A favourite with foodies, florence fennel is prized for more than its attractive feathery foliage. Grown for its bulb-like thickened stems, this distinctive, aniseed tasting vegetable adds a fresh, crisp element to many cuisines. Used for flavouring soups and stews, fennel is also delicious tossed in salads, pasta and is extremely good with fish. Other varieties available include sweet fennel and bronze fennel .


How to grow fennel in a garden

  1. Choose a sunny spot in your garden where the soil drains freely. Enrich with compost & Yates Thrive Natural Blood & Bone with Seaweed.  
  2. Sow seed directly into soil – 50 cm apart in rows 50 cm apart. Cover lightly with Yates Black Magic Seed Raising Mix and water well.   
  3. Water regularly. Once seedlings emerge, feed weekly with Yates Thrive Natural Fish Seaweed+ Plant Food Concentrate
  4. As plants grow and the bulb begins to appear to be swelling, hill the soil around the base of the plant to exclude light. 
  5. Once bulbs are an edible size, generally at least the size of a flat tennis ball, carefully dig out of the soil or cut off at the base. If harvesting from a row, take care to limit disturbance to roots if there are other plants still growing.  Leaves can also be cut to use as an herb.

     


How to grow fennel in a pot

Not recommended because a 300 mm pot would only accommodate one plant. 

For challenged growers -  

  1. Choose a pot at least 300 mm wide and deep and position in a sunny spot. Fill with quality potting mix, such as Yates Premium Potting Mix.
  2. Sow seed direct, planting 2 - 3 seeds in the middle of the pot.  Cover lightly with Yates Black Magic Seed Raising Mix and water well.  Alternatively, plant one seedling in the middle of the pot. 
  3. Water regularly. Once seedlings emerge, thin to the strongest plant and feed weekly with Yates Thrive Natural Fish Seaweed+ Plant Food Concentrate.
  4. As plant grows and the bulb begins to appear to be swelling, mound up soil around the base of the plant to stimulate a larger harvest.
  5. Once bulb is an edible size, generally at least the size of a flat tennis ball, carefully dig out of the soil or cut off at the base.  Leaves can also be snipped to use as an herb.

Growing tips

  • pH range of 6 - 7 is ideal 
  • If soil is too acidic, apply lime or dolomite prior to sowing 
  • Don’t water excessively


More Plants

Kūmara

Here's how to grow kūmara in your garden, or in pots if you live in the cooler parts of the country.

New Zealand Yam

NZ Yams have sweet tasting tubers with a hint of tangy lemon. They’re great for roasting, steaming, stir fries, boiling or mashing; you can use them just like potatoes.

Purple Yam

Purple Yams (AKA Ube) are one of the easiest and most productive plant tubers to cultivate. It makes amazing desserts, lending a vibrant purple hue to sweet treats like ube halaya.

Taro

Taro is a versatile vegetable and a staple of many Pacific countries. The corms are white with a purple tint, starchy and easy to digest, making it a great substitute for potato.

Recommended products

Yates Black Magic Seed Raising Mix

Specially formulated for trouble-free seed raising in trays (or outdoor seed sowing direclty into the ground) and propagation of cuttings.

Yates Premium Potting Mix

A premium potting mix, ideal for all potted plants and shrubs, including ornamentals, fruit trees, vegies and herbs.