Fennel: Cultivation And Care In The Open Field, Useful Properties

The herb Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) is a genus of Fennel in the Umbrella family. It is also commonly referred to as the dill of Volosh or the apothecary plant. Under natural conditions fennel can be found in Western Europe (in France, Spain, Italy, England and Portugal), in North Africa (Libya, Algeria, Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia) and in Southeast Europe (Bulgaria, former Yugoslav countries, Greece and Albania). It is also found in Central, North and South America, Central and West Asia and New Zealand. It prefers to grow in ditches, on stony slopes and in weedy places.

Growing this crop in a large number of countries. The first mentions of fennel were found in ancient Indian herbalists which were written about 5,000 years ago. About such a plant was known in ancient China, it was used there in cosmetic and culinary purposes, also about it knew in ancient Egypt, there was thought that in addition to the healing and gustatory properties, it has power over evil spirits. The ancient Saxons also believed that such a plant has mystical properties, bundles of grass they used to protect their homes from witchcraft. The Greeks used fennel as a choleretic, diuretic and abortifacient, and it was also used to get rid of fleas.

The works of Dioscorides, Avicenna, Hippocrates and Pliny all mention this plant. In the Middle Ages, the crop began to be cultivated throughout Europe and a treatise called "The Power and Effect of Fennel" was dedicated to it by the Czech physician Mattiol, who served at the court of Archduke Ferdinand. In the 18th century, Stevens, a chemist, had created a remedy for kidney and stomach ailments based on fennel that was highly effective, and the English Parliament paid him a handsome settlement for having this recipe made public. This plant is used as a spice by the national cuisines of a large number of countries, including both Asian and European cuisines.

Brief description of cultivation

Fennel: cultivation and care in the open field, useful properties

  1. Planting.

    Use the winter sowing of seeds in the open ground, which is done in October. They can also be sown in early spring (April); in warm climates, dry seeds should be sown in July or August. Needs plenty of sunlight.

  2. Ground. Soil must be light loamy or sandy loam.

  3. Pouring. On average the bushes should be watered once every 5 days, with 1 to 1,5 buckets of water per square meter of bed. Increase the amount of watering during prolonged drought or if the fennel grows on light soil.
  4. Fertilizer. We recommend to fertilize this crop with chicken manure solution (1:20) or cow dung (1:10) or with herb infusion.

    During the season the bushes should be nourished a couple of times: when they will be thinned and after the formation of flower stalks has begun.

  5. Mounding. Only vegetable varieties need to be pruned twice or three times during the season to a height of 30 to 70 mm.
  6. Propagation. Seeded, and most commonly used vegetative propagation (rhizome division).

  7. Pests. Wireworms, May beetle larvae, moth caterpillars and meadow moths.
  8. Diseases. Cercosporosis, root and stem rot or rust.
  9. Properties.

    This spicy herb has mild disinfectant, antispasmodic and mild diuretic effects.

Fennel features

Fennel: cultivation and care in the open field, useful properties

Fennel is cultivated as an annual, biennial or perennial. The spindle-shaped root is fleshy and wrinkly, branched off at the top. All parts of the plant above ground are green with a pale blue patina. The height of the strongly branched, rounded, straight stem varies from 0.

9 to 2 m. Leaf blades are arranged in rows and dissected four or three times; lower leaves have petioles, upper ones are sessile on a sheath of narrow oblong shape, 30-50 mm long, widened towards the top. Double umbrella-like inflorescences reach 3-15 cm in cross-section, they consist of yellow flowers. Bushes bloom in July and August. The fruit is an oblong brown-green, naked lobster fruit with a sweet taste and a length of 0.

5 to 1 cm and width of 0.2 to 0.3 cm. Fennel fruits split into 2 parts and ripen in September.

How to grow fennel Part 1

Growing fennel from seed

Fennel: cultivation and care in the open field, useful properties

Sowing in soil

The seed method and rhizome division method are used for propagation of fennel.

Seeds remain germinating for 2 to 3 years. Seeds are sown under winter as well as at the beginning of spring. In warm regions, dry seeds are used to grow fennel as a perennial, which is sown into open soil in July or August. When buying seeds of this crop, one should take into account that there are two varieties of seeds: the first variety is used for obtaining aromatic greens, and the second one is a vegetable variety. When growing it, one gets greens as well as sprouts having high taste qualities.

For sowing this crop, it is recommended to choose the areas where there was a snow accumulation in winter time. Fennel is heat-loving and therefore grows very poorly in shaded areas. Light loamy or sandy loam soils are suitable for cultivation. Good predecessors for such a plant are row crops and winter crops, as well as herbaceous annual plants. Spinach, peppers, beans, tomatoes, beans and cumin should not be grown next to fennel because it helps to suppress the growth of these plants.

Specialists advise growing this crop next to cabbage and cucumbers, because its aroma deters such a common pest as aphids.

If sowing will be carried out in spring, then the site preparation should be done in the autumn time. To do this, lime the acidic soil, and after at least 15 days under deep recultivation 2 tbsp. superphosphate, 1 bucket of compost or humus and 2 liters of sawdust per 1 square meter of ground. In the spring, before you start sowing seeds, the surface of the plot should be loosened and leveled.

For sowing in the winter, it is recommended to choose those plots, in whose soil fertilizer was applied to the previous crops. There is no need to fertilize especially before planting this plant as it will ripen very slowly.

When sowing, the seed should be submerged in the ground by 20 mm, and the width of the row spacing should be no less than 0.6 m. If sowing is carried out in early April, after planting the bed should be watered, and then its surface should be covered with a film, which is removed only when the first seedlings appear.

A week and a half after the appearance of seedlings, they need thinning, and the distance between the plants of vegetable varieties should be 20 to 30 centimeters, and between the seedlings of green - 10 to 15 centimeters. In regions with fairly cold climates, it is recommended to grow fennel through seedlings.

Growing fennel from seeds

Taking care of fennel

Fennel: cultivation and care in the open field, useful properties

This crop is quite easy to grow on your plot. This plant should be given timely watering, weeding, feeding, it should also be protected from diseases and pests, and during one season 3 times to loosen the soil surface between the rows. If vegetable varieties are grown, they should be dipped twice or three times during the growing season to a height of 30 to 70 mm.

This is to whiten the sprouts and also to make them fleshier and juicier after dipping.

How to water

This plant likes water. If it rains regularly in summer, it should be watered once every 5 days on average and 1 to 1.5 buckets of water per square meter of bed. If the crop is grown on light soil, the watering should become more frequent.

Particular attention to watering should be paid when growing vegetable varieties, because if they will not have enough water, it will have an extremely negative effect on the quality of the tips, with the bushes themselves can go into the stem. It must also be remembered that if the plants are not watered sufficiently, they will start to run their roots into beds nearby.

When it rains or when the fennel is watered, it is absolutely necessary to loosen up the soil around the bushes. To reduce the number of watering, weeding and loosening, the surface of the bed should be covered with a layer of mulch.

Fennel feeding

Fennel: cultivation and care in the open field, useful properties

Fennel responds best to feeding with a solution of cowpea.

In order to prepare it, it is necessary to combine water with cow manure at a ratio of 10:1. You can also use a solution of chicken manure, but in this case the water and organic combine at a ratio of 20:1. Another way to feed this crop can be an infusion of grass. In total, during the growing season shrubs should be fed 2 times. The first time fertilize the bed right after the seedlings will be thinned, and the second time when the green varieties will start to form flower arrows and when growing cabbage varieties 4 weeks after the first fertilization.

Harvesting

Fennel: cultivation and care in the open field, useful properties

Cut fennel greens after the bushes will be 0,3 m high, because at this time they have the most saturated smell. They are cut in the early morning while the dew is still dry or in the evening when the sun goes down. The sprouts should be trimmed right at the root, but should have petioles with foliage about 20 centimeters long. The cut sprouts should be put in the shaded area in the fresh air, where they should stay for some time. Then all but one of the petioles are cut off and shortened to 10 centimeters.

Then they are put away for storage. They are kept buried in the sand in a cool place since they cannot be kept in the refrigerator for more than half a month.

Seed collection

As a rule, the first blossoms do not appear until the second year after sowing fennel. The seeds can only be collected once the bushes have blossomed. You will only be able to gather them when the pale green inflorescences change to a bluish yellow.

Carefully trim them off and hang them in a well-ventilated, dry and cool place to dry with newspaper sheets underneath. After the umbrellas have dried well, the seeds should be shaken out of them onto a leaf. When they are separated from the plant residues, they are scattered in bags made of paper. Place them in a dark and dry place for storage.

How to grow Fennel ch 2

Pests and diseases of fennel with photos and names

Diseases of fennel

Fennel is quite resistant to disease, but it still sometimes gets stem rot or root rot, cercosporosis or rust.

Cercosporosis

Fennel: cultivation and care in the open field, useful properties

If the bush is affected by cercosporosis, angular small yellow spots appear on all of its green parts. Over time, the spots become darker and merge with each other. Affected parts of the bush become yellow and then die off. To prevent this, the crops should not be allowed to overgrow. Affected bushes should be sprayed with a solution of Bordeaux mixture (1%), Kaptan or Cuprozan.

Root rot

Fennel: cultivation and care in the open field, useful properties

Root rot causes fennel to die. Initially there is a drooping of the leaves and then they wilt, turn brown, and die off. If you dig a hole about 15 centimeters deep around the shrub, you will find blackened roots. The affected plant should be dug out and removed from the plot along with the soil that is adjacent to the roots. If the disease is detected in its early stages, it is recommended to stop watering the fennel and also to spray it with a fungicide solution.

Stem rot

Fennel: cultivation and care in the open field, useful properties

In plants affected by stem rot, the shoots and stems are damaged. Part of the stem or shoot rots first, after which it dies off. In some cases, leaves are also affected. As a rule, the plant rots at the level of the soil surface as well as above, and the first symptom of the disease is the appearance of white plaque, then small brown spots are formed on the surface of the stem. After signs of the disease are found on the bush, stop watering it, then remove the plaque and smear the affected areas with a strong solution of manganese potassium, after which the plants are powdered with wood ash.

Rust

Fennel: cultivation and care in the open field, useful properties

If the bush is affected by rust, which is a fungal disease, brownish-orange bumps and pustules appear on the above-ground parts, causing increased moisture evaporation. If the plant is very severely infected, it will begin to lose its leaves. As soon as the first symptoms of the disease are noticed, all affected stems and foliage should be cut off, then fennel should be sprayed with a fungicide solution.

Pests of fennel

Fennel has the ability to repel various pests, but one should take into account that many cultures cannot get along with it either. For example, aphids, fleas, snails and woodlice never settle on it, so a bed with such a plant is recommended to place next to vegetable crops, which often suffer from them.

But this is only if these crops can get along next to fennel. However, it can still be harmed by the larvae of the May beetle, meadow moths, wireworms, and more caterpillars of the moth.

The meadow moth

Fennel: cultivation and care in the open field, useful properties

The meadow moth is a polyphagous harmful insect that can greatly harm the vegetable garden. This moth reaches 10 mm in length, with females having a wingspan of about 26 centimeters and males up to 20 centimeters. The coloring of front wings is brownish gray with dark spots, with a yellow stripe at the outer edge.

Hind wings are gray with 2 stripes. The black-headed caterpillar of such a moth has a gray-green coloration, with a dark stripe running along its back. This pest is notable for its fecundity, so it is very dangerous for cultivated plants. The caterpillars eat everything they come across, leaving only petioles and veins of leaves. The moths themselves eat nectar, so in years of mass meadow moth summer, there is often a noticeable reduction in the amount of honey produced in the area.

Such years occur 1 time in 8-10 years, at which time gardeners and vegetable growers have to try hard to save the harvest. Various methods are used to destroy moths. If there are relatively few pests on the plot, they can be collected manually, and it should be taken into account that the more weeds on the plot, the more likely it is that moths will settle on it. If the number of pests is very large, chemical preparations should be used for their elimination, and Metafos, Decis, Fufanon, Phosphamid and Karbofos are most effective.

Winter Moths

Fennel: cultivation and care in the open field, useful propertiesFennel: cultivation and care in the open field, useful properties

Winter Moths are also a polyphagous pest that is very widely spread.

The coloration of the front wings is dark gray, almost black, with 3 stripes of an even darker shade, and a thin black border is also present. The hind wings of the female are light brown, while those of the male are white. The caterpillars of this insect are colored earthy gray, with a dark stripe forming on their back at a later stage of development. This crop can be harmed by the moths themselves and their caterpillars, which are very voracious. In order to prevent it, it is necessary to adhere to the rules of agrotechnics fennel, and also systematically carry out weeding.

If you have a lot of moths, you will need to treat with a meadow moth insecticide (see above).

Main varieties

Fennel: cultivation and care in the open field, useful properties

Fennel does not have many varieties. Varieties of the oilseed variety:

  1. Chernovitsky 3. Ripening of this variety is observed in 135-150 days.
  2. Crimean.

    This variety is characterized by its compactness, and it is less dewy. It ripens 15 days earlier than Chernovitsky 3. Due to the fact that its inflorescences are placed at the same height, it is quite easy to harvest.

Besides the above varieties, greens with high essential oils and medicinal fragrant fruits give such varieties as: Zephyr, Oxamite of Crimea, and Märtsishor. The Pepper variety has a pungent taste.

The breeders from Italy and Russia are mainly working on the development of vegetable varieties of fennel. The most popular with gardeners are the following Russian varieties - Korvet, Luzhnikovsky Semko, Soprano, Rondo, Aromat, Casanova: the height of bushes from 0.5 to 0.6 m, ripen in 60-70 days, the weight of the cabbage on average 0.25 kg.

And also popular are the following strong-growing late Russian varieties - Leader and Autumn beautician: the height of bushes distinguished by a delicate odor about 1.8 m, the color of the leaves is pale blue. Also quite widely known hybrid early maturing variety Udalets, after only 40-55 days after sprouts grows a dense whitish sprout weighing 100-350 grams, and it reaches 10 to 18 centimeters across.

The most popular Italian varieties are Sicilian, Zelma, Carmo, Florentine, Italian Roundup, Bologna: the bushes are about 0.6 m high and the cabbage reaches 15 centimeters in cross-section.

However, it should be taken into account that when growing in the middle latitudes, such varieties are prone to shoots. The best varieties to grow in the middle belt are Zeta Fino, Cantino, Romanesco and Dutch hybrid Rudy, they are also highly resistant to flowering. The most popular table varieties of fennel are Grebne and Ogorodnyi.

Fennel properties: harm and benefit

Fennel: cultivation and care in the open field, useful properties

Fennel health benefits

Fennel has been used as a medicinal agent by people since ancient times. The plant's essential oils and fruits in powder form have the greatest medicinal value.

However, only the leaves, seeds and cobs of such a plant are used in cooking. It contains vitamins A, C, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6 and B9, calcium, sodium, selenium, magnesium, copper, zinc, potassium, iron, chrome and aluminum, ashes and dietary fiber. Its fatty oils include valuable acids such as linoleic, petroselynic, palmitic and oleic acids.

Fennel and derived products are noted for their disinfectant, mild antispasmodic and mild diuretic effects. Fennel is recommended for newborns with intestinal spasms in the first months of life, but it is necessary to adhere to the dosage prescribed by the attending doctor.

Known to many dill water is prepared using the fruit of this plant. Fennel essential oil cleanses the body of toxins, so it is often used after a heavy meal or after eating fatty foods. The powder of this plant is used in the manufacture of cough pills, because it has an expectorant effect. Use this plant is recommended for the following diseases: pneumonia, tonsillitis, laryngitis, bronchitis, SARS, laryngotracheitis. Fennel and remedies made on its basis, help restore appetite, which was lost during the illness, and also improve digestion.

Because of this, it is used in various diseases of the gastrointestinal tract, including during constipation. During pregnancy, fennel-based products are used to eliminate bouts of toxicity, and after childbirth they are used to normalize digestion. In addition, breastfeeding women such preparations help stimulate lactation. It is also used in cosmetics and perfumery.

Fennel is most commonly used as:

  • antimicrobial;
  • a drug that strengthens the immune system and heals wounds;
  • a prophylactic against cancer;
  • an anti-inflammatory;
  • Gastrointestinal regulator;
  • Medication that improves the metabolism of the body;
  • Lactation stimulator;
  • Medication that supports and normalizes the heart.

Fennel Useful Properties

Contraindications

Some people may have an individual intolerance to such a plant. People with epilepsy, pregnant women, and diarrhea are advised to use fennel very cautiously and in small doses. In addition, if the person has poor health, the use of this plant in too large amounts may contribute to bleeding.

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