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What's wrong with fennel?

Posted: Sun Feb 05, 2017 6:21 pm
by fruitfly
I've planted some fennel seeds in trays and I've just read, in an article about companion planting, that you shouldn't grown fennel near any other food crops but it doesn't say why not - what harm can it do??

Re: What's wrong with fennel?

Posted: Sun Feb 05, 2017 10:40 pm
by diggernotdreamer
Fennel is cited as being an allelopathic plant, i.e. it prevents other around it from thriving, it does become a very large plant in any event and is a very good structural plant, the bronze variety of the seed fennel is very attractive and is a great plant for attracting hoverflies to the garden, florence fennel is a shorter plant and has smaller flowers.

Re: What's wrong with fennel?

Posted: Mon Feb 06, 2017 1:04 pm
by Brewtrog
It does grown into a monster (or mine did at least). But the rosemary and chives near it still thrived (then again they are pretty hardcore growers).

Re: What's wrong with fennel?

Posted: Mon Feb 06, 2017 6:21 pm
by Green Aura
It grows happily in amongst other herbs and fruit bushes here.

Re: What's wrong with fennel?

Posted: Mon Feb 06, 2017 7:23 pm
by diggernotdreamer
I think it is more of a problem when you direct seed into an area with annual things, I have grown it really happily with other perennial herbs

Re: What's wrong with fennel?

Posted: Mon Feb 06, 2017 9:39 pm
by Weedo
Hi

From my limited knowledge Fennel is allelopathic to a fairly high degree as far as greatly reducing germination of the seeds of other species rather than, like some wild sages, actually killing existing growth. I would guess that anything of a reasonable size planted with fennel would survive and anything already there would also. There would probably be a greater effect if you tried to plant seeds of something in a bed that had fennel in it the previous year. Fennel grows feral and weedy in the moister southern areas of Eastern Oz and it does not seem to have a widespread effect, mostly just around the plant.

Allelpathy is a complex thing, I am currently involved (on the edges) in a research project investigating allelopathic effects of eucalypts as potential alternatives to herbicides. We know that grass & crops will grow up to the trunk of a redgum but not a yellow box and that blue gum will not tolerate anything else living close to it. After testing some 200 euc species we have found effects from different species vary from weed species to weed species, some have no effect at all and others are very strong. So far 6 species are showing promise, not only as herbicide replacements but also as fungicides.

Re: What's wrong with fennel?

Posted: Sat Jun 02, 2018 7:18 am
by happyhippy
I've got Fennel growing this year.First time for me.Any ideas on how big it should grow before harvesting?I know it grows tall,but wondering if people leave it to grow that tall for a more structural look to their gardens.I'd like to harvest it before it gets too tough.

Re: What's wrong with fennel?

Posted: Sat Jun 02, 2018 11:53 am
by Green Aura
What sort of fennel are you talking about, hh?
Florence fennel - the bulb type for eating - is harvested when the bulb gets to the size of your liking.

Herb fennel, which doesn't have the bulbous base is a perennial, which grows tall but you only pick off the frondy leaves, or leave it to flower and seed. I've never cut mine back to harvest, just pulled bits off when required.

Re: What's wrong with fennel?

Posted: Sat Jun 02, 2018 12:39 pm
by happyhippy
Hmmm good question GA! I'm going to assume its Florence,as I specifically brought it to eat the bulb part.Its at my allotment,so I will need to double check the label.Oh dear.....I'm new to Fennel,hope it Florence!haha

Re: What's wrong with fennel?

Posted: Sat Jul 21, 2018 4:08 pm
by dungareegirl
Green Aura wrote:
Sat Jun 02, 2018 11:53 am
What sort of fennel are you talking about, hh?
Florence fennel - the bulb type for eating - is harvested when the bulb gets to the size of your liking.

Herb fennel, which doesn't have the bulbous base is a perennial, which grows tall but you only pick off the frondy leaves, or leave it to flower and seed. I've never cut mine back to harvest, just pulled bits off when required.
My first day on this forum and already I've learnt something :icon_smile: , I was given a tiny fennel plant by a friend about three years ago which I duly planted in the herb bed. It grows to a ferocious height each year but never a bulb - now reading this it seems its not the florence fennel, which is what I was expecting it to be. Oh well, the pollinators seem to like it so I might leave it there.

Re: What's wrong with fennel?

Posted: Sat Jul 21, 2018 5:45 pm
by Green Aura
:wave: Welcome to Ish, dg. :wave:

Fennel's a lovely herb, sprinkle the fronds on fish or in salads. Some folks put fennel stalks in when stock making but I find it a bit too overpowering. Definitely a herb where less is more!

Re: What's wrong with fennel?

Posted: Sat Jul 21, 2018 7:27 pm
by dungareegirl
Yeah I would imagine it would be too much in stock alright

Re: What's wrong with fennel?

Posted: Sat Jul 21, 2018 9:56 pm
by diggernotdreamer
I use fennel seed for micro salads, not that I eat it because I hate anything that tastes of aniseed, liquorice or celery. The only use I have for fennel seed is in some curries.

Re: What's wrong with fennel?

Posted: Sat Jul 21, 2018 10:46 pm
by Brewtrog
I loved my fennel for the seeds, but then I love the taste of anise. Hmm, maybe one to put back in the garden next year

Re: What's wrong with fennel?

Posted: Sun Jul 22, 2018 12:02 pm
by Green Aura
I like fennel, bulb and herb, but as a background flavour and cooking it helps too.

Maybe that's my problem with licorice, it is the flavour - no subtle background hint, just in your face licorice.