Tuesday, 29 January 2019

How to grow fennel seeds - Sompu - in containers
Growing fennel seeds in containers at home is quite easy and useful. It is both fun and a healthy habit to grow and eat your own fennel seeds.
The health benefits of fennel are many. They are considered very useful in relieving various ailments like stomach gas, stomach ache, pre menstrual ache etc. They are also highly nutritious and powerful anti oxidants.

But have you ever tried eating the raw fennel leaves and fennel seeds directly from the plants? They taste amazing.

Just imagine walking through your plants post your lunch and plucking fresh fennels from the plants and eating them. There will be absolutely no problem of indigestion or stomach ache.

They are also most amazing and healthy mouth fresheners. Whenever I walk through the terrace garden with my friends and my guests, I generally offer them the leaves, flowers and green seeds. Though hesitant at first, once they take a bite, they just love it and there is always a demand for more.

So how do we grow fennel seeds in containers?

You may also read our other interesting and useful gardening tips.......

1. Organic gardening method - How to grow veggies in a very very small place

2. Organic gardening medium - How to grow easily without soil and with less water

3. Organic gardening plants - What all the vegetables we can grow in 10x10 area 

4. Organic Manure composting - How to use your kitchen waste directly in your pots to compost and prepare organic manure

5. How to grow and harvest cabbages in containers 

We need deep containers to grow fennel seeds as the roots need plenty of depth. And if we want to grow fennel bulbs in containers, we need to leave sufficient space between the soil and the rim of the container for the bulb to grow. And also as and when the bulbs get bigger, we need to pile more soil on the bulb to protect it from the sun.

I generally sow the fennel seeds in a 25 liter paint box filled with organic manure. Yes, you read it right. I don't use soil or mud to grow my plants. I use only organic manure, filling only half of the pot with it.

Then at regular intervals, I move aside the top portion of the mixture and fill the pot with kitchen waste like peels of the vegetables and fruits, tea and coffee decoction powder and the egg shells. Then I move back the organic mixture to cover the kitchen waste. This helps the plants to have extraordinarily healthy growth and give maximum yield. In fact now the plants in my terrace garden have grown so tall that I am not able to reach them to pluck the flowers!

So I sow the seeds in the containers and cover them with 1/2 inch soil. To get better germination, sometimes people use the method of soaking and pre-sprouting the seeds for several days. But I have always grown the fennel seeds by directly sowing the dry seeds in the organic manure.

The container in which we grow fennel has to be kept moist at all times without it getting waterlogged, with well-draining soil and we should water it regularly.

The seeds take about 8 to 10 days to sprout and about a month or so to grow tall and start flowering. At this point, as we are not growing them for commercial purpose, I cut and eat the aromatic green leaves and tender seeds.

And after another month or so, the flowers start to dry and turn brown. Once they are brown, they are ready to be harvested. As they are dry and very loose, we need to harvest them by keeping a bowl below them and cutting the dry stems and collect the seeds in the bowl.

We can then allow the seeds to dry completely and can store them in an air tight container and they can be used upto six months.

Provided you don't finish them off sooner!!!