Fennel and wasps

User avatar
Amateurinawe
Reactions: 74
Posts: 93
Joined: Wed Jul 08, 2020 1:11 am
Location: Emsworth UK
Contact:

Fennel and wasps

#1

Post: # 28215Unread post Amateurinawe
Sat Aug 15, 2020 4:56 am

Last year I grew fennel at the end of the garden in a large pot. I am quite partial to roasted fennel occasionally but it is a prolific grower. I decided I couldn't and wouldn't eat it all but grow it out to seed so I could keep the seeds for my spice cupboard. As the flowers came out, it was a complete wasp magnet, covering every flower head. They loved it, and it seemed to placate them -they were too busy with the fennel necter. But the side effect was they also hunted down soft bodies insects on my plants, and where previous years been plagued by caterpillars I had none. Luckily the wasps must have been living elsewhere, there are small woods and meadows nearby so luckily for me no nesting anywhere near the house.

I got my fennel seed and more besides. Fennel has sprung up everywhere this year, it is rather a determined plant. But I am definately not going to seed it this year.
The behaviour of light means you observe me as i was then, and not as I am now.
I cannot change history, so I do hope i gave you a good impression of myself

User avatar
worth1
Reactions: 1731
Posts: 2808
Joined: Tue Dec 10, 2019 12:32 pm
Location: 25 miles southeast of Waterloo Texas
Contact:

Re: Fennel and wasps

#2

Post: # 28237Unread post worth1
Sat Aug 15, 2020 10:53 am

Grows wild in Southern California.
0
Worth
Paul Prudhomme Is The Head Chef In Heaven

User avatar
Bower
Reactions: 927
Posts: 1445
Joined: Thu Dec 12, 2019 12:44 pm
Location: Newfoundland, Canada
Contact:

Re: Fennel and wasps

#3

Post: # 28286Unread post Bower
Sat Aug 15, 2020 7:33 pm

Fennel is not one of the plants we regularly grow here, but it's certainly true that wasps have their favorites in the garden, and it's worth having them to keep them around.
I find that wasps are the main pollinators of black currants. This is great for me because I planted them at the back of the garden, so when I see a load of wasps getting busy back there I don't need to bother them. i would definitely plan a future garden with currants and wasps in their own undisturbed space, which happened here by accident when I put them at the back.
Bigger problem is that moose came and chowed down the currant bushes last fall, so there's nothing to flower this spring for them (or to fruit for me!) I had a paper wasp by my door this spring that was humming just like a bee and complaining "there's nothing for me". Too true and I haven't seen a paper wasp all summer.
1
AgCan Zone 5a/USDA zone 4
temperate marine climate
yearly precip 61 inches/1550 mm

User avatar
Amateurinawe
Reactions: 74
Posts: 93
Joined: Wed Jul 08, 2020 1:11 am
Location: Emsworth UK
Contact:

Re: Fennel and wasps

#4

Post: # 28302Unread post Amateurinawe
Sun Aug 16, 2020 2:40 am

@Bower thanks for that, I shall keep more of an eye out as I have black and red currents too. Luckily only moose we have in UK is chocolate one.
1
The behaviour of light means you observe me as i was then, and not as I am now.
I cannot change history, so I do hope i gave you a good impression of myself

User avatar
karstopography
Reactions: 551
Posts: 633
Joined: Thu Apr 16, 2020 7:15 am
Location: Southeast Texas
Contact:

Re: Fennel and wasps

#5

Post: # 28321Unread post karstopography
Sun Aug 16, 2020 8:02 am

I love the bulb fennel. I guess here it would have to be a cool season crop. I may try this fall. Any special tips for growing the bulb type?
0
Zone 9a/b, right on the line, in the heart of the Columbia bottomlands. Heat zone 9, Sunset Zone 28, annual rainfall 52”

User avatar
Amateurinawe
Reactions: 74
Posts: 93
Joined: Wed Jul 08, 2020 1:11 am
Location: Emsworth UK
Contact:

Re: Fennel and wasps

#6

Post: # 28437Unread post Amateurinawe
Mon Aug 17, 2020 1:15 am

It grows from seed very easily. It does need space as it can grow quite large and if you allow it to seed be mindful that these seem to spring up everywhere, although with their wispy leaves are easy to identify and pull.it has a long tap root so will need to be planted in soil or a deep pot. Lots of insects love it, aphids when it is young and wasps when it flowers.
1
The behaviour of light means you observe me as i was then, and not as I am now.
I cannot change history, so I do hope i gave you a good impression of myself

User avatar
ponyexpress
Reactions: 65
Posts: 178
Joined: Wed Jun 03, 2020 4:47 am
Location: Mass, 6b
Contact:

Re: Fennel and wasps

#7

Post: # 28440Unread post ponyexpress
Mon Aug 17, 2020 5:07 am

I find oregano to also be a wasp magnet.
1

User avatar
JRinPA
Reactions: 73
Posts: 142
Joined: Sat Jun 13, 2020 1:35 pm
Location: PA Dutch Country
Contact:

saving seed

#8

Post: # 28718Unread post JRinPA
Thu Aug 20, 2020 11:42 pm

I have a bronze fennel plant that tagged along with a red rhubarb shovel transplant. I considered pulling it but I'm glad I didn't. I finally saw a swallowtail caterpillar on it last week, a small one. There was a wasp about 18" away on a different stalk, and I was wondering if it would strike the caterpillar, but eventually I lost the starting contest and took my leave.

There are some seeds formed and soft now. I like to just bite them in half. What a flavor. I did a midnight run (make that 9pm, everything is still covid hours) to Giant on Sunday night for fennel seed, because we ran out. I should have just walked out back with a light and snipped. Of course there wasn't any Breyer's Ice Cream growing out back, so...

To save/dry I was planning to just cut the stalk below the flower heads and let those soft seeds dry out in a paper bag. Does that sound about right?
1

User avatar
Bower
Reactions: 927
Posts: 1445
Joined: Thu Dec 12, 2019 12:44 pm
Location: Newfoundland, Canada
Contact:

Re: Fennel and wasps

#9

Post: # 28860Unread post Bower
Sat Aug 22, 2020 2:06 pm

@JRinPA that's what we would do for dill, and it should work fine for seed you plan to eat.
I dry all kinds of herbs in paper bags. I just harvest into the bag and use a twist tie at the top to close the bag and use the end of that to hang it somewhere. If it's leaf on stalk I bundle the stalk ends with the end of the bag, but umbels of seeds can just lie on top of one another if not too damp or packed down. By hanging it you get air circulation around the bag (nothing sitting on the bottom in a damp lump) and everything dries perfectly like that. And no issues with dust getting on your foodstuffs. Not that my house is ever dusty. :roll: Signed, muddy boots.
1
AgCan Zone 5a/USDA zone 4
temperate marine climate
yearly precip 61 inches/1550 mm

User avatar
Labradors
Reactions: 155
Posts: 270
Joined: Tue Dec 10, 2019 3:38 pm
Location: Ontario, Canada
Contact:

Re: Fennel and wasps

#10

Post: # 28863Unread post Labradors
Sat Aug 22, 2020 2:31 pm

I love to grow fennel for the Swallowtail caterpillars, but with all the wasps around they don't survive :(.

I put out a bird bath in my front garden because there were robins nesting in the clematis. The robins were thankful, but so were the wasps who also came for a drink!

Linda
1

Post Reply

Return to “Herbs”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 7 guests