June 6, 2012

Garden Knowledge–Growing Dill

Out of all the things in my garden, dill has been one of the easiest things to grow. This year I planted seeds, and I also bought a small dill plant from the garden center at the local supermarket.
Tips to Growing Dill by Poofy Cheeks
Here are some tips on growing dill in your garden:
  • Sow seeds directly into the ground and space out planting times by 2-3 weeks to have it readily available throughout the summer and fall.
  • Dill should be planted in an area that gets 6-8 hours of direct sunlight per day.
  • Keep the soil around your plant moist and free of weeds for the best results.
  • The stems of dill are hollow making it a fragile plant. It should be planted away from areas that receive high winds.
Tips to Growing Dill by Poofy Cheeks
DILL LEAVES: The leaves of your dill plant can be harvested up until the time the flower cluster appears at the top. Dill leaves are great for pickling, adding flavor to fish dishes, and making dips. The leaves are best when used fresh. We use our dill leaves for pickling and to add flavor to potato dishes.
When the flower cluster appears at the top, the plant quickly looses its flavor and most of its fragrance. The picture below shows the flower cluster I am referring to.
Tips to Growing Dill by Poofy Cheeks
PRESERVING DILL: We were away over the weekend, and when I returned to my garden yesterday I had two plants that had open clusters. I hurried to my other dill plants that looked close to flowering and picked their leaves. Since I picked more than I could possibly use in one day, I froze them into cubes that I can use at a later time.
Dill Ice Cubes by Poofy Cheeks
I cut the leaves off of the larger stems, chop, and place in an ice cube tray. I push the leaves down into the tray and then fill with water.
Dill Ice Cubes by Poofy Cheeks
Dill Ice Cubes by Poofy Cheeks
Dill Ice Cubes by Poofy Cheeks
DILL SEEDS: If your plant has open flower clusters at the top and you are unable to use the leaves it is not a complete waste. You are still able to harvest and dry the seeds for next year! That packet of dill seeds you bought for $1.50 can last years if you continue to save and reuse your seeds! I have even seen where the seeds fall to the ground and bloom on their own again the following year.
How do you use your dill?
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