Bronze Fennel

sdgeiger(z6-7 PA)September 23, 2008

Hello,

This is our second season for Bronze fennel and about 98% of it went to seed. It even spread to my neighbors raised beds of tomatoes and peppers. I was told that it will re-seed itself but the stalks that have gone to seed will not reproduce fennel strands for eating/cooking with. So I went ahead and cut 80% of it back after removing a ton of dried seeds.

Did I ruin my fennel by cutting the stalks? Would the stalks that have gone to seed re-generate the fennel strands (I call them strands because they don't really look like leaves to me.)

-Scott

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CA Kate

Are you planning on eating the fennel bases? If not, why are you growing them? (just curious) If you leave the "bulbs" they will re-sprout new growth.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2008 at 6:30PM
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sdgeiger(z6-7 PA)

Bronze Fennel is the type where you can the soft, dark, strands.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2008 at 6:52PM
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CA Kate

Why would you can it? I've used the leaves for flavoring cooked food, and even tried drying it.

Now, I've used Dill leaves, as well as the heads (umbels), in making dill pickles, but never fennel.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2008 at 1:53AM
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flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

Fennel comes in two 'versions'*, both botanically the same plant. One has been bred to produce bulbous stem bases for use as a vegetable. This is also known as Florence fennel. The fennel the poster has is the other type bred soley for use as a herb. This type comes in green or bronze colouring. The seeds, leaves and stems are used. You can treat it as any other perennial. Cut it down when it looks messy and it will keep coming up every year if you live in the right climate. You have definitely not ruined it, although I tend to leave the stems during the winter to provide refuge for beneficials, especially ladybirds, in the hollow stems and to look architectural. I cut them back in spring. As for the 'can', I took that as a typo with the missing word being 'use'.

* There are some other fennels but these two are the main ones grown in gardens.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2008 at 5:25AM
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CA Kate

Thanks for the enlightenment; I didn't know about the stalk fennel.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2008 at 3:28PM
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flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

Fennel (the non-bulbous one) is very drought tolerant. It also doesn't mind a bit of salt. I should think it would do well in Ca. Maybe you could try it? It's really trouble free to grow. It grows wild in the UK in seaside locations.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2008 at 5:04PM
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