Fennel Growing Guide

Foeniculum vulgare


Crop Rotation Group

Umbelliferae (Carrot and root family) 


Rich, well draining, moisture-retentive soil with plenty of compost dug in.


Full sun.

Frost tolerant

Seedlings are frost tender, but mature plants tolerate light frost.


Feed every 3 weeks with a liquid organic fertiliser, and use a rich, biodegradable mulch such as grass clippings.


Single Plants: 30cm (11") each way (minimum)
Rows: 25cm (9") with 35cm (1' 1") row gap (minimum)

Sow and Plant

Start seeds indoors, or sow in shallow furrows filled with potting soil. Thin seedlings to 30cm (12 in) apart when they are 3 weeks old. Chop the pulled seedlings into salads.
Our Garden Planner can produce a personalised calendar of when to sow, plant and harvest for your area.


When the bulb is the size of an egg, surround it with 6 inches of loose mulch to help it plump up and slightly blanch it.


Snip tender young leaves as needed in the kitchen. When the bulbs reach 8cm (3 in) in diameter, pull them and store in the refrigerator.

Planting and Harvesting Calendar

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Pests which Affect Fennel