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Fennel
Foeniculum vulgare
Carrot family
Host Plant

Fennel.jpg (135045 bytes)     BronzeFennel.jpg (148816 bytes)

                                                  Fennel                                                           Bronze Fennel

Fennel is a perennial, growing 2-5' tall.  Two varieties grow in my garden; the green and the beautiful bronze varieties.  Centuries ago, Roman women believed that nibbling on this herb's seeds would help depress your appetite.  Has a 6" wide umbel of tiny yellow flowers in mid summer.  Looks allot like dill.  Fennel seeds contain a volatile oil that produces an allergic reaction in some people who touch them.

Host plant to the Black Swallowtail caterpillar.


Culture

Light:  Full sun, shade during the hottest part of the day.

Propagation:  Seeds.   Soak 24 hours prior, and germinate in damp papertowels and zip lock baggies.   Sow in well drained soil. 1/8th inch.  Needs darkness to germinate.  Dislikes transplanting, so direct sowing might be best.  Keep beds moist for two weeks or until leaves appear, but do not over water after that.  You can direct sow seeds (shallowly) in garden in autumn to ensure early germination in spring.  If you're north of zone 5, sow in garden 2 weeks before last frost.  Avoid cold, wet soils, as the seeds will rot before germinating.

Soil and Fertility:  Well drained, moist soil of moderate fertility, pH 6.0-6.7  Will not tolerate overwatering.  Prone to root rot in soggy soils.

Hardiness:  Zone 6-9


Fennel helps repel slugs and snails in your garden.  Also repels aphids, maybe planting around your milkweed will keep these off of it.  Fennel seeds contain a volatile oil that produces an allergic reaction in some people who touch them.

 

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