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My Fennel has bolted!

tuffnelljohntuffnelljohn DartmoorPosts: 20
Hi all,

I started a little herb garden in an old Belfast sink. I planted some fennel, but it quickly took over the whole sink! (I didnt really know what fennel was, but got given a cutting so I tossed it in!). So I transferred the fennel into my veg bed. It really did NOT like that at all and instantly wilted, and then a few days later was trying to flower. I removed the flowers thinking that perhaps the energy would be diverted into growing the bulbs. Is that right? Or is it now 'spent' and I should remove it from the veg bed?

Thanks



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  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 31,494
    Is it the ornamental one you have though, rather than the edible one?
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • tuffnelljohntuffnelljohn DartmoorPosts: 20
    Hmm. I dont know. Its not look very ornamental at the moment! Its looking very sorry for itself! Is there a way I can tell if its an ornamental fennel?
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 31,494
    If you moved it while it was in full growth, that's why it's wilting. Unless you live somewhere with regular rain, and cooler conditions, it would have struggled a bit to grow away again. 
    I don't grow the edible one {Florence} only the ornamental. If you have a pic, someone may be able to give you a hint, although I think the top growth is pretty similar. The ornamental ones don't produce the edible tuber.  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 21,040
    Herb fennel does not produce a fat bulb but does make lots of lovely frondy foliage and seeds which you can use in cooking - salads, sauces and so on.  The seed is good in curries too.  It is normal for it to be setting seed around now.

    Bulb fennel requires a lot of water to fatten the swollen stems which are then edible but it will bolt if stressed by being moved or it gets thirsty.

    Both plants are good hosts for swallow tailed butterfly caterpillars if you're lucky enough to have any around.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 31,494
    Are the stems on the edible one a bit 'heftier' @Obelixx
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 21,040
    Not that I've noticed @Fairygirl.  By the time the bulbs are very fat, maybe, but I like to  eat them before they're huge.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 31,494
    That's what I wasn't sure of - having never grown it, only the herb.

    Perhaps if @tuffnelljohn has a pic, we can ID it, and advise further.
    In any case, it's flowered, and will be setting seed, probably because of the stress of being moved. 
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 21,040
    Even if it's Florence or bulb fennel, once it flowers there's be no swelling of the bulb as it will put all energy into seeds to reproduce.   The seeds are very good used to infuse sauces for fish and also toasted and crushed for curry blends so I would let it ripen.  If @tuffnelljohn doesn't do fish or curry I'd pull it up and compost it.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • herbaceousherbaceous E. BerksPosts: 1,844
    If you are interested in herbs tuffnelljohn you should check out these sites
    https://www.jekkas.com/
    https://www.hooksgreenherbs.com/herb-shop/

     :) 


    Haven't been anywhere for over four months but I'm here and I'm mostly happy
  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Leicestershire, UKPosts: 9,527
    edited 29 July
    For identification purposes, this is Florence (bulbing) fennel which was sown around midsummer day:
    The 'bulbs' are around 1.5" wide at the moment.

    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
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