When can I sow my rapini and wild fennel seeds outdoors.
Thank you for contacting the Toronto Master Gardeners.
Fennel can be direct sown after last frost (which in Toronto is usualy May 9) Sow seeds 1cm (½”) deep, a few seeds in each spot you want a plant to grow. Thin or space to 30cm (12″) apart. Grow fennel in a sunny position in well-drained loamy soil.
The rapini plants prefer the same growing season, just like broccoli. The plants are mainly grown during the cool season and they can tolerate light frosts. The plants don’t do well during the summer months, because the plants will bolt to seed in hot weather it is best to sow rapini in early spring, late summer, or early fall. For a spring crop, look to sow seeds indoors, in a greenhouse, in a polytunnel, or in a cold-frame two or three weeks ahead of the last expected frost date, which in Toronto is May 9.
Rapini is best grown in full sun to partial shade with humus rich well drained soil having a pH of 6 to 7. Plant 10 to 12 seeds per 30 centimetres, five millimetres deep in rows 45 to 60 centimetres apart. It is recommended to protect the seeds with a floating row cover as soon as they are planted to help guard against insect problems. Keep the soil moist and once the seedlings are 2.5 to 5 centimetres tall, thin to 15 centimetres apart.
This Vegetable Planting Chart might come in handy.