Grown for leaves, seed and the ground-level bulb, this herb has feathery leaves that are often called for in Italian cuisine. Florence Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) has an anise flavor. The bulb can be sauteed, grilled or eaten raw; the leaves can be added to salad or other dishes; and seeds can be ground as a spice. Often used in Indian, Pakistani, Afghani, Iranian and Middle Eastern cuisine. Grows 2-3 feet tall.
Each packet contains approximately 200 seeds.
Planting and Harvesting Tips:
A perennial plant in hardiness zones up to six, fennel is best started indoors in over-sized peat pots and then gently set in the ground — after danger of frost has passed — without disturbing the roots. Plant in sunny locations with well-drained soil and space 12-18 in. apart in rows or beds.
Harvest leaves anytime after the plants have become established. Do NOT cut more than is needed at any one time.
Bulbs are ready to harvest when they are 3-inches in diameter — roughly 3-4 months after planting. Carefully uncover and slice away from the roots using a sharp knife. Use immediately for best flavor.
Harvest seeds when they ripen — about one month after the plant flowers. They can be separated by placing the dry heads in a paper bag and shaking. Store in air-tight jars and use as needed.