The Q&A Archives: Planting Wild Fennel

Question: I have some wild fennel seeds I brought back from Tuscany, Italy I would love to plant them in my garden, but I haven't a clue. Can you help? Thanks. Eileen Forte Asheville, NC

Answer: Fennel likes well drained, low fertility soil, lots of sun and cool temperatures to grow. I'm assuming your wild fennel is a seed producer and not the bulbing type. I'd direct sow the seeds after all danger of frost has passed, thin your plants 6-10"apart and wait until you have enough the foliage until the seed heads forms. Once the seed head begins to dry up, pick the seed heads and let it continue to dry in a dry, breezy spot out of the sun. The seeds will fall off and you'll have pungent, wild fennel seeds for cooking.

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