Avid cooks will enjoy growing fennel. The bulb, the feathery foliage, and even the seeds are excellent for European-inspired cooking.
The bulb and stems have an anise (licoricelike) flavor that adds interest to raw salads or vegetable appetizers served with a dip. The leaves are also excellent in salads or served snipped atop fish or chicken. And the seed adds a distinct flavor to Southern Italian-inspired red sauces.
Florence fennel, also called bulb fennel, differs from the perennial herb also called fennel in that Florence fennel forms a swollen base at ground level. For best bulb flavor, mound mulch around the base of the plant when bulbs reach 2 inches in diameter.
- Plant Type:
- Plant Height:
- 24-30 inches tall
- Plant Width:
- 12-16 inches wide
Begin harvesting leaves when the plant reaches 18 inches tall by snipping tender shoots with scissors. When bulbs reach 3 inches in diameter, dig the whole plant and store bulbs in the refrigerator until needed. The bulbs become tough and stringy if left in the ground too long.
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