kids grow fennel
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kids grow fennel

Growing fennel with kids

Fennel is related to carrots and parsley. It has a white bulb with stalks, feathery leaves and seeds. All the parts are edible. There are two types of fennel: 'bulbed' and 'seed'. The fat bulbs are cooked like a vegetable. Seed varieties are used like a herb and the crunchy stalks are good in salads.

What you'll need:

  • • Fennel seeds
  • • Rake (if growing in the ground)
  • • Multipurpose compost and containers (if you're not growing in the ground)
  • • Watering can

Step 1: Choose your spot

planting fennelYou can grow fennel in containers too.
Image: Lifesummerlin
  • • Fennel doesn't like to be moved, so decide where you want to grow it.
  • • If sowing in the ground, remove weeds and rake the soil.
  • • If growing in containers, fill a large pot with compost.
  • • Don't plant neaer tomatoes or potatoes: they don't like each other and won't grow well.

Step 2: Sow your fennel seeds

watering fennel seedsWater the ground thoroughly first.
Image: Osterik
  • • Fennel hates dry soil, so water the ground before sowing.
  • • Sow your seeds 1cm deep and about 25cm apart.
  • • Plant 3-4 seeds in each hole, then just keep the strongest seedling.
  • • Cover with a thin layer of soil or compost.
  • • Gently water.

Step 3: Grow your fennel

fennel ready to harvestReady to harvest!
Image: nnatalli
  • • Fennel is a thirsty plant - keep the soil moist
  • • If you don't water enough, fennel can 'bolt' (grow too fast and go to seed).
  • • Harvest leaves and seeds from spring to autumn.
  • • Your plant should be ready to harvest about two months after sowing.

Suggested varieties:

  • • Bulbed (or 'Florence fennel'): 'Trieste', 'Zefa Fino'
  • • Seed (or 'herb fennel'): 'Bronze Fennel', 'Rubrum', 'Smokey'

There's plenty more information in the downloadable guide. Print it out for more detailed instructions and even more fennel facts!

  Click the image to download the full pdf guide  
growing fennel with kids pdf

Banner image: nnatalli/ Shutterstock

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