Heirloom Fennel Florence is a unique and highly sought after variety of fennel that is prized for its delicate and flavorful bulbs. This heirloom variety has been passed down through generations of gardeners and farmers, and is known for its superior taste and quality.
The origin of Heirloom Fennel Florence can be traced back to the ancient Roman and Greek civilizations, where it was used as a medicinal herb as well as a culinary delicacy. The Romans believed that fennel had the power to ward off evil spirits and increase longevity, and it was often used in religious ceremonies and rituals.
The bulbs of Heirloom Fennel Florence are plump and round, with a delicate white color and a slight blush of pink. They have a unique and complex flavor, with notes of licorice, anise, and a hint of sweetness. The flavor is enhanced by the bulb's firm texture, which makes it perfect for slicing and eating raw, or for cooking in soups, stews, and pasta dishes.
Heirloom Fennel Florence is also a great addition to salads, sandwiches, and pizzas, and can be paired with a variety of meats, seafood, and cheeses. The leaves of the fennel plant can also be used as a garnish or a flavorful addition to salads and sandwiches.
One of the best things about Heirloom Fennel Florence is that it is easy to grow, and can be planted in a variety of soil types and climates. It is also a great option for those who are looking for an heirloom variety that is non-GMO and chemical-free.
Overall, Heirloom Fennel Florence is a versatile and flavorful addition to any garden or kitchen. With its rich history and superior taste, it is a must-have for any gardener or chef who is looking to add a unique and high-quality ingredient to their dishes. Some of the keywords used in this content are Heirloom, Fennel, Florence, Superior taste, unique, flavorful, bulbs, ancient Roman and Greek civilizations, medicinal herb, culinary delicacy, non-GMO, chemical-free.
Germination Days: 7-10
Hardiness Zone: 3 - 9
Planting Depth: 1-2"
Plant Spacing: 12"
Row Spacing: 2'
Growth Habit: Upright
Soil Preference: Well drained, temperature range 65 - 70 degrees, 6.5 – 7.0 pH
Temp Preference: Warmer
Light Preference: Full Sun
Days to Maturity: 65 days
Diseases/pests: Parsley caterpillars, Root rot can be a problem if fennel is overwatered
- Best location:Plant fennel in full sun.
- Soil preparation:Plant fennel in well-drained compost-rich soil, however, fennel will grow in all types of soil. Fennel prefers a soil pH of 6.0-6.7.
- Seed starting indoors:Fennel grows a taproot and is best sown in place. If started indoors, plant in individual peat pots so that taproots are not disturbed at transplanting. Sow seed indoors 6 to 8 weeks before the last frost.
- Transplanting to the garden:Set fennel in the garden after the last frost in spring.
- Outdoor planting time: Sow common fennel seed in spring as early as 2 to 3 weeks before the average last frost date. You can also sow fennel in late summer or early fall for harvest before the first frost. Fennel is half-hardy and will tolerate a light frost.
- Planting depth:Sow fennel seed 1/4 to 1/2 inch deep. Seeds must be covered completely to germinate.
- Spacing:Space fennel plants 10 to 12 inches apart. Space rows 2 to 3 feet apart.
- How much to plant:Grow 1 to 2 fennel plants for cooking; grow 4 to 5 plants for preserving.
- Companion planting:Grow fennel with sunflowers, calendulas, and nasturtiums to attract butterflies, hummingbirds, and beneficial insects to the garden. Fennel may interfere with the growth of beans, tomatoes, and kohlrabi. Do not plant near dill or cilantro; they may cross-pollinate.
- Watering:Give fennel regular, even watering until it is established. Once established, fennel can be kept on the dry side. Do not overwater.
- Feeding:Side dress fennel with aged compost at midseason.
- Mulching:Mulch around fennel in summer to keep roots cool. To make bulb fennel tastier, mulch around the base of the plant to blanch the bulb and make it tender.
- Care:Common fennel can grow 3 to 4 feet tall and may require staking or supports, especially if it is growing in a windy spot. Mound soil up around the base of Florence fennel to blanch the bulb and make it tender.
- Container growing:Common fennel will grow easily in a container. Choose a container at least 12 inches deep; fennel forms a taproot so the container must be deep enough for the root.
- Winter growing:Fennel can be grown outdoors in mild winter regions.
Pests / Diseases
- Pests:Fennel is a member of the parsley family. Parsley caterpillars may attack fennel. Remove caterpillars by hand.
- Diseases:Root rot can be a problem if fennel is overwatered or planted in soil that is not well-drained.
- Fennel leaves can be snipped for fresh use once plants are 6 inches tall or more and established. Snip leaves before flowering. Common fennel will reach maturity in 60 to 70 days. Harvest the seeds of common fennel after flowering when they turn brown. The thick bulbs at the base of Florence fennel can be eaten like a vegetable as soon as it is large enough to eat; peak flavor of the bulb comes after flower buds have formed but before blossoms begin to open. Harvest seeds when they turn from yellowish-green to brown. If you do not want seeds, snip away flowers as they form.
- Use snips or scissors to harvest leaves. Cut only the top 2 or 3 inches to ensure regrow.