This tall, fernlike perennial is a fine addition to the backyard. Though the overall look of flowers means the plant has ceased growing, the flowers do have the extra advantage of attracting beneficial insects. The most recognizable fennel can also be called Florence fennel or finocchio. It’s characterized by a white, artichoke-like bulb. Common fennel, that does not have a lubricant but does possess raw stems and greenery, is grown for its seeds.

Fennel does best in locations with a mild winter or a lengthy and cool spring, as it’s going to bolt readily. Even though the bulb is the most commonly used section of fennel, you can also eat the stems and use the foliage within an anise-like garnish.

More: How to grow cool-season crops

When to plant: Preferably in summertime so that it will mature in fall; or start seeds indoors about 1 1/2 to two months before the last frost date and set out plants once there is no longer a threat of frost.

Days to maturity: 60 to 100

moderate requirement: Full sun

Water requirement: Frequent

Favorites: Bronze, Bronze & Green, Di Firenze, Orion, Herald, Trieste, Zefa Fino

Planting and care: Sow seeds 1/4 inch deep and 1 inch apart, then thin to 10 inches apart. Set at that exact same distance. The soil ought to be fertile and well drained.

Water often and maintain the region around the plants free of weeds; mulching will help deter weeds and keep the soil cool. Once bulbs begins to shape, mound soil around these to blanch them.

Harvest: Bring the entire plant to crop once it has attained full size.

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