Monday, February 28, 2011

Dill; Not Just For Pickles!


Merry Monday Everyone!

Today I thought it would be fun to share some info concerning Dill....
It's gift is so much more than just pickles!

~Peace~




Dill; Not Just For Pickles!





The International Herb Association designated dill as the Herb of the Year in 2010, and now (late fall and winter) is the best time for planting this ancient herb.

Dill (Anthemis graveolens) is a cool season plant. It grows easily in any sunny spot in the garden, or in a planter on the deck or patio. Just make sure you plant it somewhere you'd like ti to grow for a while, as the herb doesn't transplant well. In fact, starting it indoors in little seed pots actually stunts the plant, allowing it to only reach a mere half or two thirds of its normal height of 3 to 4 feet.

In Zones 6 and 7, dill benefits from a fall planting - the same time you would plant cilantro, poppies, and larkspur. In warmer climates you can plant dill in early fall for a winter crop.
  • Simply loosen the soil with a rake, scatter the seed, and tamp it lightly. Don't bother the soil after tat. In early spring , usually late March (may be different for your area), the young dill "ferns" will start coming up.

  • About two to three weeks after you see dill growing in your garden, plant another row of dill seed nearby. In a month, plant another row. Why? Because if you like dill and use it often, this is the way to keep a supply coming along as the season warms.

  • You can keep cutting dill back for a while, but it's purpose is to go to seed before hot weather hits, so eventually it will bloom, drop its leaves and die. If you let the seeds fall to the ground and reseed, you'll have dill coming up every spring and sometimes again in the fall.

Dill use dates back to ancient Egyptian and early Roman times. The Greeks believed dill bestowed good luck and fortune and could ward off hexes. Today, Europeans use dill with fish and wild game. Norwegians use dill with a variety of sauces and fish dishes. In India, bunches of dill weed (meaning the leaves and young stems) are cooked as a vegetable in dishes that feature potatoes, garlic, onions and Indian spices.



In America, we associate dill with pickles. Americans on average, eat nine pounds of pickles a year - most of which are dill pickles. It sounds like a lot, but every fast food hamburger, veggie burger, and fish sandwich has two to three pickles per sandwich. ( This pickle statistic inadvertently reflects the amount of fast food we eat) Of course, dill's culinary range extends past the cucumber, proving great flavor o grilled salmon,for example, in a lemon and sour cream sauce , or sprinkled over deviled eggs for a bit of color.

Dill seeds have ling been known to soothe the stomach of adults and babies alike, and making an infusion is simple.
  • Steep 2 tsp of seed in 1 cup of boiling water for 10 to 15 minutes, then strain. Drink one or two cups a day.

Several dill varieties are available from seed companies, and some of these are slower to bloom and set seed, providing you with more leaves to use in your favorite dishes.'Slow Bolt', 'Dukat,' 'Bouquet'(Which is a dwarf variety)'Hercules', 'Delikat' (one of the best for pot growing) and 'Mammoth' are some of the better varieties around.

You can find more information at the International Herb Association website at


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