Every part of this gift from Italy is useful! Florence Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) has bulbs that can be roasted or eaten fresh, dill-like leaves that can be added to salads or used as garnish, and the seeds can be saved for a seasoning. This tender perennial is grown as an annual in North America and does best with frequent watering. Grows to 3 feet tall and is certified organic.
Each packet contains approximately 250 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- to 18-inches 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.