Whenever I hear the word dill, I remember marinades and especially marinated salmon. A dish that would not be possible without dill. Dill is as important as salmon itself because it serves as a preservative apart from giving a pleasant aroma to dishes.
If you want to have fresh dill at home you have to start growing it first so stop for 3 minutes and take a look at this post.
FOUR THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT DILL
Dill is a plant native to Asia and the Middle East but already naturalized in various parts of Europe.
Within the Spanish territory it is not very abundant , rather scarce and we can find it in the area of the Ebro valley, Levante and Andalusia.
Its natural habitat is usually low altitudes (no more than 600 m) and loose, cool soils and sunny exposures.
Its scientific name is Anethum graveolens alluding to its strong and intense smell similar to that of parsley or fennel and it is not by chance because all three are from the apiaceae or umbelliferous family.
It is a plant, like fennel with one of the finest leaves you can see. Such thin leaves are called filiform (thread-like).
The parts that are used from dill are almost all. The leaves, the stems, the fruits and the essential oil. In the kitchen the most used are leaves and stems.
The medicinal properties attributed to this plant are a few as stomachic, effective against flatulence and vomiting as well as a diuretic.
Its essential oil is widely used to give aromas in cosmetics, soaps and pharmacy products.
? CAN YOU GROW DILL IN THE GARDEN AND IN POTS?
We have already seen slightly the climatic conditions in their natural habitat. They should be as similar as possible, therefore, temperate climates .
The warm ones it holds a little but if we keep a cool and humid soil it can do well.
It may be the most important factor. More than the weather.
It does not tolerate dry soils. The dryness of the environment does not take it very well and a soil with regular humidity helps the plant to withstand dry environments.
The preferred pH is rather acidic (5 to 7). Basic and / or limestone soils can become somewhat problematic.
The most important thing is a permeable and well-nourished soil .
You can imagine that it has to be moderate-high depending on the climatic zone.
The fact of maintaining a soil with constant humidity implies being very aware of irrigation.
THE KEY TO CULTIVATION: TRANSPLANTATION AND SOIL NUTRITION.
The roots of dill are very weak and therefore do not support transplants well. The best option is direct sowing, so the late spring frosts will limit the sowing time.
As is usually done in spring and summer, better not skimp on ensuring that you are free of sub-zero records.
You can see the dill sowing conditions at the aromatic sowing entrance . It is very superficial.
No more than 1 cm deep and we will have the seed germinated in just 2 weeks. Dill is very fast growing.
The nutrition of the soil where the dill grows must be very good.
Above all, it has to be highly evolved organic matter, so it is advisable to add highly evolved compost or mulch or otherwise add the compost in less decomposed phases in the previous crop.
Among the difficulties or peculiarities of this very delicate aromatic (compared to others), we have to say that it lends itself very well to growing in pots .
What’s more, it can be said that it may even be easier. We can control the conditions of the substrate, lighting, irrigation and temperature so trying it in a pot is not far-fetched.
HARVESTING AND STORING DILL
Being a very fast growing plant we can start collecting fresh leaves between 45 and 60 days after sowing.
Within the table that we made in the conservation of various aromatic and medicinal plants we can see that dill can be frozen (maximum 6 months) but it is not recommended to dry. If it dries it will lose much of the characteristic aroma.
Aromatic Seeds – Dill – Batlle
- Sowing: Direct from April to May
- Collection: The leaves are collected from June to August
- Annual; height 70 cm; use: The leaves and seeds are used to perfume the dishes
- It has a flavor between fennel and mint, it is also used to flavor preserves and vinegars
CULINARY USES OF DILL
- The first and most widespread use is to marinate fish, especially salmon.
- Widely used (in Spain less) in many stews, in sauces and creams to accompany.
- An important recommendation is not to cook it. Add at the end of the cooking process because the heat destroys the aromas quickly.