Fennel is an herb that can grow up to five feet tall in sun and soil-rich environments. Every part of a fennel plant is completely edible, making this a common choice for gardeners who wish to avoid wastefulness. Since these particular plants do not transplant well, they are almost always grown directly from seeds. This can be done in a home garden in just a few simple steps.
Growing Fennel from Seed
Before planting the seed, it will be necessary to till the soil with a gardening fork. The total depth of the soil should be anywhere from six to eight inches, though more is better in the case of the fennel herb. All weeds and grass should be pulled from the area prior to planting to prevent roots from intersecting with the newly budding fennel plant.
The seeds should then be planted and sowed with a good eighth inch of soil, leaving a good foot in between each seed. This part is extremely important, as burying the seeds too deep can prevent them from absorbing the water and sunlight needed to grow. Upon sowing the seeds, the entire area should be lightly watered until the soil is slightly damp but not drenched.
Fennel Care and Maintenance
Within a few days to a week, the seeds should begin to sprout. Fennel is known for growing rather quickly, so the plant requires a lot of care. Once the seedlings are several inches tall, a couple inches of mulch should be placed around each plant for added stability as growth continues. At this point, the fennel will continue to grow and its leaves can be harvested for cooking at essentially any time, though this is best done in the morning when the plants are still wet with dew. This can be done by simply picking or snipping the leaves off the plant.
Fennel plants should be watered lightly each day and should be kept in an area of heavy sunlight. The bulbs can also be harvested once they reach a large enough size.