All About Dill

dill

 

Dill is an annual and native to Europe.

Parts used: Leaf, flower and seed.

Dill will grow in most climates, and requires full Sun, and well-drained loamy soil. Prepare the seed bed by tilling or spading the soil. Scatter the dill seed about 6 inches apart on top of the soil. Don’t cover the seed. Allow it to grow in the same area where it’s planted. Dill has a long tap root and does not transplant well. You can try your hand at growing it in containers, but it will not produce as well as garden grown dill.

Growing to a height of 2 feet depending on the variety chosen, dill can be harvested throughout spring and summer. The tender young sprigs are best for salads, and the older leaves for vinegars, butters, egg dishes and potato salad.

Anethum is Latin for the Greek name for dill, Athenon, which comes from ano, meaning “upward’ and theo means “I run”, which this plant does, as it grows upright. In English, the Saxon word is dillian, “to lull or soothe.” Even today in Europe, dill water is given to babies with colic. It has a calming effect on the stomach.

Harvest dill’s feathery foliage all summer, and in the fall allow the dill to go to seed. Let the seeds turn a pale brown before collecting them. Cut the tops from the plants and hang them upside down in paper bags to catch the seeds. When dry, store the seeds in glass jars.

For an ongoing harvest of dill, sow the seeds once a month from May until September. If left undisturbed in late autumn, dill easily self sows the following spring.

Fern leaf dill: Is a dwarf variety reaching a height of 12-16 inches.  Beautiful foliage and a sweet fragrance.

Bouquet dill: Grows up 3 feet. Large yellow flowers and massive seed heads.

Superduket: Intensely flavorful with dark green foliage. Often grown in the deep south due to its ability to handle extreme temperatures.

Long Island Mammoth: Grown by commercial growers for pickles. It reaches a height of 4 feet and needs staking.

~ Meadow Walker

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