View Full Version : What does fennel look like?

06-05-2006, 08:58 PM
I tilled up a new section of garden this year. Since my yard is a hay field, that usually means weeds and grass for the first year. I planted tenacious vegetables in this section like squash and radishes. However, I also planted a row of fennel.

Unfortunately, that entire section of garden has sprouted back to grass. I've been hoeing it out, but the grass seems to have beat out the fennel. I'm trying to be careful around the row where the fennel is supposed to be.

Does fennel look a bit like grass when it first comes up? I hope so. :)

06-05-2006, 09:45 PM
I've never grown fennel... but I have an idea for you.

Do you have access to large amounts of cardboard?

If so you can build a large lasagna bed instead of working hard to till up some weedy dirt.

Basically pile a bunch of cardboard on top of the area you want to garden, then pile some organic matter on top (grass clipping, mulch, leaves). You can continue going adding layers (hence the term lasagna) if you like, but one of each is really all that is necessary.

Next year you'll have rich organic weed free soil underneath it all, without having to touch a shovel. The cardboard and organic matter will of course have decomposed, but not before killing everything underneath them.

If you don't have a lot of cardboard but do have a truck, any time you're in the lansing area you're welcome to pick up as much as you can haul away from my house. Running an ecommerce business results in a lot of it.

06-07-2006, 12:32 AM
Thats an interesting idea, I'll have to keep that in mind for next year. I doubt that I have that much cardboard, though. Then again, I'm also not sure how much bigger I want to make the garden.

Meanwhile, I am almost done hoeing and raking the grass out of the new section of the garden. (about 30' X 30') I've weeded all of the rows and all of the squash mounds except for the row of fennel. Looking very closely, I think I can tell which ones are the fennel. If I'm right, they do seem to be grass-like.

This weekend, I'm going to sit down and pluck out all the known weeds and see what's left.

06-11-2006, 01:37 PM
You can use newspaper also if you don't have enough cardboard. Just don't use any with colored print. That's what I use any time I start a new garden. I also get all the grass clippings I want free from our local village compost.:)

06-11-2006, 02:42 PM
Thanks. What about putting down some of that black plastic stuff and then putting rocks on it? I have lots of stone piles from the hayfield days. Then, in the spring, I can take the rocks off and get rid of the plastic?

On the fennel front, we had an anemic rain last week, so I setup my sprinkler to augment it. Then I forgot it and let it go over night. The extra water really jump started both the grass and the fennel. However, the fennel is big enough now to clearly distinguish between it and the grass.

Fennel looks like two blades of grass with some very wispy leaves in the middle. I'll try to post a picture when I can.

I'm excited about the fennel because none of the grocery stores in my small town carry fennel.

06-13-2006, 10:58 PM
Plastic works fine, if you remember to remove it. But it won't add any new organic matter since it doesn't decompose.

Really, with the plastic method, you're basically using the sun to cook all plantlife under the plastic in preparation of planting.

06-19-2006, 11:22 PM
The lasagna bed is a great tip, I just spent 2 weekends turning dirt and removing weeds, I wish I would have heard about this idea before.