Dill is an annual herb with feathery blue-green foliage and umbels of yellow flowers followed by ovate seeds. Both foliage (weed) and seeds are cultivated mainly for culinary uses.
Dill is used all over the world for pickling, flavoring fish, meat, vegetables, rice, soups, pastries and cakes. Dill weed can be eaten fresh, and a few dill seeds help to freshen one' s breath. It is ideal herb to have in the garden.
Before planting, it is important to locate an ideal spot in the garden and to get the soil ready. Dill is a cool weather plant but does best in full sun, although it will quickly go to seed ( bolt) in the summer heat. Staking may be necessary if planted in a windy area. Enrich the soil with compost, make sure it is loose because dill has a long, spindly tap root, and keep the soil moist and well drained throughout the growing season. Around early May until mid-summer, dill seeds can be sown every two to three weeks, directly in the garden. In ideal Fall weather, a second growth of dill may come up from seeds dropped during the summer harvest.
There are a few cultivars of dill available. Selection of what variety to plant would be based on whether it is more desirable to have more of the dill weed (leaves) or an abundance of seeds. For dill leaves, try 'Dukat', 'Fernleaf', 'Hera', and 'Hercules'. For seeds, try 'Long Island Mammoth', and 'Bouquet'. There are cultivars that are now suitable for container gardening: they are 'Dukat' and 'Fernleaf' otherwise plant in the ground.
Dill weed is best harvested right before flowering. Or, once the plant has at least four leaves, clip the weed next to the stem, and trim the tops often. Succession planting will provide an adequate supply of dill weed. Production of leaves usually stops once dill is allowed to flower. To harvest seeds, let the seed heads dry on the plant until they are light brown. For long term storage, hang a few stems, loosely tied together, upside down in a warm, dark, dry and well ventilated place. You may also freeze leaves with stems in freezer bags. Seeds can be collected by placing a paper bag ,with a few holes punched in it , on the flower head. Loosely tie the bag then hang it upside down to dry as described above.
Dill is a beautiful, edible plant that can bring in beneficial insects into the garden as well. Give it a try. Below are two delicious ways to try dill: Make use of dill stalks by arranging them as a bed to put your meat or fish and cook as desired. And, for a quick salad dressing: mix a little mayo, some dill weed, a little vinegar, and a pinch of black pepper. Enjoy! For more details, Check: