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Dill

Dill - Organo Republic

DILL

ABOUT THE PLANT

Description: Dill is an aromatic plant with branching stems and delicate, soft, feathery leaves. When mature, it develops umbels of tiny yellow flowers. It has a warm flavor somewhat reminiscent of celery and anise. In the United States, its flavor is best known as a component of dill pickles.

Origin: It is native to North Africa, the Arabian Peninsula, Iran, Turkey, and the Mediterranean region.

Usage: Fresh dill is commonly paired with salmon, lemon and chicken, dishes with spinach, and sprinkled over roasted potatoes. It is used in creamy sauces made with yogurt or other dairy products. Used for making dill pickles. Flowers can be used to garnish a plate, added to a salad, or enjoyed anywhere else you'd use the leaves. Use the flowers in a cut flower arrangement.

Interesting facts: Dill has a calming effect on the brain and the body by activating the secretion of various hormones and enzymes, and also it reduces cortisol levels.

HOW TO GROW

General requirements: Dill needs full sun and moist but well-drained fertile soil. Ideal pH: 5.0-7.0. The seeds need some light to germinate, so scatter them on the surface of the soil, lightly sprinkle soil over them, and pat down. You will get faster germination if you hydrate your seeds first, but hydration is not required. It prefers cold weather and can't handle the heat. Plant it as soon as the soil is workable in early spring or later summer for a fall crop.

In the garden: Plant in early spring as soon as the soil is workable. Scatter the seeds on the surface, lightly cover them with a fine layer of soil and pat down as they need light to germinate. Thin the plants to stand at least 10 inches apart.

In containers: Fill a well-draining container with potting mix. Sprinkle the seeds on the surface, then cover them with a thin layer of soil and pat down. Thin them to 6-10 inches apart. Place in full sunlight and keep the soil moist but not soggy.

Transplanting: Know that dill doesn't transplant well because it has a long taproot, and taproots do not like to be disturbed. Seeds can be started indoors 4 to 6 weeks before transplanting into the garden. Fill 4-inch peat pots with potting soil. Scatter the seeds on top, lightly dust over with more soil, and pat down. An optimal soil temperature is 60° to 70ºF. Place them under grow lamps or in a bright window, as the seeds need light to germinate. Keep them moist by spraying gently. Germination will occur in 10 to 14 days. Transplant them to the garden in early spring while they are small, about 1 ½ inches tall.

HARVESTING

Leaves: Harvest dill leaves as needed, but avoid taking more than 1/3 of the leaves at a time. Frequent harvesting will encourage the plant to produce more growth, and harvesting off the top of the plant will encourage outward, bushy growth.

Flowers: Cut the flowers with scissors and use them as needed.

Seeds: When the flower heads turn brown and dry, cut them off into a paper bag, and place the bag in a warm, dry area for about a week. Shake the bag, and the seeds will fall free from the rest of the flower.

FAST FACTS

Common name: dill

Latin name: Anethum graveolens

Growth habit: upright herb

Life cycle: Annual

USDA Zones: 3-11

Seeds per ounce: about 14,000

 

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