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Dill is a perennial plant, native to the Mediterranean; produces small shrubs 60-80 cm high, with thread-like foliage, light green, very aromatic; in late spring it produces large umbrella-shaped inflorescences, golden yellow. The plant generally has a short life and is grown as an annual. It does not require special care, it is sufficient to prepare a soil in the sun in spring, working it with the addition of mature manure, then sow the seeds directly. Once the seeds have sprouted we guarantee at least 5-8 cm of space between the plants by thinning them and removing the smaller and slender ones.
Dill is an aromatic plant of simple cultivation and very interesting for its culinary uses. In Italian cuisine it is used rather rarely (often it is preferred the similar wild fennel), but it is more popular in Central Europe and Scandinavia.
It has a very delicate flavor, intermediate between that of fennel and that of anise. It goes very well with fish (the classic combination with salmon), but also with cheeses, pasta, marinades and sauces. It is mostly used fresh. Its aroma in fact does not resist heat very much; moreover, given the beauty of its leaves, it is very often used as a decorative element, to give a touch of freshness and color to the dishes.
It can turn out to be just as interesting in the garden, for the vivacity and vaporiness of its leaves and for the ability of its umbrella-shaped flowers to attract pollinating insects, such as butterflies and bees.
We can therefore take it into serious consideration for an aromatic corner, for the vegetable garden, but possibly also inserted wisely in a mixed border.
GROW THE DOG IN BRIEF
|Propagation||Mostly through seed|
|Rusticitа||Semirustica, but cultivated as an annual with scalar sowing|
|Exposure||Full sun, half shade-light shade in the Center-South|
|Place of cultivation||Full earth or vase|
|Ground||Rich in organic matter, well drained and rather dry, possibly neutral|
|Pests and diseases||Shreds and snails, rotting of the collar|
The dill was used in ancient times as a digestive, the seeds were used, chewing them, to cool the breath; it has tonic and digestive properties; it was used as a medicinal plant already by the Egyptians, the Greeks and the Romans.
How to use it
Nowadays dill is used throughout Europe, Asia and North America; its leaves and seeds are consumed.
Dill leaves are used fresh, chopped, to flavor salads, sauces, fish or vegetables; during the winter they can be dried or placed in a freezer, for use during the year.
The seeds are used instead to flavor sweets and drinks.
The main use of dill leaves is in salads, both in salads of fresh leaves, and by adding a bunch of dill to the boiled potato salad; another very famous use is in combination with salmon: the dill is used fresh or dried to directly flavor the meat of the fish being cooked, or to prepare sauces with which to season the fish once cooked.
The dill is a herbaceous mostly annual (and occasionally, in areas characterized by mild winters, biennial) belonging to the Apiaceae family. It is characterized by long taproots and erect stems with a striped section. At the top they are divided into numerous secondary stems. The leaves are formed by filiform segments of bluish-green color less than 1 mm wide and 2 to a maximum of 4. The inflorescences, produced from June to August, have the shape of umbrellas and in turn are subdivided into other small umbrellas. The single flowers are yellow-greenish and are an irresistible attraction for bees.
After pollination, around September, fruits develop with wings (and are therefore usually carried by the wind). They have an oval shape of about 3mm in length, flat and dark brown. They too are aromatic and can be used like those made from fennel (therefore to give aroma and flavor to herbal teas, baked goods or even in combination with fish and meat). In Northern Europe and the United States they are traditionally used to flavor pickled cucumbers.
|Leaf color||Green with tones towards the glaucous, deciduous|
|Height||From 30 to 150 cm|
|Width||About 50 cm|
All the year. Sheltered in winter
|June. July August|
|From April to October|
From 60 to 70 cm
It flowers later in the year, but produces larger umbrellas.
The aroma is more intense than the species
|From 1m up to 1.50 m|
The highest variety, suitable for a vegetable garden or an aromatic corner
|From 70 to 80 cm|
It produces many leaves, of a brighter green.
Compact plant that tolerates wind better
|Up to 50 cm|
Ideal for growing in small containers.
Leaves similar to those of ferns.