Florence Fennel ‘Romanesco’

Family: Apiaceae

Florence Fennel ‘Romanesco’ is a popular and widely available Florence Fennel variety.  ‘Romanesco’ produces large, swollen leaf bases, which are delicious whether eaten raw or cooked, or served hot or cold.

In the UK, I’ve found that we can grow Florence Fennel ‘Romanesco’ seeds from the beginning of June through until the end of July (early summer through until mid summer) in most regions of the country.  However, through my repeated Florence Fennel Trials, I’ve found that in the South and in warmer areas, we can grow ‘Romanesco’ from the start of June through until the end of September (from early summer through until autumn).

Reserve your brightest, sunniest area for growing Florence Fennel.  This plant won’t grow in the shade, it needs to bask in the sunlight to achieve its full potential.  Through my Trials I’ve found that Florence Fennel positively thrives in sandy, silty, and free-draining soils.  These plants will not succeed in permanently wet or waterlogged soils.  All is not lost if your soil is prone to water-logging; try growing Florence Fennel in a raised bed.  However, Florence Fennel is not a good choice for a container garden; other vegetables would be much better candidates to grow in pots or planters – Florence Fennel will not grow in containers.

All Florence Fennel plants require regular watering and ‘Romanesco’ is no exception.  For the largest harvest and the best tasting swollen leaf bases or ‘bulbs’, water your Florence Fennel plants twice or three times a week when the weather’s dry.

It’s better to harvest Florence Fennel too early than too late, as these plants are particularly inclined to bolt when they become woody and inedible.  Young Florence Fennel plants have a more succulent and softer texture; don’t feel you have to wait until your vegetables have attained their maximum size.

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