Growing Herb Fennel
Often used for its leaves or seeds, fennel has a sweet aniseed taste commonly added to salad, soups, bread, or tea but traditionally compliments fish dishes.
The seeds can also be chewed after a meal to aid digestive problems such as bloating or heartburn.
In the veg plot however, fennel will inhibit growth of many plants but can attract many predatory insects to control pest such as hoverflies, ladybird beetles, parasitic wasps, and tachinid flies. We plant ours on the outskirts of our veg plot to attract the beneficial insects but avoid disturbing the growth of our veggies.
We find that the best time to sow herb fennel is from March to may, although it can withstand cold temperatures and may have some growth, germination may struggle until warmer temperatures. We sow our herb fennel in pots and modules in late April and germinate on a windowsill or in a green house.
Sow seeds indoors in pots between March and April with good quality compost.
Transplant the seedlings outside after the last frost avoiding too much root disturbance. Pumpkins should be planted 30-45cm apart to allow enough room for growth.
Choose a sunny position sheltered from cold winds.
Mix some compost or organic matter into the soil and water in well.
Feed with organic fertiliser once first flowers appear.
Harvest the leaves throughout the summer, or let it flower and die off to harvest and dry its seeds.