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Fenchel Selma

Fennel "Selma"

Lisa Lisa
12/04/2023 · 4 minutes reading time

Help your November plant grow big and strong.

Here´s what´s ahead:

Getting Started

Fennel can be used for so much more than just tea! Besides its high vitamin and mineral content, it also scores with its unmistakably spicy aroma. The variety "Selma" is one of the most productive fennel varieties and is appreciated for its mild taste. Fennel can either be pre-grown inside or sown directly outside in spring.

The most important information at a glance: 

  • Seed depth: 1 - 2 cm  

  • Germination temperature: 20 - 22 °C 

  • Germination period: 8 - 12 days 

  • Location: sunny - semi-shady

  • Sowing indoors: Feb. - Jul.

  • Relocate outdoors: Apr. – May

  • Direct sowing: May - Jul.

  • Final planting distance: 30 cm 

  • Root depth: 35 cm 

  • Nutrient requirements: medium


Sowing indoors:  

  • Fill the seed tray with soil.

  • Tear the seed paper from your calendar into pieces with one seed each.

  • Make holes in the soil with your finger (depth approx. 1 - 2 cm) and distribute the pieces of paper in the holes.

  • Close the holes, water everything well, and place the trays on a bright window sill.

  • Place a transparent film or a glass cover over the pots for a higher germination rate. Lift them regularly to avoid mold and remove them after germination.

Direct sowing in the open:

  • Make grooves at a distance of 30 cm in the soil (depth approx. 1 - 2 cm).

  • Tear the seed paper into smaller pieces and spread them in the grooves at a distance of 20 cm.

  • Close the grooves and water the seeds well.

  • Keep evenly moist until germination.



  • Transplant fennel seedlings grown in trays into individual pots after a few weeks.

  • Fennel directly sown in a bed only needs to be separated if the seedlings have grown too close together.

  • Fill small pots (diameter approx. 11 cm) about halfway with vegetable soil. Use pots with a drainage hole and a saucer.

  • Carefully lift the seedlings out of the seed tray with a pricking stick or spoon handle.

  • Place them individually in the new plant pots and cover them with vegetable soil up to the leaf base.

  • Press down lightly and water immediately after repotting so that soil is flushed to the roots.

  • From April and when the little plants have reached a size of at least 10 cm, you can plant your fennel in the bed at a distance of 30 cm.

  • Remove the weeds beforehand, work in some compost, and do not plant the seedlings too deep under the soil. Water well again!


  • Sunny to semi-shady

  • Well-drained, nutrient-rich soil

  • Protected from the wind

  • Good neighbours: basil, cauliflower, broccoli, chicory, pea, cucumber, lettuce, pumpkin, radicchio, spinach, courgette

  • Bad neighbours: bean, kohlrabi, coriander, pepper, tomato, lemon balm



  • Don´t plant in the same location where other umbelliferous plants such as carrots or parsnips have grown in the last 3 years.

  • Water regularly, but avoid waterlogging.

  • Your fennel does not necessarily need to be fertilised. However, if you add some organic fertiliser to the planting hole or to the plant, your fennel bulb can grow even bigger.

  • Remove weeds and dead parts of the plant.

Diseases and pests 

  • Protect young fennel plants from slugs and snails with a slug collar or a ring of coffee grounds.

  • Against aphids, scale insects, mealy bugs, and spider mites, it helps to carefully crush the pests or spray them with a mixture of soap and water. Later you can use biological pesticides such as neem oil or beneficial insects such as lacewing larvae.

  • To prevent caterpillars, you can stretch a protective net over your fennel to prevent moths from laying their eggs. Keep a consistent crop rotation and do not grow the fennel in the same place every year.

  • Plants and plant parts affected by fungal or viral diseases should be removed and disposed of in the household waste (e.g. leaf spot disease or mildew).

Harvest & Storage

  • You can harvest your fennel as soon as it has reached the size of a tennis ball.

  • Simply cut off the bulb with a sharp knife.

  • Wrapped in a damp cloth, the fennel can be stored in the refrigerator for a week.

Fenchel Salat


  • Fennel is delicious both raw and cooked.

  • Raw fennel adds a spicy-fresh note to salads, but can also be snacked raw with a dip.

  • Boiled or steamed, fennel is a special garnish for all kinds of summer dishes.

  • Thyme, oregano, and lemon juice bring out the flavour of fennel.

  • Of course, you can also make tea from the leaves.

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