Fennel is a bulb-rooted herb with handsome yellow flowers, similar in appearance to dill bloom. By the end of the growing season, you'll have fully-developed bulbs which can be harvested and cooked as a vegetable.
When and Where to Plant: Plant in early spring or in late June-July so that the plants can mature in cooler fall weather. Spring-sown plants are more likely to bolt so many gardeners will wait until July to seed their fennel and harvest the bulbs in the fall. Fennel seeds should be planted in full sun in a well drained soil. Plant directly into rich soil and keep moist until the first leaves appear. Then keep on the dry side.
Care: When the bulbs are about the size of an egg, pile the soil up around it so it will continue to grow away from the light. You may want to cut off the seed heads when they form to give the bulb more time to grow before harvesting.
Harvesting: 14-16 weeks after sowing. Pull the plants when the base is at least 3" or more in diameter. Make sure to hold onto the bulb as you pull. Cut off all but the top 9" of the fern growth.