When to sow
- Indoors in March or April at a minimum of 15˚C
- Outdoors when tempertures rise above 15˚C and no chance of frost so from mid May till July
How to sow Florence Fennel
Fennel grows best during warm summers and needs an open, sunny site. Prepare a seedbed in fertile, well-drained soil, adding plenty of well-rotted organic matter the winter before planting. Fennel thrives on warm, moist, fertile, sandy soils.
Fennel dislikes root disturbance. Sow in cooler climates or, for early crops, better to sow in modules as single seedlings to avoid root damage. Plant out modules as soon as possible once the roots fill container from April, ‘harden off’, then plant out once the soil is warm and there is no danger of frost, from early May onwards. Early sowings are very liable to flower prematurely (bolt); there are bolt-resistant cultivars.
Alternatively, sow directly into the soil, 1.5mm (1/2in) deep in rows 30cm (12in) apart, thinning to 30cm (12in) apart in the rows when the soil is warm from May to early July. Use bolt-resistant cultivars from mid-June to mid-July sowings.