To enrich the panorama of aromatic herbs to include in the garden, let’s try to get to know dill, a plant that is easily found in our territories in the wild, in the plains and hills up to 600 meters altitude.
Its intense aroma, reminiscent of anise and caraway, is particularly enhanced by the cuisine of northern Europe, from which one could draw inspiration for new recipes or reinterpretations of already known recipes, using both seeds and leaves.
But now let’s see how to cultivate this aromatic species in a natural, simple and effective way, from sowing to harvesting the leaves.
the dill plant
how to grow
Harvesting and using dill
the dill plant
Due to the close similarity between the two plants, it is easy to confuse dill with wild fennel, which is why dill is also called “bastard fennel” or “foul fennel”. dill ( Anethum graveolens ) is an annual herbaceous plant belonging to the Umbelliferae or Apiaceae family, already known for parsley, carrot, fennel and celery.
He has a rod can reach 50-60 cm in height or even more, it is hollow inside and furrowed, light green in color and with bitter-tasting leaves. Dill blooms all summer until September, and the flowers are small, yellow and gathered in the typical inflorescences consisting of umbrellas, that is, an umbrella umbrella, which smell sweet. The flowers generate small fruits formed by two small yellow achenes.
how to grow
Growing dill is simple, there are no special precautions, but a few basic rules should be followed, such as the choice of a position in the sun and the administration of constant watering, even moderate. It’s actually a different aromatic herb from other more drought-tolerant ones like rosemary and sage.
Dill is a sun-loving species , with which it produces more essential oil, it is therefore necessary to think carefully about a lighted position and protected from the winds. also want warm temperatures it suffers from the cold and especially from the winter frost, and in short we can say that the temperature range it prefers is between 15 and 25 °C.
Dill is a species that lends itself to scalar planting which will be held between April and the end of summer , directly in the garden of the chosen space. You can choose between the sowing technique , ideal especially if the space is small and we want to optimize it, or in rows separated by 30-40 cm. However, when the seedlings have emerged, they will need to be thinned out, leaving a space of 15-20 cm between one specimen and the other.
The soil in either case must first be carefully plowed and conditioned with compost. . Special additional fertilizing is not required, since aromatics require lean soils.
if dill is well located on the planting site, tends to reseed itself and also becomes a plague. For this reason, it is best to collect the seeds in time to sow them the following year, so that we can decide where to plant them and not let them colonize the spaces they want, but for this it is important to stay away from wild fennel, because otherwise there is a high risk of hybridization between the two related species.
Dill lends itself well to consociation with cucumbers but also with broad beans, which are more protected from aphid attacks thanks to this proximity.