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Fernleaf Dill (Anethum graveolens)
Color Name: Fernleaf Dill
Use fresh, finely cut foliage as "dillweed", or if allowed to go to seed for dill pickles. Unique dwarf plant with dark green leaves. Slow to bolt. Excellent for dillweed production. It is a unique dwarf that was developed for container culture and potted plants. Dill is one of the easiest herbs to grow and would make a great first herb for someone who has never grown herbs before. Excellent choice for culinary and medicinal uses.
The taste of dill leaves resembles that of caraway, while the seeds are pungent and aromatic. Freshly cut, chopped leaves enhance the flavor of dips, herb butters, soups, salads, and fish dishes. The seeds are used in pickling and can also improve the taste of roasts, stews and vegetables. Try grinding the seeds to use as a salt substitute. Both the flowering heads and seeds are used in flavored vinegars and oils.
The best way to use dill is fresh from the garden, so during the growing season, cut your dill as you need it. If not kept cut, your dill will go to seed, so cut often until you are ready to switch to seed production.
If you find that you have cut more than you can use, dry the excess in the microwave. Spread the dill in a single layer on a paper towel and microwave on high for 3 minutes. The result is beautiful and tasty - much better than dried dill you buy in the grocery store. After microwaving, remove and discard the hard stems, crumble the leaves, and store in an airtight container protected from light.
Once seed heads begin to form, it's time to stop cutting dill for fresh use. Allow the seed heads to develop and dry completely, then cut them. You'll be able to remove the seeds easily with your fingers. Store and use at a later date.
Growing Tips: Dill will grow well in most soils. Prepare the soil by digging to a spade and a half depth. The long tap roots of dill need to be able to grow without hitting solid soil. Incorporate some long lasting fertilizer, such as bonemeal, at the rate of two handfuls per square metre (yard).
Planting and Care of Dill:
Dill is a perennial and therefore can last several years. However, it is only hardy down to about -4C, so it is sown from seed each year. Sow thinly in April , covering with only a fine layer of soil. The seedlings will emerge in two weeks or so, and should be thinned to 24cm (9in) apart. Further sowings can be made during the spring and early summer to extend the harvest time.
The only care required is to keep the plants weed free. The long tapered roots of dill will ensure that it is unlikely to need watering in all but the most extreme dry conditions.
Dill herb with flower will produce wispy leaves growing on a single stem about 75cm (30in) high, which can be harvested about eight weeks after sowing. At this stage the plant will begin to produce flower heads, causing the leaf production to stop. In Eastern European countries, they grow dill principally for the flower heads (see picture on right) which are used to flavor pickled fruit and vegetables, especially gherkins.
In the UK we mainly use the leaves of dill (see top picture) to flavour fish, lamb, potato and peas. The best way to harvest the leaves is to cut the plant down to an inch of its base as soon as there is any sign of the flower heads developing. With a little luck, the plants will re-grow to produce a second crop in late summer.
Dill will keep well in the fridge for about three weeks, the remainder can be stored in the freezer in individual portions. Dill can be dried and stored in an air-tight container, but in our experience this causes it to loose most of its flavor.
Container Growing Dill:
Dill is especially suited to container growing. For growing outside, use normal potting compost and keep the plants well watered. Dill will also grow indoors - sow the seeds indoors during October in 7cm (3in) pots. Transplant to larger pots when the plants are about 15cm (6in) tall. Keep the plants on a sunny windowsill (out of direct sunlight) and away from radiators. The plants will need to be supported with a stake - they will be ready for harvest about eight weeks after sowing.
Flower Color: Yellow shades / Foliage Color: Green shades
Height: 40 Inches / Spread: 24-30 Inches
|Hardy in Zone:||7|
|Soil Moisture Needs:||
- Specimen Plant
- Combination /Monoculture Planters