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DILL


  How To Grow Dill


PLANT TYPE: Annual
SCIENTIFIC NAME: Anethum graveolens
ZONE / HARDINESS: Annual - not applicable
MATURE PLANT SIZE: Up to 36 inches high x 24 inches wide
LIGHT: Full Sun - Wind Protected Area
FLOWERING PERIOD: July to September
SOIL TYPE: Fairly rich, well-drained, moist soil
pH RANGE: 6.0
KNOWN PESTS: N/A
KNOWN DISEASES: N/A


OVERVIEW:

Dill, a popular annual, has bluish-green stems that contrast with finely divided, yellow-green, plume-like leaves and yellowish flowers. Dill grows about 2 to 3 feet high.

Both the leaves and seeds of dill are popular for flavoring pickles, sauerkraut, and beet dishes. It can be combined with garlic and pepper to produce a highly flavored Mediterranean or East European pork roast (often cooked over a spit outdoors). The seeds yield a fragrant oil.

Plant early in the spring after the danger of frost. Seeds are best sown where they will stay, as dill does not transplant well. Plant 1/4 inch deep about 10 inches apart in a prepared bed. A protected location is best to ensure that the tall stalks are not destroyed by the wind. Enjoys full sun, fairly rich, well-drained, moist soil. Snip the leaves as needed during the summer and harvest the top half of the plant when the seedheads are beige. Dry in bunches or a bag. Store dried foliage and seeds in an air-tight container. Fresh leaves can be refrigerated for 1 week. Dillweed is easiest to handle when frozen on its stem. When needed, snip some off and return the rest to the freezer.


PROPAGATION / SOWING:

Direct Seed. Plant 1/4 inch deep about 10 inches apart in a prepared bed. Does not transplant well.


COMPANION PLANTING:

Dill and cabbage plants grow well together. Dill also helps corn, lettuce, onions, and cucumbers. The flowers attract honey bees to the garden.


CARE & GROWING:

In spring, sow seeds in shallow drills about 10 inches apart in a prepared bed where they will stay. Firm the soil down and water well. Repeat the plantings for a continuous supply of fresh dill leaves. The soft, delicate seedlings do not transplant well and are easily blown over by strong winds. The plants do best in a sunny, sheltered area.


HARVESTING:

Snip the leaves as needed during the summer and harvest the top half of the plant when the seedheads are beige. Dry in bunches or a bag. Store dried foliage and seeds in an air-tight container. Fresh leaves can be refrigerated for 1 week. Dillweed is easiest to handle when frozen on its stem. When needed, snip some off and return the rest to the freezer.


USAGE:

Culinary, decorative, and medicinal. Dill is used in herbal butter and herb vinegars. It can flavor fish, lamb, pork, poultry, cheese, cream, eggs, vegetables, avocados, apples, popcorn, salads, soups, sauces, and spreads. The plant is used to make green dye. The foliage and flowers dry nicely and add an airy touch to plant arrangements. Dill also can be grown in containers with some success. It is said to have some medicinal qualities.












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The only care dill really needs 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.






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