Dill is one of my favorite herbs that we plant at The Home Garden. We use it in salads, on fish, in casseroles, soups and of course when we make dill pickles. Dill has been around a very long time and its history is quite interesting.
Dill dates back as far as 3000 BC where it was found mentioned in Egyptian medical texts. The Romans believed it was a stimulant and it was given to gladiators before they battled in the arenas.
It is native to the Eastern Mediterranean and Western Asia areas and has migrated to almost all parts of the world. It is a member of the parsley family and its leaves, flowers and seeds are edible. It grows anywhere from 18- 42 inches in height and matures in only eight weeks.
Dill is very easy to grow and can be grown from seeds or transplants. When growing from seed, sow seeds nine inches apart in rows twelve inches apart. Seeds should be covered with a ¼ to ½ inch of soil. Dill will grow in most soils and can tolerate dry weather. Dill should be watered once or twice a week and grows best in full sun.
Dill is a great companion plant to cabbage and will improve its growth and health. It does not do well with carrots and will reduce the crop if allowed to bloom. It also attracts beneficial insects such as honey bees which are attracted to its yellow flower.
When fully mature dill will have tiny yellow flowers, its leaves will be kind of feathery and a blue green color. Stems will grow out from the main stock similar to a tree. They will later grow seeds which will be a dark brown color.
Dill has many uses such as in salads, soups and casseroles. But they are primarily known for making dill pickles. Dill has also been used for indigestion, flatulence, hiccups, insomnia, menstrual disorders, respiratory disorders and even cancer.
Dill is very low in Saturated Fat and Cholesterol. It is also a good source of Dietary Fiber, Niacin, Phosphorus, Zinc and Copper, and a very good source of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Riboflavin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Potassium and Manganese.