This Italian strain is over 100 years old. A delight to grow and a treat to eat. Nothing says Italian more than fennel bulbs drizzled in olive oil, grilling next to some fennel seed-infused meat patties!
Plant in isolation or next to dill.
Common name: Zefa Fino Fennel
Botanical name: Foeniculum vulgare
Type: Cold-hardy biennial
Scarification/Stratification: None needed
Sow temp/season: 65-80 F Sow in early Spring through early Fall
Sow depth/spacing: 1/2 inch deep, every 2 inches. Germination in a week.
Final spacing: 6 inch or a 2 1/2 gallon pot
Final height/spread: 24 inches high and 12 inch spread
pH range: 5.5 to 7
Soil type: Not picky, likes sand
Nutrition: Steady supply of Potassium and Calcium. Loves compost.
Drainage: Does not like wet feet, so good drainage is nice.
Sun: Full sun to partial shade
Time to maturity: 85 days to harvest bulbs, 18 months to seed.
Hilling: Not generally needed, but can hill with compost or mulch for more support.
Suckering: Will sucker from side of bulb when pruned for leaf.
Propagation: Sow seed in at least 1 1/2 inch plug trays for transplant later, or direct.
Hybridization: Plant different varieties at least 1/2 mile to maintain strain.
Uses: Grill bulbs, use leaf or seed for spice. Feed to dogs or cats to repel fleas, and/or plant near pet areas. A tea made from the crushed seeds may act as a gentle and effective remedy for colic in infants, and the tea may also be used for aiding in mother’s milk production.