Florence Fennel (100 Days)
In Italy, Florence Fennel or “finocchio” is grown for its large, round, compact, pure white bulb. University research on this crop compared to a number of fennel varieties. This variety not only produced the largest bulbs, but they were near twice the size of the nearest competitor. Our trials confirm this with bulbs in excess of 1 lb in weight and nearly 1’ high. Florence Fennel is used raw or cooked in Italian cuisine for its sweet, anise-like flavor.
Germination: 7-14 days
Germination Temperature: Optimum soil temperatures 65-75ºF.
Seed Sowing Depth: 1/8" deep
Sowing Indoors: 4-6 weeks before the last frost. Sow 2-3 seeds per cell/pot. Sowing into individual biodegradable paper/peat/cow pots reduces root damage when transplanting. Thin to the strongest seedling. Fertilize the seedlings every 7-10 days with a liquid or water-soluble fertilizer, diluted to ¼ of suggested measurement. Transplant out mid-spring, 6" apart. Disturbing roots can cause bolting.
Sowing Outdoors: Early to mid-spring. Sow a few seeds every 1-2", thin 6" apart to the strongest seedling. Keep soil moist for the best germination.
How much does a packet sow: 8-10 foot single row
Harvest: When the base thickens and the bulb is the size of a tennis ball. Cut leaves off 2” above the bulb.
Tips: Florence Fennel should be planted in fertile, well-drained soil. Amended with compost if needed. Keep well watered for best roots.