Herb of the Month – Dill Anethum graveolens
Dill is an aromatic and delicious herb used to flavor salads, seafood, pickles, and savory dishes. It is an annual with dainty feathery leaves that can be harvested all season long. The flower arrives on the main stem of the plant and forms a beautiful inflorescence. The flower heads turn into seeds soon after, and can be harvested and saved to plant for next year or used in cooking to add flavor. Dill flower heads and leaves are often used in pickling and give dill pickles their traditional flavor.
Medicinally, dill is used to aid in digestion, as an appetite suppressant, and to sweeten the breath. Dill oil kills bacteria and relieves flatulence.
“’Meeting House’ seeds is an old name that reflects the custom of chewing dill seeds during long church services to calm rumbling stomachs.” Herbs by Anna Kruger
I love growing dill in my garden, as it is easy to grow and looks so lacy and lovely. I like to trim it as it comes up in the spring to encourage bushier growth. Otherwise it grows straight and tall with fewer leaves alternating up the stem. I harvest and dry the leaves in my dehydrator. You can let some plants grow tall and flower if you would like to use the flower heads for pickling. I save some seeds every year just as a precaution. This is usually unnecessary as dill easily seeds itself around the garden if you leave a few flower heads and let them to go to seed.