How to Grow Dill (Anethum graveolens)
- Plant: annual
- Height: 1-1.3m tall
- Soil: average, well drained
- Exposure: sun
- Propagation: seeds
- Uses: culinary
Dill has finely cut, feathery, light green leaves similar to fennel
but shorter and smaller. Each plant is a single stem which reaches 25cm at maturity-about 2 months after the seeds are sown. Small,
greenish yellow flowers grow in umbrella like heads that are about 15cm across. In early fall the flowers go to seed and will readily
self sow if not harvested. Both leaves and seeds are aromatic.
Dill was a favorite herb of magicians and sorcerers who used it to
help cast their spells. But another ancient folk belief was that
branches of dill hung above the door would protect a home from
witchcraft. One herbalist recommended boiling dill in wine and then
smelling the fumes to cure hiccoughs.
Give dill full sun and well drained, good garden soil. Propagate by
seeds sown in the spring, or by allowing plants to self sow in the fall.
Dill has a tap root and does not transplant easily.
The seeds and leaves of dill have a sharp, slightly bitter taste that
is reminiscent of caraway. Both are used in preparing fish, chicken,
lamb, stews, sauces, salad dressings, and breads. Harvest the seeds when
they ripen but before they drop to the ground. Use the leaves fresh or
dried, but for the greatest flavor pick them just as the flowers are
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