavor dishes with additional seasonings. Using all of that as well as the greenery on top ensure that none of the fennel goes to waste when you are cooking with this herb. The fennel leaves are also able to be chopped and sauteed as a side dish to any sort of meat and carbohydrate dish you may be trying to serve. Florence fennel can be served with leaves whole, chopped, or sliced to help amend the rest recipe.
Florence fennel is also used as a great resource of plenty of other types of nutrients including Vitamin C as well as a great source of fiber, potassium, and calcium to name a few nutrients that Florence fennel is very rich in.
Pests & Diseases of Florence Fennel: Florence fennel is subject to several different pests and diseases including dryness. The Florence fennel bulbs require a startling amount of water and must never be starved or deprived of it or they will not grow to maturation. Mulching around the plants will also help ensure that the plant has a "mound" built up around the bulb to ensure that it is fully nourished with the soil it needs to grow to maturation. Any less mulch or soil than that and it can be left bare and starved which can cause the entire plant to die before it even gets growing.
Plants must be cut off at the bulb when you want to use the plants or they will not be able to grow back and regenerate the way they are supposed to. The stems and leaves are able to be used in various culinary projects, so cutting at the stem should be the easiest way to get the plant to stay healthy and be able to ensure that the entire plant is used when it is harvested.
Rarely you will find slugs that will eat through the leaves and can possible kill the plant. Other times you may see whiteflies or aphids on the plant, but they rarely spell trouble unless there are truly a plethora of them that can overrun the plants.
Plants will be the best when they are able to reach maturity in mild temperatures. Some cold and heat are endured, but the best temperatures for Florence fennel are mild temperatures between 60 and 79 degrees Fahrenheit.
Anything going wrong with growing Florence fennel can be the result of the plant not making it and the fennel not being usable upon harvesting.
Harvesting & Storage Information: When harvesting Florence fennel be sure to clip the plant at the base by the bulb. The stems and leaves are able to be either dried or frozen to be preserved as herbs to use in dishes throughout the entire following year. Leafs of the plant do best when frozen to be preserved as herbs.