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Kitchen Gardening

Regional Picks: Best Edibles – Northwest

Fine Gardening - Issue 131

 1. ‘Montovano’ Fennel

Maturity: 75 to 80 days

Yield: One bulb per foot

Needs: Full sun to partial shade; light, fertile soil

Bulb fennel was once an oddity at local farmers’ markets, but its mild anise flavor and its contribution to roasted-vegetable dishes have made it a staple on my farmers’ market table and a favorite of my CSA (community-supported agriculture) customers. The moderate summer temperatures of the Puget Sound area provide a long window of opportunity to grow this heat-sensitive crop. The variety I prefer is ‘Montovano’. It consistently forms a large, round bulb with a clean, bright white appearance, and it has excellent flavor and crunch. It also seems to resist bolting in the heat of late spring, when most other varieties go to seed.


2. ‘Tadorna’ Leek

Maturity: 120 days

Yield: 1 pound per foot

Needs: Full sun; light, fertile soil

The Northwest’s maritime climate is well suited for winter gardening, thus…

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