How to Grow Fennel From Seed?
The seedlings are small and very delicate. They need lots of care so they will not wilt or die before reaching maturity. The best way to grow them is through seeds. You can plant them outdoors if you want but it takes much longer time than planting them from bulbs since the bulb stage lasts only one year while the seedling stage lasts two years. If you don’t have any outdoor space then you can use plastic bags instead. Place the bag inside a pot filled with water and keep it moist until the seedlings sprout roots. Then place them into your garden where they will start producing their own food, which is essential for them to survive.
You can buy seeds online at Amazon, GardeningWeb or many other places. For those who cannot afford such things, there are also home grown varieties available too.
Planting Fennel Seeds: How to Choose the Right Kind?
There are several kinds of fennel. There are two types of fennel, the ‘wild’ variety and the cultivated type. Wild fennel is usually found in areas like forests and mountains. These plants produce leaves that look similar to parsley leafs, but they are smaller and more tender than parsley leaves. Their flavor is milder too.
The cultivated fennel plant is the one used mainly for cooking and other purposes. They have bigger leaves and a greater variety of uses.
When it comes to growing fennel you can choose from two types: hardy fennel (which includes the wild variety) and Florence fennel, which is the cultivated type. You can also grow them outdoors or inside your house.
When it comes to growing fennel from seeds, the process is very easy. The seeds will need to be placed in shallow containers that have been filled with soil.
You can cover the container with a clear lid to keep the soil moist until the seeds sprout. Once they have sprouted and grown their first pair of leaves, you can then transplant them into bigger pots or into your garden. The best time to plant them in your garden is during the springtime.
It usually takes about two months for the fennel to fully sprout and grow. When it is ready, you can harvest the leaves when they are at their darkest green.
Fennel is mostly used for culinary purposes. They can be eaten raw and added to salads.
They can also be cooked and consumed as a side dish or as an ingredient in other dishes. The leaves can also be dried for later consumption.
Planting Fennel from Cuttings: How to Prepare Your Cuttings?
When you want to start growing fennel from a cutting, you will need to prepare your cutting first. The first step in this process is to choose a healthy and strong growing fennel plant. Make sure that you pick a stem that has at least three leaf sets. You will also need to find a container that can hold the cutting, enough soil and water until the plant starts to grow.
The next thing that you need to do is to take your cutting. You should cut the stem just below a leaf set.
Once you have done this, you need to let the cutting sit for about a week. Make sure that you keep the cutting moist during this time by misting it with water.
After a week, bury the cutting up to its first leaf set into your chosen container that has soil. Cover the soil with plastic to keep it from drying out.
Make sure that the cutting is kept in a place where it can get at least six hours of sunlight everyday.
After about a month, you should start seeing signs of new growth. Once this happens, you can move the cutting to its final growing place.
Make sure that it gets lots of sun and keep the soil moist but not soggy.
From start to finish, it should take about three months for your cutting to fully grow.
Florence Fennel is also known by several other names. These include Anise, Bee Brush, and Sweet Grass.
Florence Fennel has been used for both culinary and medicinal purposes by various cultures for centuries.
Various parts of the fennel plant can be used in cooking. These parts include the leaves, stems, seeds, and even the roots.
Various spices such as anise, coriander, and dill are also derived from the fennel plant.
Fennel has been used to flavor food for a very long time. In ancient times the Greeks and Romans used it to season meat.
During the middle ages it was one of the most widely used herbs. During this time, it was mostly only used by the rich because it was very expensive. The ancient Egyptians even placed images of the fennel plant on their temple walls.
Fennel can be consumed both cooked and raw. When eaten raw, it has a very crisp texture and a very sweet taste.
It is often used in salads or sandwiches. It can also be an ingredient in various dishes such as fish and vegetables. Fennel seeds can be used both cooked and raw. They have a flavor that resembles licorice.
Fennel can also be used to make herbal medicines and drugs. The most common use of fennel for medicinal purposes is in the manufacturing of absinthe.
It is also used to make herbal teas that are believed to help alleviate gastrointestinal issues such as irritable bowel syndrome.
Today, the majority of fennel that is used commercially is grown in India and China. It is believed that the plant was first domesticated in Egypt.
In Native American societies, fennel was consumed both raw and cooked. The Navajo and Zuni people would often cook it with beans.
The Miwok people of California would use it as a regular food staple. They would often mix it with other ingredients to make breads and cakes.
Fennel is native to Europe and the Greater Mediterranean region. It was introduced to the United States through early colonization.
The fennel plant is very tall, measuring anywhere from twelve to fifteen feet in height. The plant has clusters of thin, straight stems that are light green in color.
During the first growing season, the stems are thin and smooth. After the second year of growth, they become hollow and have a rough texture. Fennel also has triangular green leaves that grow at each node of the stem.
Fennel seed pods are yellow-green in color and elongated. They contain very small black seeds.
When fully mature, the pods will burst open and release their seeds. The older the seeds, the less viable they become.
The main compound present in fennel is anethol. Other compounds present include pinene, limonene, and caryophyllene.
Fennel has a number of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It is also high in fiber and vitamin C.
Fennel tea is one of the most popular ways to consume this herb. It is high in antioxidants and has a number of medicinal purposes.
Fennel tea can help alleviate an upset stomach. It can be drunk regularly to treat persistent digestive issues such as irritable bowel syndrome.
It can also help relieve symptoms of acid reflux disease. To make fennel tea, simply add one teaspoon of dried fennel seeds to one cup of boiling water. Cover and steep the mixture for at least ten minutes.
Fennel tea can also help eliminate bad breath. Simply chewing on a fennel seed or two after meals can help keep your breath fresh.
Fennel seeds can also be chewed or eaten raw. They have a sweet and spicy taste that is similar to anise.
They are most often used as a flavoring for various foods such as cookies, crackers, cakes, and candy. They are also used to make Mediterranean dishes such as sausage and fish.
Fennel tea has a host of other benefits. It can help alleviate bad breath, prevent bites from infections, improve digestion, and much more.
Fennel can also be used to make fennel tea. Fennel tea is easy and inexpensive to make. It doesn’t take long to see the benefits of drinking fennel tea on a daily basis.
Fennel tea can be used in place of common tea and is a great alternative to help soothe your stomach. It can also help you stay energized throughout the day.
Whether you suffer from digestive issues or not, fennel tea can provide numerous health benefits.
Making fennel tea is easy and inexpensive. You can grow your own fennel seeds or simply purchase them at your local market.
Most grocery stores will carry fennel seeds next to the other herbs. Fennel is also easy to grow and will readily thrive if planted.
When drinking fennel tea, drink it on a regular basis. The best results are seen when drinking four to five cups of fennel tea every day.
Have you ever considered growing your own fennel plants?
Perhaps you would like to try growing other herbs such as chamomile or mint. Either way, growing your own herbs is an excellent idea for those seeking healthy alternatives for cooking and drinking.
Have you ever heard of fennel tea?
Fennel tea is made from fennel seeds, which have been used for a variety of purposes throughout history. Native to southern Europe, Fennel has a long history of culinary and medicinal use.
The fennel plant grows up to three feet in height and has pale green feathery leaves and flowers that grow in clusters of yellow umbels. Fennel can be found in dried form in most grocery stores and some health food stores.
How to Make Fennel Tea
Fennel tea is made through a simple process of boiling water and then adding fennel. In order to obtain the most benefits from drinking fennel tea, you should drink it on an empty stomach or at least wait an hour after eating.
You can sweeten your fennel tea with raw honey or stevia. Honey should not be consumed by those with insulin issues.
What is Fennel Tea Used For?
Fennel tea has numerous benefits for your health and can be consumed on a daily basis to promote overall wellness:
Heart Health: Fennel tea can improve your heart health by lowering blood sugar, hypertension and cholesterol levels. It can also prevent the formation of blood clots and restrict platelet aggregation.
Digestive Aid: Fennel tea can soothe an upset stomach, relieve gas, cramps, colic, diarrhea and even vomiting. It can also reduce intestinal spasms and increase the secretion of digestive enzymes.
Pain Reliever: Fennel tea can be used as a pain reliever during period pain, stomach cramps and headaches. It can also be used to reduce fever associated with the flu or common cold.
Memory Booster: Fennel tea can be used as a memory booster and can help improve learning ability and recall information.
Cleansing Agent: Fennel tea is beneficial for your kidneys and bladder. It can also prevent kidney stones from forming.
Hair Care: Fennel tea can be used as a hair rinse to prevent hair loss and speed up hair growth.
Is Fennel Tea Safe During Pregnancy?
Fennel tea should be avoided during pregnancy. High doses of fennel have been known to cause uterine contractions and should not be consumed by pregnant women under any circumstances.
Can I Drink Fennel Tea While Taking Medication?
Those taking medication should consult a medical professional before consuming fennel tea as it can interfere with certain prescription drugs, especially blood thinners.
Avoid consuming fennel tea if you suffer from asthma or gastric ulcers.
Fennel should not be given to children.
What are the Side Effects of Drinking Fennel Tea?
The most common side effect of drinking fennel tea is stomach discomfort such as cramps, nausea and vomiting. These effects can be lessened by drinking the tea on an empty stomach.
Consuming fennel tea in large amounts can lead to dizziness, drowsiness and confusion. Fennel is not recommended for those suffering from gout or kidney disease.
Consuming fennel tea while pregnant or breastfeeding can be harmful to your child.
Fennel may interact with certain prescription medications, so you should consult a medical professional before using it.
How Much Fennel Tea Should I Drink?
The recommended dose of fennel tea is two to three cups a day. Drink it pure or with added honey, lemon or stevia. It can be stored in an airtight container in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight for up to one year.
How Should I Take Fennel Tea?
Fennel tea can be consumed both hot and cold, depending on your preference. To make hot fennel tea, pour one cup of boiling water over 1-2 tsp of fennel seeds and allow to steep for five minutes. Sweeten with raw honey if desired.
To make iced fennel tea, pour 1 cup of boiling water over 1 tsp of fennel seeds and steep for 10 minutes. Allow to cool before storing in the fridge overnight.
Add ice cubes and enjoy.
For an extra nutritious and antioxidant drink, steep fennel seeds in apple juice.
How To Grow Fennel?
Fennel is grown from seeds. It prefers fertile, well-drained soil and likes to be planted in full sun. Sow fennel seeds directly into the ground after all danger of frost has passed. You can start sowing fennel indoors 6-8 weeks before planting out if you live in a colder climate. Sow the seeds 1 inch deep and 2-3 inches apart. Thinning out is not necessary as they are slow to germinate. Keep the soil moist.
Fennel grows to a height of 3-5 feet and prefers warm weather. Once the plants are a few inches tall, thin out some of the outer leaves and then start harvesting when they are about a foot high.
The bulbs can grow quite large and you can keep harvesting throughout the summer.
Believe it or not, deer aren’t particularly fond of fennel so you’ll most likely not have to worry about them eating it!
How to Dry Fennel
When the fennel has grown to be about a foot tall, it’s ready to be harvested. Cut off the stems and leaves and place them on a drying tray.
Once they’re dry, strip the outer layer of the stems off and grind them up in a food processor or pound them into a coarse powder using a mortar and pestle. You can store the powder in an airtight glass jar away from direct sunlight.
Harvesting the seeds is a little trickier. Wait until a token amount of flower has bloomed (but not yet gone to seed) and then cut off the stems.
Spread them out on a drying tray and place in a dark area with plenty of ventilation, such as near a stove or radiator. Check them every day for seeds and once you see some visible, strip them from the stems and store in an airtight container just like you did with the powder.
How to Use Fennel Seed
Fennel seed can be used in a variety of dishes and is especially good with fish and in baked goods such as breads and crackers. It’s great in curries, with lamb and in pickling.
You can also use it to make a refreshing and healthy tea by adding some honey for sweetness.
Fennel is widely available both in the seed and plant form (often quite cheap) so it might be worth trying out next time you’re looking for something new to cook with!
We’ve just looked at two fairly easy plants that you can easily grow yourself to help you through the winter. If you want to learn about more, check out the rest of our Homesteader’s Gazette gardening series!
Sources & references used in this article:
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Comparative volatile oil composition of various parts from Turkish bitter fennel (Foeniculum vulgare var. vulgare) by A Akgül, A Bayrak – Food Chemistry, 1988 – Elsevier
Effect of three different compost levels on fennel and salvia growth character and their essential oils by Y Mona, AM Kandil, MF Swaefy Hend – Biological Sciences, 2008 – aensiweb.net
Antioxidant activity and phenolic composition of wild, edible, and medicinal fennel from different Mediterranean countries by M Faudale, F Viladomat, J Bastida, F Poli… – Journal of agricultural …, 2008 – ACS Publications
Variation in plant properties and essential oil composition of sweet fennel (Foeniculum vulgare Mill.) fruits during stages of maturity by I Telci, I Demirtas, A Sahin – Industrial Crops and Products, 2009 – Elsevier
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Characterization of Some Italian Types of Wild Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare Mill.) by R Piccaglia, M Marotti – Journal of Agricultural and Food …, 2001 – ACS Publications
Extraction of fennel (Foeniculum vulgare Mill.) seeds with supercritical CO2: Comparison with hydrodistillation by B Damjanović, Ž Lepojević, V Živković, A Tolić – Food Chemistry, 2005 – Elsevier