| Fennel |
| Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) is a hardy annual in the Umbelliferae family, which includes parsnip, carrot, dill, chervil, coriander, parsley, skirret and celery. |
- Bulbing-types produce large sweet bulbs.
- Non-bulbing (leaf) fennel is grown as an herb or for seed and the attractive, feathery leaves.
| Soil and Nutrient Requirements |
| Fennel needs deep, well drained, moderately fertile soil with a pH from 6.1-8.0. It has a very deep taproot. |
| Position |
| Full Sun |
| Seeding Depth |
| 1/4-1/2” |
| Plant Spacing |
| Direct seed at 2” and thin to 6-8" |
| Row Spacing |
| 18” |
| When to Sow |
| Direct seed fennel mid-spring through late summer, or start transplants 4-5 weeks before planting date. Plant outdoors after danger of hard frost has passed. Bolting can result from disturbing the roots. |
| Frost Tolerant |
| Yes |
| Drought Tolerant |
| Yes. |
| Heat Tolerant |
| No |
| Seed Specs |
| 7M seeds/oz avg. M=1,000 |
| Seeding Rate |
| 400 plants/100’ double row using 6” plant spacing; 58,100 plants/acre, using 6” plant spacing, 18” row spacing. |
| Harvest |
| Harvest bulbs at 3-4” in diameter. |
| Storage |
| Fennel is delicate and will dry out quickly in storage. Store in cooler as close to freezing as possible. Quality will keep for 3-4 days. |
| Pest Info |
- Aphids, whitefly and lepidopterous larvae can be controlled by floating row cover in areas where they are a problem.
| Disease Info |
- Fungal leaf blights caused by Alternaria dauci or Cercospora carotae can cause severe defoliation and greatly reduce yields. Generally, cercospora blight appears earlier in the season than alternaria blight. Both these fungi are seed-borne but can also be spread by crop residue from previous years.
- White mold (Sclerotinia sclerotiorum) manifests as a cottony white mycelium around roots and lower plant parts, usually late in the season. Avoid planting in areas which are shady or have poor drainage, practice crop rotations with non-vegetable crops.
| Seed Saving Instructions |
| Insect pollinated annual. Varieties should be isolated by ½ mile. When umbels are dry they may be harvested from the plant. Seeds will retain 50% germination for four years. |