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Vegetable Gardening: How/when to grown FENNEL?

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drthor

drthor
Irving, TX
(Zone 8a)

December 21, 2010
9:10 AM

Post #8270655

I have not figure out when to grom FENNEL here in Dallas, TX.
Nobody seems to know much about this amazing vegetable.
This year I have started from seeds indoor in september and right now it look like this.
I know that Fennel like cold weather, but how cold?
Right now in Dallas we are having an amazing hot fall !! and today will be 80 F degrees since it is the first day of winter !!!
Will I need to cover it up?
Any help will be appreciated

Thumbnail by drthor
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drthor

drthor
Irving, TX
(Zone 8a)

December 21, 2010
9:21 AM

Post #8270668

more

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podster
Deep East Texas, TX
(Zone 8a)

December 22, 2010
4:50 AM

Post #8272081

Are you trying for bulbs? I treat mine as a perennial, staying in ground year around. It shakes off frosts and freezes.

I need to divide the clump and wonder when the best time is to do so.

drthor

drthor
Irving, TX
(Zone 8a)

December 22, 2010
8:23 AM

Post #8272341

I am growing Fennel Fino which it will make the bulb.
I grew it last year with mix results. One things I know for sure is taht it doesn't like the heat.
Any help??
podster
Deep East Texas, TX
(Zone 8a)

December 23, 2010
5:07 AM

Post #8273402

I honestly don't know that I can offer help.
When you say mixed results, did some bulb and others not?

From my experience, it can endure hard freezes so I would definitely plant it out now if you haven't yet.

This message was edited Dec 23, 2010 7:09 AM

drthor

drthor
Irving, TX
(Zone 8a)

December 23, 2010
7:04 AM

Post #8273553

I just had a few last year ... but I was just playing.
Let's see what happen.
Does anybody plant Fennel in the USA?
Fennel is an everyday vegetable in Italy.

Those are the only 2 fennels I did harvest this year in the spring.

Thumbnail by drthor
Click the image for an enlarged view.

carminator1
mobile, AL
(Zone 8a)

December 23, 2010
11:37 AM

Post #8273916

I know I love fennel and tried planting it this year but the seedlings ended up dying on me, not sure when I have to plant it indoors and also transplant it outside, I have more fennel seeds so I am hoping to give it a try once again. One thing I am sure is it does not like hot weather or it will bolt quick and not form the wonderful bulbs.

drthor

drthor
Irving, TX
(Zone 8a)

December 29, 2010
7:19 AM

Post #8281719

My FENNEL is growing very slow.
I had to cover it a couple of night ago because of the freeze. I don't think it likes the really cold weather.
So far so good.
I will let you know how and when I will harvest it.

Thumbnail by drthor
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drthor

drthor
Irving, TX
(Zone 8a)

April 22, 2011
4:58 PM

Post #8513955

Here it is my ONLY fennel of this season.
Most of my plants died during the Super Bawl storm in February.
Only one survived.

I still don't know when it will be the best time to start the fennel from seeds. Any suggestion will be appraciated.
Next year I will start the seeds in December at the same time of my tomatoes.

Thumbnail by drthor
Click the image for an enlarged view.

darius

darius
So.App.Mtns.
United States
(Zone 5b)

April 22, 2011
5:11 PM

Post #8513980

Well, your singular fennel looks great!

I started seeds a week ago and it looks like there might be 2 trying to sprout. I have a second kind to start but want to space them.

drthor

drthor
Irving, TX
(Zone 8a)

April 22, 2011
5:28 PM

Post #8514014

Have you grown the Fennel from seeds before?

darius

darius
So.App.Mtns.
United States
(Zone 5b)

April 23, 2011
4:09 AM

Post #8514708

Not me.
jab91864
Northern Michigan, MI
(Zone 5a)

April 23, 2011
4:29 PM

Post #8516026

I have fennel seeds (Orion, from Burpee) and am trying to surf for more about it. All I can seem to find is that the rest of the garden plants hate it and supposedly it is to be planted off by itself...

darius

darius
So.App.Mtns.
United States
(Zone 5b)

April 23, 2011
4:43 PM

Post #8516059

jab, I had not read that, but will look into it. I have about 6 that have sprouted now... whispery filaments like one strand of a spider web. I don't remember EVER seeing such fine/thin seedlings
MaypopLaurel
Cleveland,GA/Atlanta, GA
(Zone 7b)

April 23, 2011
7:06 PM

Post #8516347

I have tried fennel many times and never been able to get it to bulb so you are doing great Drthor. I can only tell you what I understand about this amazing veggie which we too love. It needs a very long and slow growing season more like up north in late Summer/Fall and early Winter. If you grow it in Spring in the South it will make fronds but no bulbs. If you grow it in the Fall/Winter in the South it needs moisture and consistent cool weather. The problem with fennel is it needs a long time to mature and consistently cool weather long enough to mature the bulbs. So, that's why it grows well in much of Italy. There you have winters that are moderately cool, getting not too much warmer or colder for months.

greenhouse_gal

greenhouse_gal
Southern NJ
United States
(Zone 7a)

April 24, 2011
4:17 AM

Post #8516835

I've tried fennel too, and haven't gotten much out of it. I plant it in the spring and then it turns hot around here. The most I've managed are very small bulbs, but at least I can use the fronds to some extent.

It does begin as very delicate, wispy fronds.

I too have heard that other vegetables don't do well growing near it, but I've never seen an impact in my garden.
jab91864
Northern Michigan, MI
(Zone 5a)

April 24, 2011
4:35 AM

Post #8516852

greenhouse_gal do you by chance remember what you planted your fennel next to ?
yehudith
silver spring, MD
(Zone 7a)

April 24, 2011
5:00 AM

Post #8516880

http://www.ourherbgarden.com/fennel-companions.php

The biggest problem with fennel appears to be that its alleopathic. It produces a growth inhibitor that affects nearly all plants. I'd just put it in a small bed by itself.

greenhouse_gal

greenhouse_gal
Southern NJ
United States
(Zone 7a)

April 24, 2011
5:57 AM

Post #8516977

I planted it next to some spring greens last year. This year I planted it in a row with leeks. We shall see. The leeks are starting to show already, but so far no fennel.
MaypopLaurel
Cleveland,GA/Atlanta, GA
(Zone 7b)

April 24, 2011
5:02 PM

Post #8518134

The allelopathic qualities of fennel do not influence whether fennel bulbs or not (which was the topic). Many plants have varying degrees of allelopathy...okra and sunflowers for example. It's possible to obtain lists of allelopathic plants and degrees of allelopathy online.

I have started fennel in ground but think our soil is not favorable to rapid, early growth so now I start fennel in soiless mix and in paper cups for easy transplant. It does not like to transplant so the rather large plants available in garden departments baffles me. From my understanding, transplanting itself can prevent bulbing. I transplant when the seedlings are very young and try not to let them over-grow their cups or disturb the roots. I've got no problem growing it, just getting it to bulb. As an aside here, there is bulbing fennel (an annual) and non-bulbing, perennial fennel of several types, including bronze fennel. Non-bulbing, perennial fennel is considered a noxious weed in several states because it messes with commercial fennel growing though seed and plants are available.
yehudith
silver spring, MD
(Zone 7a)

April 27, 2011
5:51 AM

Post #8523673

Maypop

I was refering to JAB's remark " All I can seem to find is that the rest of the garden plants hate it and supposedly it is to be planted off by itself... "

HoneybeeNC

HoneybeeNC
Charlotte, NC
(Zone 7b)

April 27, 2011
11:12 AM

Post #8524198

Hmmm... well, I guess I can cross off fennel from my: "I-wonder-if-I-can-grow-that" list.

I've never eaten fennel, but I do use freshly ground seeds when fixing pork tenderloin.

drthor

drthor
Irving, TX
(Zone 8a)

April 27, 2011
12:22 PM

Post #8524342

I must learn how to grwo fennel.
I LOVE it so much !

greenhouse_gal

greenhouse_gal
Southern NJ
United States
(Zone 7a)

April 27, 2011
1:18 PM

Post #8524470

One of my son's customers asked him if he wanted some a year or so ago and he called me to ask if I knew what to do with it. I told him I'd figure something out and I found a great recipe for fennel with beans and sausage, which has become a favorite. That's why I've tried to grow it. I hope I have better luck this year, but it's good to know that I'm not the only one whose fennel doesn't bulb up!
MaypopLaurel
Cleveland,GA/Atlanta, GA
(Zone 7b)

April 27, 2011
1:34 PM

Post #8524497

I love fennel bulbs every which way, including raw, but especially roasted with a bit of fresh garlic and olive oil and a sprinkle of good fresh Parmesan cheese (not the stuff in the can). I serve it frequently on salads, as part of antipasti platters with olives, or pan sauteed and then tossed with other vegetables such as squashes or green beans. I roast and bake fish on and under saved fronds and stalks and also use the fronds in salads including slaws, egg salads and potato salads. It makes so many foods come alive.

greenhouse_gal

greenhouse_gal
Southern NJ
United States
(Zone 7a)

April 28, 2011
3:34 AM

Post #8525622

Those sound like great ideas, Laurel!

Sheila_FW

Sheila_FW
Fort Worth, TX
(Zone 8a)

May 29, 2011
1:27 PM

Post #8594890

I have two fennel plants one with a large bulb and one a bit smaller. I have only grown them for the butterflies; never cooked one, but sounds good. My question is ...if I leave it in the ground will the plants die? Or, if I cut it at ground level will it come back next year?

Thumbnail by Sheila_FW
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drthor

drthor
Irving, TX
(Zone 8a)

May 29, 2011
1:49 PM

Post #8594911

I don't know if the plant will come back completly ... some time when I cut the bulb out some new ones will grow ,,, but I think Fennel doesn't like the heat, especially ours
The bulb on the left is ready to harvest. Both bulbs want to bolt.
You can see the bulb on the right didn' really form.
When did you start them from seeds?
podster
Deep East Texas, TX
(Zone 8a)

May 29, 2011
1:50 PM

Post #8594914

I leave mine in ground as a perennial. It has been through three winters and does not die down. I shouldn't think you would even have to cut it back. It is pretty when frosty...

drthor

drthor
Irving, TX
(Zone 8a)

May 29, 2011
1:52 PM

Post #8594919

podster, are you talking abot the fennel that makes the bulb, or just the fennel that has leaves?
podster
Deep East Texas, TX
(Zone 8a)

May 29, 2011
2:13 PM

Post #8594947

I'm sorry, I don't know which cultivar I planted but it does have bulbs. They are small though and I suspect it is due to growing conditions. They are planted in compacted soil, in afternoon/evening sun and suffering from drought. The bulbs have not been damaged by freezing temperatures and the plant seems to enjoy the cold weather.

drthor

drthor
Irving, TX
(Zone 8a)

May 29, 2011
3:02 PM

Post #8595040

podster, you may just have the leaves fennel and I agree with you that it could be a perennial.
The "bulb" fennel is a variety grown but the enlarged stem.
podster
Deep East Texas, TX
(Zone 8a)

May 29, 2011
4:03 PM

Post #8595150

Is the bulb fennel is not cold hardy?

drthor

drthor
Irving, TX
(Zone 8a)

May 29, 2011
4:07 PM

Post #8595157

one of 20 I planted survived out winter ... but last winter was very cold.
podster
Deep East Texas, TX
(Zone 8a)

May 29, 2011
4:16 PM

Post #8595172

What time of year did you plant them? Did you mulch them?
MaypopLaurel
Cleveland,GA/Atlanta, GA
(Zone 7b)

May 29, 2011
4:43 PM

Post #8595224

There is fennel, the herb (Fennel vulgare) and then there is Florence fennel, or finocchio (Fennel vulgare azoricum) which is related and produces those bulbs. The bulbing ones need a very long, steady cool season with lots of water. They grow best in climates like in the Mediterranean that have less seasonal variation and cooler summers. I think they are planted in Fall or Winter there. Generally we get too cold to produce a reliable crop from a Fall planting and Spring weather is too short. I'm just guessing here but maybe northern California would be best for fennel.

greenhouse_gal

greenhouse_gal
Southern NJ
United States
(Zone 7a)

May 29, 2011
4:54 PM

Post #8595246

I planted some fennel in March and it's starting to bulb up a little here and there. If it does it will be a first. It's very hot here now, so it may just give up.

Sheila_FW

Sheila_FW
Fort Worth, TX
(Zone 8a)

May 29, 2011
9:20 PM

Post #8595733

The green bulb fennel I have, is some planted last fall and it went through the winter being mulched.
I have a bronze fennel that doesn't make bulbs and it is a monster by the end of the season if the butterflies don't use it for host. I tried to move it last year and gave up it was too deep in the ground.
jab91864
Northern Michigan, MI
(Zone 5a)

May 30, 2011
4:58 AM

Post #8596146

I planted fennel seed several weeks ago but so far am not seeing any signs of life. We have just come out of a cold spell but the directions I had were direct sow early spring. I planted Orion seed which is suppose to be a compact plant. Its in a small patch all by itself since there was so much dispute on what it could be near.

We only just put the tomatoes out yesterday in the garden as the nights are finally in the 50's .

I am thinking of trying again =0/

greenhouse_gal

greenhouse_gal
Southern NJ
United States
(Zone 7a)

May 30, 2011
8:20 AM

Post #8596626

Fennel can take a while to show up. You can try again but you might be surprised with more than you expected!
yehudith
silver spring, MD
(Zone 7a)

May 31, 2011
7:47 PM

Post #8600396

There's an empty lot next to my mother-in-law's just accross from San Francisco that has volunter fennel growing on it. The plants are over 6' tall and the bulbs are equally huge. They've been there forever. I wish I had a picture to show you guys, they're unbelievable.

Sheila_FW

Sheila_FW
Fort Worth, TX
(Zone 8a)

June 1, 2011
8:15 AM

Post #8601268

Borrow someones camera if you don't have one!! We want to see it!! LOL!

Oops see now it is SF...well next time you visit. LOL!

This message was edited Jun 1, 2011 9:16 AM

drthor

drthor
Irving, TX
(Zone 8a)

June 1, 2011
8:22 AM

Post #8601282

yehudith,
you must take a picture.
Fennel grew like that while I was growing in Italy. That's why it is a very common vegetable there.
Here in TX gets too hot ... but I will still find out when to plant. It is my mission.
happygirl345
Pleasant Hill, CA
(Zone 9b)

June 1, 2011
5:58 PM

Post #8602629

I started from seeds in early February (high temperatures around 70). I moved them into their beds (with other brassicas) in late March (high temps still around 70). They are doing great. I had no idea it was a challenge. I have them next to kohlrabi. I harvested my first fennel on 5/23 (4 oz bulb).

Wow... I guess my tracker is working! Just look at all these stats!

I like to slice them thin and toss with peeled oranges in a light champagne/olive oil/garlic/basil dressing... had it that was in Sicily many years ago... yum!

Thumbnail by happygirl345
Click the image for an enlarged view.

drthor

drthor
Irving, TX
(Zone 8a)

June 1, 2011
7:57 PM

Post #8602985

good job
jab91864
Northern Michigan, MI
(Zone 5a)

June 2, 2011
3:25 AM

Post #8603301

happygirl , that sounds delicious thanks for sharing. I still have my fingers crossed I will get sprouts and hope to try your recipe. =0)

drthor

drthor
Irving, TX
(Zone 8a)

December 11, 2011
5:23 PM

Post #8925524

Let's try again this FENNEL.
I have started the seeds in september. Transplanted out in october.
Now my Fennel is starting to make the bulb ... Just a baby of 1"
Let's hope to have a better winter of last year. No crazy weather.

Thumbnail by drthor
Click the image for an enlarged view.

drthor

drthor
Irving, TX
(Zone 8a)

December 11, 2011
5:24 PM

Post #8925525

All 15 plants growing strong

Thumbnail by drthor
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flsusie
New Port Richey, FL

December 11, 2011
6:04 PM

Post #8925556

About 12 years ago somebody gave me 3 small plants that they thought would look good in my flower bed along with 3 yarrow plants. I planted all 6 and they absolutely thrived. The fennel made large bulbs I think the next year. They went through many hard freezes and 98 degree summers and always looked like they just came out of the greenhouse. We moved to care of FIL and when I went back 2 years later to sell the place they were one of the few things still growing. I've lived in 3 different places since and can not get either to grow for me. The only thing I can think of thats different is the soil there was really sandy even for Fl.
rjogden
Gainesville, FL
(Zone 8b)

December 12, 2011
7:44 AM

Post #8926050

[quote="drthor"]Those are the only 2 fennels I did harvest this year in the spring.[/quote]

It may be hard to wait, but if you are growing a standard (not F1 hybrid) variety and getting just one or two bulbs, you might want to sacrifice the crop for a couple of years and save seed of the plants that produced bulbs (removing the flower stalks of the non-bulbing ones before they produce pollen). They might be just different enough genetically to have an advantage in your area, and that advantage may be passed on to their offspring. That's how most modern vegetables got to where they are, after all, and it needn't take too long to produce a strain that is better-adapted to your soil and temperatures.

-Rich

drthor

drthor
Irving, TX
(Zone 8a)

December 12, 2011
10:26 AM

Post #8926304

Thanks Rich, but I really think the problem last year was the 4 days of crazy freeze we got in Dallas, remember during the Super Bowl? How embarassing for Dallas .. yuk
I am sure I will have Fennel bulbs this year ... yeaaahh

Sheila_FW

Sheila_FW
Fort Worth, TX
(Zone 8a)

December 12, 2011
8:08 PM

Post #8927116

Question...I have had fennel and they made bulbs last year. I didn't cut them, just let them go, since I grow it for butterflies only. If I harvest the bulb, when would that be and will the fennel come back from the roots? Do you cut it off at ground level or pull it up by the roots?

drthor

drthor
Irving, TX
(Zone 8a)

December 13, 2011
6:01 AM

Post #8927518

I always harvested the fennel removing the bulbs . I cut at the base and eat it.
I am guessing that , just like all the other veggies, the taste will be different after the plant flowers.
If you want to grow the fennel for the butterflies you shall grow the kind that doesn't make any bulbs, but just leaves called "wild Fennel"
In this article you can see how the "wild Fennel" grows wild in the Tuscany region in Italy.
Fennel pollen has become a big hit with chefs in America. It sounds so exotic and carries a big price tag. The wild fennel flower is basically a dot of yellow pollen on the end of a small stem, surrounded by miniscule petals, almost too small to notice. A dozen or more of these form the flower, so when you’re collecting fennel pollen you’re in effect collecting the flowers.
Enjoy:
http://www.eccolacucina.com/2011/10/09/wild-fennel/
rjogden
Gainesville, FL
(Zone 8b)

December 13, 2011
2:27 PM

Post #8928220

[quote="drthor"]Fennel pollen has become a big hit with chefs in America. It sounds so exotic and carries a big price tag. The wild fennel flower is basically a dot of yellow pollen on the end of a small stem, surrounded by miniscule petals, almost too small to notice. A dozen or more of these form the flower, so when you’re collecting fennel pollen you’re in effect collecting the flowers.
Enjoy:
http://www.eccolacucina.com/2011/10/09/wild-fennel/
[/quote]

I bought a small amount a few months back, and I can tell you the aroma alone is almost overwhelming - fennel seed on steroids, with a touch of floral sweetness missing from the seeds. I haven't worked up the nerve try it yet - I think it would be very easy to overpower a dish. But if you like the flavor and aroma of fennel, it's pure heaven.

-Rich

HoneybeeNC

HoneybeeNC
Charlotte, NC
(Zone 7b)

December 14, 2011
7:43 AM

Post #8929125

I use fennel seeds on pork chops and love the flavor.

Is there a difference between the fennel that makes a bulb and the seeds purchased from the health food store?

I've been thinking about trying to grow fennel from the Frontier brand of seeds I buy.

http://www.frontiercoop.com/

greenhouse_gal

greenhouse_gal
Southern NJ
United States
(Zone 7a)

December 14, 2011
9:24 AM

Post #8929268

Those culinary fennel seeds might have been treated so they don't sprout, but you could always test some. I do think they are different varieties, though.
rjogden
Gainesville, FL
(Zone 8b)

December 14, 2011
3:49 PM

Post #8929750

[quote="HoneybeeNC"]Is there a difference between the fennel that makes a bulb and the seeds purchased from the health food store?
[/quote]

I think greenhouse_gal has got it right. A lot of seed sold for culinary use is heat-treated to eliminate weevil eggs and other potential pests. I believe the "wild" type plants are more prolific and early producers of seed, so assuming you can get the culinary seeds to germinate, they are most likely NOT from one of the bulb (vegetable) varieties.

Of course, you could just contact Frontier at customercare@frontiercoop.com and ask...

-Rich
Horseshoe
Efland, NC
(Zone 7a)

December 15, 2011
12:23 PM

Post #8930790

"Is there a difference between the fennel that makes a bulb and the seeds purchased from the health food store?"

Yes. The bulbing fennel is "Florence fennel". The kind grown for seed production (or foliage) is known as "sweet fennel", the more 'wild' one as mentioned above.

Rich, holler back when you try out the fennel pollen! I'd be interested to hear more about it.

Shoe

drthor

drthor
Irving, TX
(Zone 8a)

December 15, 2011
12:54 PM

Post #8930854

Fennel Pollen - Fennel flowers taste like liquorice ... love it
Horseshoe
Efland, NC
(Zone 7a)

December 15, 2011
1:41 PM

Post #8930895

Licorice freak here, too, drthor! Especially the "real" licorice, like from Holland! Guess that is why I like fennel, too. Yummy!

Shoe

drthor

drthor
Irving, TX
(Zone 8a)

January 3, 2012
3:24 PM

Post #8953295

Updated picture of my FENNEL.

Thumbnail by drthor
Click the image for an enlarged view.

drthor

drthor
Irving, TX
(Zone 8a)

January 3, 2012
3:24 PM

Post #8953296

So far so good.
Everything is alive and growing great !

Thumbnail by drthor
Click the image for an enlarged view.

Sheila_FW

Sheila_FW
Fort Worth, TX
(Zone 8a)

January 3, 2012
3:30 PM

Post #8953307

My fennel has made it fine so far also. They are the older plants, not new ones though.

drthor

drthor
Irving, TX
(Zone 8a)

January 3, 2012
6:11 PM

Post #8953512

Sheila_Fw are your fennel the wild one?
what do you mean with "older plants"?

Sheila_FW

Sheila_FW
Fort Worth, TX
(Zone 8a)

January 6, 2012
6:39 AM

Post #8956476

I didn't harvest the bulb, just left it in the ground and it has started putting on more foliage now. This pic is from May last year.

Thumbnail by Sheila_FW
Click the image for an enlarged view.

drthor

drthor
Irving, TX
(Zone 8a)

January 6, 2012
6:42 AM

Post #8956481

yes it is the bulb fennel.
I still think you can eat the bulb. Slice it at the very bottom, I bet you still have time to have a new one to grow ... I think

Sheila_FW

Sheila_FW
Fort Worth, TX
(Zone 8a)

January 6, 2012
6:48 AM

Post #8956490

Pretty sure mine is not wild as I bought it at a nursery. I haven't ever eaten fennel, I just grow for the butterflies. They seemed to like the bronze better as it gets 6 foot tall. That picture is old one as I said. I have the beds full of leaves now but the fennel is growing nicely above. I will look later at the base and see how large the bulbs are. Those from last year sucumb to the heat and insects. At least the plants lived!

drthor

drthor
Irving, TX
(Zone 8a)

January 6, 2012
9:45 AM

Post #8956709

You never ate fennel???
OMG you are missing PARADISE.
Remove the bottom of th ebulb and slice it very thin.
olive oil and salt and pepper and YUMMY YUMMY

I also use Fennel sautee with onions as base of soups ... yummy

Sheila_FW

Sheila_FW
Fort Worth, TX
(Zone 8a)

January 7, 2012
6:54 AM

Post #8957907

Sounds good, and I will this year...after the first round of BSTs.

drthor

drthor
Irving, TX
(Zone 8a)

January 7, 2012
8:02 AM

Post #8957983

you can also sprinkle the flowers on your food. Delish !

drthor

drthor
Irving, TX
(Zone 8a)

January 14, 2012
4:32 PM

Post #8967821

Fennel is doing great.
Tomorrow I will hill the soil up to start hiding the bulb.
I have ready that blanching the bulb will result in a sweeter taste.

Thumbnail by drthor
Click the image for an enlarged view.

Sheila_FW

Sheila_FW
Fort Worth, TX
(Zone 8a)

January 14, 2012
8:56 PM

Post #8968098

I didn't know to heel it up, thanks.

drthor

drthor
Irving, TX
(Zone 8a)

January 26, 2012
8:06 AM

Post #8982819

Fennel is growing wonderful. A lot of green leaves

Thumbnail by drthor
Click the image for an enlarged view.

drthor

drthor
Irving, TX
(Zone 8a)

January 26, 2012
8:06 AM

Post #8982821

and it is also making a good bulb

Thumbnail by drthor
Click the image for an enlarged view.

darius

darius
So.App.Mtns.
United States
(Zone 5b)

January 26, 2012
10:20 AM

Post #8982971

I'm impressed! Maybe I'll try growing some, sure can't afford to buy it @ $2.50/bulb

drthor

drthor
Irving, TX
(Zone 8a)

February 6, 2012
9:35 AM

Post #8996681

Fennel is doing good.
I have added enough soil to cover the entire bulb ... I have read that in this way the bulb will grow sweeter.

Thumbnail by drthor
Click the image for an enlarged view.

drthor

drthor
Irving, TX
(Zone 8a)

February 15, 2012
8:42 AM

Post #9007574

Fennel is growing great. Very tall and green leaves.
The bulb is also getting bigger.
Maybe I have found out the best time to grow Fennel ...weeeee

Thumbnail by drthor
Click the image for an enlarged view.

darius

darius
So.App.Mtns.
United States
(Zone 5b)

February 15, 2012
10:26 AM

Post #9007700

That looks GREAT!! Congratulations. :)

I just started some seed a few days ago, now looking for signs of germination.
evelyn_inthegarden
Sierra Foothills, CA
(Zone 8a)

February 15, 2012
3:23 PM

Post #9008042

Ha! Darius - we must be on the same "wave length"! I planted some on Feb 2nd and they are up and downstairs in the cool basement under lights and I am thinking of starting more. I have never grown the "bulbing kind" either.

I start them here in my room and then transfer any seedlings that need to grow on cool, into the basement. I have two shelves here with heat mats and also some space in the sunny window without heat for those who do not need it.

darius

darius
So.App.Mtns.
United States
(Zone 5b)

February 15, 2012
3:35 PM

Post #9008057

Alas, my only window with sun is owned by the cat!
evelyn_inthegarden
Sierra Foothills, CA
(Zone 8a)

February 16, 2012
10:06 AM

Post #9008804

Our cat died last spring. We have not replaced her. Sunshine was over 20 years old!

darius

darius
So.App.Mtns.
United States
(Zone 5b)

February 16, 2012
10:14 AM

Post #9008812

Losing a pet anytime is sad, but worse when you've had them for so long. I've lost 2 cats in the last 3 years. First my old cat (only 16) got mauled by a feral dog pack, then her replacement got hit by a vehicle. When this one goes, maybe no more cats.
evelyn_inthegarden
Sierra Foothills, CA
(Zone 8a)

February 16, 2012
10:29 AM

Post #9008824

We have more gophers than ever since we do not have cats. The other cat we had (Midnight) was a good hunter, but one day she just disappeared. We have no idea what happened to her.

drthor

drthor
Irving, TX
(Zone 8a)

February 16, 2012
10:37 AM

Post #9008832

this is my Torchy ...

Thumbnail by drthor   Thumbnail by drthor
Click an image for an enlarged view.

darius

darius
So.App.Mtns.
United States
(Zone 5b)

February 16, 2012
11:24 AM

Post #9008874

Torchy looks like a fierce hunter!

My cat hunts, but not enough to keep up with the vole population (who ate all my sweet potato crop last fall).
evelyn_inthegarden
Sierra Foothills, CA
(Zone 8a)

February 16, 2012
1:31 PM

Post #9009040

Sweet!

drthor

drthor
Irving, TX
(Zone 8a)

February 16, 2012
2:47 PM

Post #9009113

darius ... Torchy is scared of his own shadow ... he is a lover and sweet cat
rjogden
Gainesville, FL
(Zone 8b)

February 17, 2012
9:06 AM

Post #9009896

My feline companions - brother and sister rescues.

The picture is a little old - they don't cuddle so much any more. It's much too undignified ;o).

-Rich

Thumbnail by rjogden
Click the image for an enlarged view.

darius

darius
So.App.Mtns.
United States
(Zone 5b)

February 17, 2012
9:26 AM

Post #9009917

Wow, the black cat is SO shiny!
rjogden
Gainesville, FL
(Zone 8b)

February 17, 2012
10:09 PM

Post #9010661

Oh, yes, Sid is definitely the glamor-puss - quite the show-off, extrovert, and the official greeter to anyone who comes to the house. He also loves playing "fetch the ball" - his favorite game. When he's ready to play, he'll find me and let me know. The first sign usually is a little ball rolling through an open doorway to a stop at my feet. Jasmine is the dainty lady of the pair, but she still knows how to tell Sid when she's had just enough of his pestering (she's his second-favorite thing to chase). Of course, she also knows how to tease and egg him on when she hasn't been chased enough...women! ;o)

-Rich

Sheila_FW

Sheila_FW
Fort Worth, TX
(Zone 8a)

February 24, 2012
1:26 PM

Post #9018547

Pretty cats everyone. We have out lived ours and decided no more. The dogs we have now hate the ferrel cats of the neighborhood and would challenge any cat trying to take over and probably run it off. One of the dogs is a rat terrier and the other part German Hunting Terrier, so they keep down the population of field mice and squirrels in the yard.
I thought one was going to have a heart attack recently when a big blue heron landed in the backyard to check out the pond! She was inside and it was gone before I opened the door, because she was making such a racket!
tropicalnut777
Provo, UT
(Zone 5a)

February 25, 2012
4:24 PM

Post #9019942

love your pic drthor of your tabby.. :)
i have a longhair persian tabby.. khepher.. hes 12 yrs now..
saw your pic and looked just like my khepher..:)
i grow fennel..or dill on extremes of my vegy garden.. my mom did
for dill in her pickels.. but i remember her saying too..the flowers attracted
wasps..which they do.. and the wasps kept the grasshopper population down..
we get alot of hoppers here in utah..and i rarely have trouble with them..

drthor

drthor
Irving, TX
(Zone 8a)

February 25, 2012
6:43 PM

Post #9020074

tropicalnut777
Thanks ... I love my Torchy. He is the best cat.

FENNEL is growing fantastic. It is hard to tell in the picture below ... but the bulb is getting really big (it is just under the soil)
I think it will be ready to harvest real soon.
I am so happy ... I finally figure out the best time to grow Fennel in my area.

Thumbnail by drthor
Click the image for an enlarged view.

darius

darius
So.App.Mtns.
United States
(Zone 5b)

February 25, 2012
7:04 PM

Post #9020091

Wowzer!!
evelyn_inthegarden
Sierra Foothills, CA
(Zone 8a)

February 25, 2012
8:06 PM

Post #9020153

drthor ~ When did you sow the fennel?

drthor

drthor
Irving, TX
(Zone 8a)

February 25, 2012
8:30 PM

Post #9020175

I started from seeds indoor at the beginning of September.
It takes a long time for a seed to become a bulb ... wow

I am also using some of the leaves in my sauces ... they taste delish ...

darius

darius
So.App.Mtns.
United States
(Zone 5b)

February 26, 2012
6:20 AM

Post #9020399

I dried some green tops from store-bought fennel last year. They lose ALL flavor!

drthor

drthor
Irving, TX
(Zone 8a)

February 26, 2012
7:06 AM

Post #9020450

yes you are right
rjogden
Gainesville, FL
(Zone 8b)

February 27, 2012
10:26 PM

Post #9022821

[quote="drthor"]I started from seeds indoor at the beginning of September.
It takes a long time for a seed to become a bulb ... wow[/quote]
I see you sowed seed in September. How long before you transplanted to the garden?

-Rich

drthor

drthor
Irving, TX
(Zone 8a)

February 28, 2012
8:12 AM

Post #9023192

Transplated out second week in October.

Thumbnail by drthor
Click the image for an enlarged view.

rjogden
Gainesville, FL
(Zone 8b)

February 28, 2012
2:04 PM

Post #9023586

[quote="drthor"]Transplated out second week in October.[/quote]
Thanks! I'm going to try that schedule next year (if I can keep the chickens and squirrels out).

-Rich

drthor

drthor
Irving, TX
(Zone 8a)

March 6, 2012
5:59 PM

Post #9032657

Fennel is almost ready.
What do you think?

I think I'd like the bulb a little bigger.

Weeeee

Thumbnail by drthor
Click the image for an enlarged view.

greenhouse_gal

greenhouse_gal
Southern NJ
United States
(Zone 7a)

March 7, 2012
3:51 AM

Post #9032962

I think it's ready! Especially the one on the right! Yum...

drthor

drthor
Irving, TX
(Zone 8a)

March 9, 2012
8:14 PM

Post #9036428

My first FENNEL of 2012 ... so good !
I ate the bulb and froze the tops ( I will use them in soups)

Thumbnail by drthor
Click the image for an enlarged view.

darius

darius
So.App.Mtns.
United States
(Zone 5b)

March 10, 2012
8:22 AM

Post #9036870

Whoooeee... ya done good!
evelyn_inthegarden
Sierra Foothills, CA
(Zone 8a)

March 10, 2012
8:10 PM

Post #9037553

Wow! All good fennel and cats! (Nice combo!) ^_^
hrp50
Carrollton, TX
(Zone 8a)

March 11, 2012
10:43 AM

Post #9038110

I had a fennel plant that I purchased in a 2" pot, but it died before I could plant it in a container or in the ground. Ok, I'll bite. How do you prepare fennel and isn't it the one that tastes like licorice? I don't remember whatever possessed me to buy it in the first place since I don't like licorice. Can you make it taste like chocolate?

drthor

drthor
Irving, TX
(Zone 8a)

March 11, 2012
11:02 AM

Post #9038140

Fennel is delish !
Slice it really thin (after removing the base - the hard part)
Dress with salt, pepper and olive oil ... yummy !!!
hrp50
Carrollton, TX
(Zone 8a)

March 11, 2012
11:32 AM

Post #9038170

Can you make fritters from fennel? I like the idea of infusing what I'm going to eat with a little grease.

drthor

drthor
Irving, TX
(Zone 8a)

March 11, 2012
12:49 PM

Post #9038238

huum
I don't know about fennel fritters ...
In Italy we grow so much Fennel.
I do like it raw .. also you could cut it in half (making like a small boat) and spread salt, pepper and olive oil and roast it ... delish.
At Central Market last fall I took a class with Gina Stipo. An American lady that moved to Italy and travel to the USA in the fall/winter months to give cooking classes.
She sautee' the fennel as a base of the most fantastic "chestnut soup" I have ever eaten.

Check the Central Market cooking classes schedule for next year ... I bet she will come back in the fall.

Good luck
hrp50
Carrollton, TX
(Zone 8a)

March 11, 2012
4:38 PM

Post #9038532

Aren't you a vegan, which could account for why you can eat fennel raw? And am I dreaming or did I once hear that most Italian last names end with a vowel, like "Stipo". So she must of had some Italian in her blood which gave her a head start on the Italian cooking style thing. I will watch for when she is at Central Market again.

drthor

drthor
Irving, TX
(Zone 8a)

March 11, 2012
6:07 PM

Post #9038634

Actually, I am a pescetarian = a vegetarian that occasionally eat fish.

darius

darius
So.App.Mtns.
United States
(Zone 5b)

March 12, 2012
2:37 PM

Post #9039896

Here's a recipe to use the stalks.. Text/comments are his/hers, not mine..

Orange Pickled Fennel Stalks
http://frombellytobacon.com/2012/03/12/orange-pickled-fennel-stalks/

I have always wondered why, beyond price-gouging, that these stalks are included with the fennel bulb. I realize that you need some of them to keep the bulb in good shape, but not only do they charge by the pound, they are about half of the weight, but they do not fit in bags.

With this recipe, you are taking the trash-bin-bound stems and turning them into a favorite accompaniment to basically anything roasted, fried, or salted. The sweetness and the concentrated flavors of fennel and orange work as a great foil for both salt and fat.

I have an affinity for pickles and, like the rhubarb pickles that I made a few years back, this is a different pickle. It is sweet more than salty, but still sour. The top photo shows some of the pickles served with ham hock rillettes and lamb tail qawarma. For these two potted meats, one of which brings the saltiness from cured ham hocks and the other with the gaminess associated with lamb, the fennel and orange flavors really make a great pairing. This delicious versatility makes the venture worthwhile, but stocking your pickle shelf with pickles that are not only delicious and distinctive, but also maximize your food spend can only be a good thing.

Orange Pickled Fennel Stalks
http://frombellytobacon.com/2012/03/12/orange-pickled-fennel-stalks/

I have always wondered why, beyond price-gouging, that these stalks are included with the fennel bulb. I realize that you need some of them to keep the bulb in good shape, but not only do they charge by the pound, they are about half of the weight, but they do not fit in bags.

With this recipe, you are taking the trash-bin-bound stems and turning them into a favorite accompaniment to basically anything roasted, fried, or salted. The sweetness and the concentrated flavors of fennel and orange work as a great foil for both salt and fat.

I have an affinity for pickles and, like the rhubarb pickles that I made a few years back, this is a different pickle. It is sweet more than salty, but still sour. The top photo shows some of the pickles served with ham hock rillettes and lamb tail qawarma. For these two potted meats, one of which brings the saltiness from cured ham hocks and the other with the gaminess associated with lamb, the fennel and orange flavors really make a great pairing. This delicious versatility makes the venture worthwhile, but stocking your pickle shelf with pickles that are not only delicious and distinctive, but also maximize your food spend can only be a good thing.


Orange Pickled Fennel Stalks
Adapted from recipe by Joy of Pickling by Linda Ziedrich

* Stalks from two fennel bulbs, sliced
* 1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
* zest of 1/2 orange, peeled from the orange in strips
* 1/2 cup white wine vinegar
* 1/2 cup orange juice
* 1 Tbsp. sugar
* 4 black peppercorns, cracked

1: Combine sliced fennel with salt and let stand for one to two hours.
2: Drain fennel slices and combine them with the orange zest.
3: Pack fennel stalks and zest into a jar. Heat vinegar, orange juice, sugar and peppercorns to a simmer, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Pour the hot liquid over the fennel and screw on lid.
4: Let cool to room temperature and then place in the refrigerator. It will be ready in a few days.

drthor

drthor
Irving, TX
(Zone 8a)

March 15, 2012
2:53 PM

Post #9044025

My precious ... FENNEL
I am harvesting a large bulbs everyday now ... so good ...

Thumbnail by drthor
Click the image for an enlarged view.

drthor

drthor
Irving, TX
(Zone 8a)

March 15, 2012
2:58 PM

Post #9044030

For lunch I made pasta using the fennel's stems.
It was amazing.

Chop the fennel stems/stalks in small round pieces (1/4" thick)
Saute' them on a little butter.
Add some salt and pepper
Cook until the fennel looks translucent .. you could add some water from the pasta that is boiling if needed
Add some green onions ... and 1 tbsp of cream. Remove from heat.
Add pasta and Parmigiano cheese ... and your mouth will be an explosion of flavors ...

I wanted to add some of the fennel leaves ... but I didn't ... to just keep its flavor pure ...ooohhh

Thumbnail by drthor
Click the image for an enlarged view.

Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

March 15, 2012
3:02 PM

Post #9044033

Fabulous dish! Thank you for sharing such wonderful simple pleasure drthor.

drthor

drthor
Irving, TX
(Zone 8a)

March 25, 2012
6:40 PM

Post #9056900

My fennel is almost all ready to be harvest.
I am harvesting a couple of bulbs every day now. Some of them are starting to make the flower stem ...

Tonight I made : ROASTED FENNEL ... so yummy

Cut the fennel in 2" large pieces.
Put them in a bowl with salt, pepper and olive oil.
Mix well and lay down pieces on a tray covered with parchment paper.
Grill at 400F for 10 minutes

Thumbnail by drthor
Click the image for an enlarged view.

drthor

drthor
Irving, TX
(Zone 8a)

March 26, 2012
7:24 PM

Post #9058452

More Fennel ...
It starting to bolt .. so I am hurry up and harvest it all ...

Thumbnail by drthor
Click the image for an enlarged view.

rjogden
Gainesville, FL
(Zone 8b)

March 27, 2012
11:33 AM

Post #9059246

[quote="drthor"]More Fennel ...
It starting to bolt .. so I am hurry up and harvest it all ...[/quote]
I'm pretty sure you can use the seeds of Florence fennel just like those of the "herb" type. It makes a great seasoning for fish, among other things.

-Rich

drthor

drthor
Irving, TX
(Zone 8a)

March 27, 2012
6:13 PM

Post #9059739

Actually the "Fennel Pollen" is a delicacy in many fancy restaurants ...
If I live this bulb fennel to make flowers , the bulb will not be as sweet.
I will harvest all of it by the end of the week. Peppers and Eggplants need to be there instead.

drthor

drthor
Irving, TX
(Zone 8a)

March 30, 2012
5:17 AM

Post #9062872

I am finishing my "2012 Fennel season" with this harvest. YUMMY !
I am very very happy. I finally found the method to grow fennel from seed in my area.
I will start seeds again at the end of August/beginning of September.

In the picture you can see how the bulbs are getting longer and not wider. The bulb was trying to make the flowers. Too hot for them right now.

Thumbnail by drthor
Click the image for an enlarged view.

Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

March 30, 2012
5:23 AM

Post #9062880

Thank you drthor for sharing your experience of your Fennel season with others, I myself included. Looking forward to see you again on next year crop beginning August/September with the seeds sowing.
evelyn_inthegarden
Sierra Foothills, CA
(Zone 8a)

March 31, 2012
3:00 PM

Post #9064557

Would you not keep just one in the ground so you can get seeds to start again?

drthor

drthor
Irving, TX
(Zone 8a)

March 31, 2012
5:41 PM

Post #9064781

It would be a great idea if I had more space ...

evelyn_inthegarden
Sierra Foothills, CA
(Zone 8a)

April 1, 2012
7:27 PM

Post #9066097

OK, put it in a pot to get your seed?

Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

April 2, 2012
6:10 AM

Post #9066483

Evelyn, I'm up to that. Will report through the season how they will tolerate our heat down South. I grow mine primarily for my butterflies, in years past they were directly planted in the garden. They did ok over couple of years. I think they're short lived perennials in our climate.

Thumbnail by Lily_love
Click the image for an enlarged view.

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