Dill


You will want to plant dill all through the summer so that you can enjoy dilly beans, dilled hard boiled eggs & all sorts of casseroles and salads! Let’s not forget the pickles too!

* Dill reaches a height of 2-5 feet depending on the variety you chose to grow.

* This herb flowers in flat umbels up to 6 inches across and have the tiniest yellow flowers you can imagine. These will become your dill seed in future harvest so don’t cut them off if you plant to harvest dill seed from your plants! Dill flowers 3-4 months after sowing. Dill has leaves that look ferny & threadlike and they are blue green in color.

* The flavor of Dill’s leaves are spicy and slightly sharp in flavor. The seeds are somewhat bitter and sharper in flavor.

* Sow your seed directly in the soil after the last spring frost. If you wish to get an early start you could start your seed indoors. Be aware though, if left to long in the pot before transplanting, it may not transplant very well.

* Plant this herb in full sun and in moist, well drained soil, allowing 6-8 inches between the plants.

* Dill is pest and disease free. (Be sure to read the tips though.)

* Harvest the leaves in the morning when the dew has left the plant. You can harvest when the plant is only 6 inches tall. If you want o dry Dill, do so just before the herb flowers. This is one herb that retains it’s flavor when dried so by all means be sure to preserve some for the winter months! Collect seed heads for pickles from the time the flowers are fully open to just before they ripen. The ripe seed are the ones you will want to preserve by drying.

* Strip the leaves off the stems for using in dishes. For use in pickles, cut off the seed heads before they turn brown and remove the whole head.

* You can dry your Dill by hanging the stems upside down in a dry dark place to preserve the flavor. To dry those seeds, enclose the heads in a brown paper bag or in cheesecloth and hang the stems upside down. The seed will fall into the bag or cheesecloth when the are completely dry and ready for storage.

* This is another herb that you can freeze in ice cube trays (with water) to preserve.

* Soups, cheese, fish, beef egg, poultry, veggies cabbage dishes, tomatoes, cucumber and salads are just a few of the dishes that enjoy a pinch or two of dill.

* Try making vinegar with either the leaves or the seeds and don’t forget the extra virgin olive oils for cooking.

* The umbels have been used in floral arrangements too! Dill in a floral arrangement may have finding yourself getting hungry for a pickle though!

Tips.
If you grow Dill and find that your plants have been chewed down almost to the ground, it’s not a bunny rabbit (although they love to eat some of the other herbs!) It is most likely a Black Swallow Tail Butterfly larvae feeding itself! I love butterflies and grow dill on purpose just so it can be a host plant to this beautiful winged creatures. To make sure I get enough dill for both fresh and preserving usage, I just plant extra plants. It’s worth it!

THINK HERBS!