Dill is an annual herb. It needs full sun and protection from the wind. In spring plant dill seedlings directly into soil 1/4-inch to 1/2 inch deep after the last frost. Space plants 8 to 10 inches apart in rich, well drained soil. Dill self seeds, so if you plant it in summer it will self seed and grow another crop in fall. Dill should not be planted near fennel because it will alter the flavor. Dill does do well in containers just make sure to plant it in rich soil and use large pots 6-7 inches in diameter. Harvest dill when young and tender. Collect seeds after flowering heads turn brown. Hang the flowers upside down and catch the seeds with a cloth. Seeds will last 3-10 years.
History of Dill
The ancient Egyptians used dill as a soothing medicine. Greeks used dill to cure hiccups. In biblical times dill was so highly regarded it was used to settle tax payments. In the Middle Ages dill protected against witchcraft. Dill was also used in wine as an aphrodisiac.
Cooking with Dill
Dill seeds are wonderful to use in pickling and flavoring vinegar. Leaves are sometimes referred to as dill weed and can be used both fresh or dried. Dry dill leaves have a very diminished flavor.
Cosmetic Uses for Dill
- Chew fresh dill leaves to freshen breath.
- Infuse dill leaves to use in a nail bath to strengthen nails.
(Make dill tea by infusing 1/2 ounce dill seeds in 1 cup hot water.)
- Dill seeds are rich in mineral salts.
- Drink 1 tablespoon dill water to aid with hiccups, indigestion, stomach cramps.