|Dill (Anethum graveolens)|
Dill is a versatile culinary herb. The leaves, stem, flowers and seeds are all flavorful and used in the kitchen. Dill quickly looses flavor when dried. It does holds its flavor better if quick frozen, but just for a few months. A word of caution, if you choose to freeze dill be sure to double or triple bag it to keep it from imparting its flavor to your entire freezer!
Dill is an annual herb that produces an umbel (umbrella shaped flower) on a tall slender stalk with fine, feathery leaves. Common dill can grow to about 3 feet tall, but shorter and more compact varieties can be found as well. Dill tolerates the cold well and can be planted before the last killing frost in the spring. It prefers a sunny location with well drained soils. You may consider succession planting to keep fresh tender leaves available for a longer period of time.
Leaves (often referred to as dill weed) can be harvested once the plant has 4 or more leaves. When the weather turns warm the plants will bolt (produce flowers). If you allow the seeds to mature on the plant, it will self seed for the next season. To harvest the seeds cut off the umbel just as the seeds begin to turn brown and hang it upside down to dry over a paper towel or piece of paper. Collect and store the seeds in an airtight container as they fall off.
Note: As I went out to get pictures today, I discovered that our neighborhood rabbit must like dill. Today's picture is of the one and only dill that I could find in my garden that had not been eaten off at about 3 inches off the ground. :(
Happy Herb Gardening! :)