How to grow fennel
Sow fennel seed 0.1cm deep in well-drained fertile soil in a sunny site. Thin or transplant fennel seedlings to 25cm apart.
Stake flowering fennel stems for support. Cut back after flowering to encourage more growth.
You can dig up and split established clumps of fennel in spring.
Harvesting and using fennel
Pick young fennel leaves before flowering for use fresh or for freezing. Pick flowers as they open and gather the aromatic fennel seeds as they ripen in summer.
Don't plant fennel near dill as they may cross pollinate, meaning the offspring of any seeds you've saved yourself will lose their distinct flavour.