Fennel, Foeniculum vulgare - cultivation and care

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The Foeniculum vulgare or simply fennel is a plant that can be found in three different varieties as a vegetable, a spice plant or sweet fennel or as a wild plant, also known as bitter fennel. All species have in common that they are usable - both in the kitchen and in medicine.
The propagation of Foeniculum vulgare is very easy and can be implemented even for inexperienced hobby gardeners. The plant is propagated by its seeds. From February, the seeds can be preferred in flower pots. Important for the pre-breeding is only a warm location in the house. From May, the small plantlets can then be exposed outdoors. If you want to be even more comfortable, you can start the Foeniculum vulgare directly from May onwards.
The Foeniculum vulgareis a biennial plant. However, with a single purchase of the plant, there is no problem with being permanently supplied with this plant in the garden, because it is very pleasant. As a location in the open air, the Foeniculum vulgare estimates particularly humus rich as well as nutrient rich soils to thrive particularly well. The Foeniculum vulgare also has no problems with continuous solar radiation, as it particularly appreciates sunny locations and is also often found in nature. Even sunny places, which are less conducive to other plants, tolerate this plant easily. The substrate is a normal garden soil suitable, but should be well drained and formed no waterlogging. If the soil is not permeable enough, it can be interspersed with normal sand for the plant. The ideal location offers...

  • a lot of sunlight
  • humus and nutrient rich soil
  • a permeable substrate in which no waterlogging forms
Planting Foeniculum vulgare is very simple and completely uncomplicated. The Foeniculum vulgare is an old and very original plant with a Mediterranean background, which, however, thrives very well in our latitudes. In Central Europe, the plant can also be found in verwilderter form. In order to be able to plant the Foeniculum vulgare, one only needs a location with a lot of sunshine. The plant should be planted in a moderately dry, but nutrient-rich soil after the seeds have been grown. For a particularly good thriving, a base-rich loam or loess soil is ideal. This is why rubble weeds, vineyard margins or semi-rudimentary nutrient-poor grasslands of the follicular Foeniculum vulgare are also particularly frequently found in savage form. The harvest of Foeniculum vulgare can then take place between June and September. If the plant is to be planted in a herb garden, it is important to know that it belongs to the family of the dill. It is therefore important not to plant these two plants too close to each other, because cross-pollination causes both plants to lose their typical and aniseed aroma.
Each time after flowering or in the very early spring before budding, ie from the beginning of February to March, the fennel can be cut back to one hand. A good and regular cut strengthens the plant and produces larger fruits in the vegetable plant. The cut should be made at an angle, so that rainwater can drip off easily at the interface. So the plant is also protected at the gate from waterlogging and thus fungal attack. Tip:
Quite simply, the rule is to cut as deeply as possible while cutting the Foeniculum vulgare, but never cut deeper than a maximum of 1 1/2 cm above the last fresh shoot.
to water
The Foeniculum vulgare is a plant that needs sufficient water supply. However, the plant does not mind occasional periods of light dryness, making it altogether very robust. If the plant is poured, it is important to make sure that the Foeniculum vulgare is not in the backwater, because the fennel does not appreciate that at all. If you pay attention to a well-drained soil when planting, the Foeniculum vulgare is very uncomplicated even when watering. Incidentally, it is also completely unproblematic to water the plant from above and thereby moisten the flower itself. Sufficient water intake and mulching with straw help in the summer even at very high temperatures drying out as well as the so-called shooting of the plant, in addition, the formation of particularly large plants is promoted.
The fertilization of Foeniculum vulgare should begin even before planting. The application of some cornmeal and compost is an ideal basis for the flourishing of Foeniculum vulgare. Basically, the Foeniculum vulgare has a mediocre need for nutrients. Optimal is a location of Foeniculum vulgare in the second row in front of said fruits, which receive an organic fertilizer. Here the Foeniculum vulgare gets the perfect amount of fertilizer.
Diseases / pests
If honeydew, gallbladder or ruffled leaves are found on Foeniculum vulgare, aphids are highly probable. An insecticide is then helpful, but it may only be used if the plant is used exclusively for decoration purposes. The biological treatment of the plant, which is also used in the kitchen, should be done with parasitic wasps or predatory mosquitoes. If the plant suddenly produces very faded or even pale green discoloration, then fungal attack is very likely. This is usually caused by waterlogging, to which this plant is very sensitive. In this case, infected plants should be removed immediately, so they do not infect the other plants with the fungus. To avoid fungal infestation, avoidance of waterlogging and over-fertilization should be avoided.
If traces of food or mucus are found, it is very likely that a snail attack occurs. Regular tillage and good but moderate hydration stabilize the plant. The snails themselves should be collected from the plant in the evenings. Under no circumstances should special pesticides be used against the snails, as these no longer make it possible to use the plant in the kitchen. An infection of snails and aphids can be prevented by a proper planting, namely, when a seed is grown instead of direct sowing in the field. In addition, this cultivation also produces higher-quality harvests. Most common pests / diseases of fennel are...
  • aphid
  • fungal infection
  • worm infestation
From October, the bed should be covered with fennel to protect against frost or the tubers should be piled up.
Frequently asked questions
  • How can I use the Foeniculum vulgare as a medicinal plant? - From the flowers of fennel can be cooked teas that are helpful for both the gastrointestinal tract and reduce, for example, bloating. The tea can be used as a natural, antitussive remedy.
  • Why is fennel so healthy even as a vegetable? - The Foeniculum vulgare has a lot of essential oils. Fennel contains both silicic acid and mineral salts and starch, as well as vitamins A, B and C. The vitamin C content of the fresh fennel is 247.3 mg per 100 g fresh weight.
Worth knowing about fennel shortly
  • The young plants need a lot of space, you should not set more than about 10 plants per square meter.
  • The nutrient hungry seedlings are placed in compost enriched soil.
  • They should be treated once or twice a season with nettle slurry as a liquid fertilizer.
  • The soil should be well calcareous and kept moist.
  • You can cover the fennel outside in the first month, if you are in a colder area at home, under fleece it gets more heat.
  • Fennel usually grows very well when you plant it as a result of peas or potatoes.
  • Fennel is at least two years old and shows in the first year only a leaf rosette, which serves the development of the tuber.
  • Only in the following year the sprout develops from it. If he drives out in the second year, you can start harvesting.
  • You can harvest several times, starting with the first leaves.
  • The leaves, especially the fine cabbage on top, can be cut again and again until autumn.
  • If you want to harvest fennel seeds, you need more patience: The seeds in the umbels are ready for harvest at the end of September.
  • The fennel tubers come last, in autumn they are a bit piled, depending on the time of planting can be harvested between early October and early December.
  • If frost is already to be feared then you should protect the fennel with a thin layer of leaves against the cold (but he can withstand light night frosts).
  • Fennel can be frozen well, both the tubers (cleaned, diced and blanched) and the leaves (finely chopped, possibly with some water in the ice cube shape).
Healing effect?
  • When coughing, fennel tea with honey, e.g. a helpful remedy, but even with headaches and abdominal pain you can manage with fennel.
  • Babies are given fennel tea for abdominal pain and flatulence. Attention: Here you should rather resort to children's table tea from the trade!
Incidentally, the garden fennel is sold in various varieties that are particularly suitable as vegetables (fleshy leaves), or are more intended to be used as a spice or for medicinal purposes.

Video Board: Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare).

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