not every year fennel works as great as it did this year. and to tell you the truth, i have no idea why. sometimes the seeds don´t sprout. sometimes they sprout, but the fennel remains really tiny. ok, this is maybe because our climate does not provide the fennel with ideal conditions every year. and sometimes you miss the right point to harvest and the fennel turns into seeds again. but as you can see, this year we have been lucky!
we started sowing the fennel in may. it depends a bit on where you are. but as fennel is a mediterranean vegetable you should wait until it is a bit warmer without night frosts.
make 2 cm deep seeding holes in distances of 30 cm space to each side. place 2-3 fennel seeds in every hole and close.
if they are starting to sprout and every single fennel seed sprouts, you have to thin them out, so that each fennel has enough space to grow.
they are ready to harvest end of august, beginning of september, sometimes later, it depends. i have no experience with any pests, so maybe fennel does not have natural enemies.
you can store fennel quite a while in the fridge. you can eat fennel raw or cooked, in salads, with pasta, sautéed with other vegetables and fish or marinated or as crudités.