Commonly used in many types of European cuisine, Fennel provides a wonderful variation to foods used fresh, grilled, and for stews and soups. Fennel can be used much like onions and shallots, but it has a unique anise twist to its flavor. Fennel is best direct sown, as disturbing the roots can induce bolting. Plant after frost into early summer, 1 to 1 1/2 inches apart, in rows 16-18 inches apart. Thin to 6 inches. If you do start indoors, use deep peat pots so you will not disturb the roots. Heat can cause bolting, keep any flower stalks cut off.