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Growing Good Food at Home

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Fennel: How to Grow this Herb and Spice in Your Garden

Please check out the brief video above, to learn what this premium collection is all about—the video will give you a glimpse into all the content in this collection, including history and background, planting tips, specific plant profiles, recipes, nutrition and health information, and resources to help you be the best food gardener you can be.

Fennel is one of the most misunderstood foods you can plant in your garden. So many people, including lots of skilled food gardeners, just don’t know how to grow it or how to cook with it—so they skip fennel altogether. And that’s a…  READ MORE right arrow
Norann Oleson, Editorial Director of Food Gardening Network
  Perhaps we should start with “what is fennel?” for anyone who might not know how versatile this plant is! Fennel is part of the carrot family, so it’s a vegetable… but it’s not a root vegetable, because the bulbs—the vegetable part—grow above ground. The stalks,…  READ MORE right arrow
Fennel bulbs on cutting board


Herb fennel in the garden
  Despite all the mystery and intrigue about the history and uses for fennel, there are only two main types of fennel—herb fennel and vegetable fennel. Herb fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) is mainly cultivated for obtaining its seeds. It is also called sweet fennel and is used…  READ MORE right arrow
Fennel on its own, away from other plants
  Fennel’s strong aroma and flavor make it a garden favorite. Unfortunately, those same attributes make it a poor companion plant—fennel is not a very “friendly” plant for other crops. Fennel companion planting options are limited, so we strongly recommend that you consider…  READ MORE right arrow
Fennel seeds
There are two main methods for growing your fennel. Plants may be divided, but this isn’t as easy as it is with other garden plants and often proves unsatisfactory—because fennel has a long tap root that doesn’t like to be divided or moved. Planting fennel by seed is the…  READ MORE right arrow

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