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Outwardly, fennel greens are easy to confuse with ordinary dill, it is no coincidence that it is also called pharmaceutical dill, but their aroma is completely different.
It is quite difficult to grow it, so it is rarely found in vegetable gardens, however, the plant is so useful, rich in vitamins, that it is worth trying to introduce it into everyday life and try to plant it.
This vegetable crop yields a low yield, and other vegetable neighbors are not very fond of fennel near their beds. Maybe because of these minor problems, the culture is not popular with gardeners and gardeners. But there are still people who want to have fresh fennel greens on their table, and just dream of learning more about the rules of growing and caring for it.
Fennel is whimsical in terms of planting and neighborhood, so this issue should be given special attention.
How to choose and prepare a place?
When choosing a planting site, it is necessary to take into account the proximity to other crops, as fennel can negatively affect some of them.
What is next to and after which you can plant a plant? It is best to plant it after potatoes, peas, cabbage, or cucumbers. Fennel needs adequate lighting throughout the day to thrive. The site on which the plantings will be made should be open, and there should be no tall plants in the neighborhood that could shade the plantings over time. New plantings of fennel should not be placed in place of old ones or even nearby for at least three years.
How to cultivate the soil?
For this culture, fertile, medium moisture soil is suitable. Fennel grows well on limestone soil, sandy loam or loam. When processing, it is necessary to apply organic fertilizers: a bucket of compost, humus or peat per square meter of soil. Sawdust is added at the rate of 2 liters per square meter. Digging the soil for spring planting should be done from autumn to a depth of about 25 cm, and in the spring it should be dug again to a shallower depth and loosened. Superphosphates are added during seed planting.
This is how the seeds of the plant look in the photo.
Can I sow directly into open ground?
If you decide to plant fennel seeds directly in open ground, then special attention should be paid to timing.
- First option - sow seeds in the fall. The best period for this is early September. In this case, the plantings must be well insulated for the winter so that they do not freeze out.
- Second option - plant fennel in spring. For central Russia, this is the end of April. In this case, the hassle will be less.
When to sow?
In open ground:
- From the end of April. The air temperature must be at least +8 degrees.
- But greens can be sown until August at intervals of 2-3 weeks.
- In autumn they are planted in September. The soil temperature should drop to + 2 + 4 degrees.
They are planted on seedlings in February-March so that 30-day-old plants are planted in the ground in April-May.
How to choose a material?
Seeds should be light green, oblong, ribbed, without damage. When choosing seeds, it should be borne in mind that fennel has two varieties - for growing for greens and for growing heads of cabbage. Fennel ordinary gives more aromatic greens, and the root forms heads of cabbage, which are used as a vegetable raw, fried or baked.
Where to get seeds?
Seeds can be obtained from a plant by leaving it in its second year and waiting for it to bloom. Ripe umbrellas will change their color from green to not yellowish-brown. Cut umbrellas must be hung to dry. Seeds are stored in paper bags for up to 3 years.
You can also buy seeds in specialized stores. When choosing, one should take into account the characteristics of the variety, temperature regime, requirements for the soil. The price in Moscow and St. Petersburg ranges from 8 to 60 rubles per gram, depending on the variety.
The most popular varieties:
- Chernivtsi local;
- Autumn handsome;
How to prepare?
Before planting, the fennel seeds are wrapped in a cloth and dipped for 4 hours in a solution that promotes germination, for example, a solution of potassium permanganate.
Step-by-step instructions for outdoor planting
For autumn planting:
- Prepare the soil - dig it to a depth of at least 25 cm and loosen it.
- Prepare grooves (distance between rows 50-60 cm, depth 2-2.5 cm), sow seeds in them and cover with earth. Top can be covered with peat or compost. The layer must be at least 2 cm.
- In autumn, seeds are planted in the ground when the soil temperature drops to + 2 + 4 degrees, so that the shoots do not germinate ahead of time and do not die from frost.
- Cover the bed with a film before planting to retain moisture. If the soil is not moist enough, then water it before planting.
- In the prepared soil, make grooves up to 2 cm deep.The distance between the rows is 50-60 cm.
- Cover the planting with foil to prevent the soil from drying out. Water as needed. Shoots appear on 6-14 days. The minimum temperature is + 6 + 8 degrees, but in the cold the plant will germinate longer.
- 10-12 days after the emergence of seedlings, the film can be removed, and the rows can be loosened.
- After a couple of days, thin out the crops (the distance between plants is 15 cm for vegetable varieties, 8 cm for ordinary ones).
- Prepare containers for planting. These can be large boxes or individual pots with a volume of about 250 ml. At the bottom, it is necessary to make drainage holes, and put pebbles or expanded clay on the bottom.
- Soak the seeds as described above.
- Sow seeds in pre-prepared pots or boxes to a depth of 1-1.5 cm.
- Moisten the earth liberally with a spray bottle.
- Cover the pots with plastic wrap and place in a warm place.
- Do not allow the soil to dry out.
- When seedlings with 2-3 true leaves appear, plant them in separate pots or dive so that the distance between the plants is at least 20 cm.
- When can I plant seedlings outdoors? Exactly one month after germination. Before planting, the seedlings must be hardened: take them out for a week in the open air.
- For planting, prepare the holes at a distance of 20-30 cm from each other so deep that the weighing soil from the seedling pot fits there.
When disembarking in spring:
Step-by-step instructions for growing seedlings
Fennel is grown using seedlings in areas where summers are short and frost is likely. This is especially important for vegetable varieties in which heads of cabbage are formed. If seedlings germinate in conditions of long daylight hours, then the formation of heads of cabbage is difficult. In this case, planting begins in February-March.
How to care for the first time?
Outdoors, fennel is low maintenance. Important points should be observed:
- Weed the weeds so they don't drown out the growth of the fennel itself.
- Water every five days (10-15 liters of water per square meter of soil). It is especially important to keep the soil moist during the first week after planting for the plants to take root well. Mulching will help retain moisture in the soil.
- Fertilize twice a season (the first one immediately after thinning). You can use a solution of mullein or chicken droppings.
- Hilling 2-3 times a season to a height of 3-7 cm. Especially important for vegetable varieties.
What is badly adjacent to in the garden?
Fennel is best planted away from most other crops, because when there is a lack of moisture, it takes it from other plants with its long roots. But beans, spinach, cumin and pepper negatively affect the fennel itself. Better to avoid being near them.
In conclusion, it can be noted that fennel is used very widely and not only in cooking. Greens, heads of cabbage and even the seeds themselves are used as a spice. This aromatic plant has a beneficial effect on digestion and has expectorant properties. Its beneficial qualities will certainly reward you for the labor of growing it.