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Grow your Own Dill: Here’s How

Next to rosemary, dill is my favorite herb seasoning. I use freshly chopped  dill weeds as topping  over baked potatoes,  fish recipes, salad dressings or egg recipes. Its needle -shaped leaves make them an ideal garnishing for salads and cold cuts as well.  It is a  fern-like herb related to both parsley and cilantro, with a mildly tangy and citrus-like aroma. Both the leaves and the seeds can be dried and used for seasoning.

 

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To grow dill, simply sprinkle  6- 8  seeds into a medium-sized pot (of around 8-inches in diameter) filled with rich, moist, well drained  potting soil.  Then,  cover the seeds with a thin layer of soil, watering the soil  lightly to keep it moist.  In about 7 days, the seeds will start to germinate. In three more weeks,  the seedlings will grow to at least 3 inches.  By then,  start to thin out the seedlings, keeping only 3 or 4 healthy seedlings per pot. This will allow the remaining seedlings to establish their roots better.  It’s best to place the pot in an area where it will get at least 6 hours of sunlight.

Keeping the soil moist is important.  In our typically warm weather here  in the Philippines,   watering  is necessary at least every other day during dry seasons,  or during wet seasons, when the soil feels dry.  Add compost every 3  or 4 weeks, making sure not to over-fertilize and compromise the flavor. To harvest,  trim around 2 or 3 inches from the top leaves once the plant has reached at least 8 inches.

Dill in Pots

The dill plant’s average life lasts for only about a year (or even less considering the hot weather climate here in the tropics).  At the start of its life cycle,  its flavor and aroma are concentrated in the leaves. Once the plant starts to flower, the leaves will begin to lose their flavor. At this stage, harvest the seeds after the flowers have bloomed and about to change their color.  The seeds can be dried and used for seasoning, or saved for the next planting season.  Allow the flower seeds to turn completely brown before harvesting the seeds if you intend to use the seeds for the next season’s crops.

Tags: Herbs

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