Plant fennel in the spring after all danger of frost has passed in a location that will receive full sun to partial shade. Space plants 5-8″ apart in average soil that is evenly-moist but well-drained. Harvest 75 days from initial planting. Can also be planted in late summer for fall harvest.
Grows well in containers or mixed pots. Plant height 24-36″. Attracts predatory insects to the garden, butterflies, and songbirds.
Fennel, Mantovano foeniculum vulgare
Mantovano, one of the larger fennels with deep green stalks and very round, white bulbs. Harvest can begin when they are young and tender – very sweet, anise like flavor and nice texture.
Fennel is a familiar flavor in many Italian dishes, especially with meat (sausage and meatballs in particular). The leaves are delicious in soups and stuffings. Add to marinara sauces or roast with vegetables. The bulbs can be braised and eaten with salt and pepper, for a simple dish. Or thinly slice and substitute the fennel bulbs for onions in your favorite dish.