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Come pickle time, you'll be glad you sowed dill seeds.

A useful culinary herb, dill (Anethum graveolens) is best known for bright green feathery foliage that gives aromatic flavoring to salmon, salads, soups, and stews. It also bears blooms that are attractive in dried arrangements. And you can harvest its seeds to use in pickling and baking.

To plant dill, start seeds as soon as soil is workable in spring; you can make successive sowings through early summer to ensure an extended harvest.

Sow in a sunny spot in the garden. Add organic matter to the soil to produce a rich, fast-draining medium. Thin seedlings to about 18 inches apart.

During the growing season, you can snip foliage for kitchen use. If you want to gather seeds for cooking, wait until they have turned brown (or cover seed stalks with a plastic bag, close it loosely, and collect seeds as they ripen). Plants self-sow readily.

To dry seed heads for arrangements, pick them while they're still green but after yellow blooms have faded. Secure several stalks together with a rubber band and hang upside-down in a dry, dark place. When they're completely dry, use them in dried-flower bouquets.

Plants usually grow to 3 to 4 feet tall, but you can now get a dwarf variety, 'Dill Bouquet', that stays under 2 feet. Seed is available from Geo. W. Park Seed Co., Box 31, Greenwood, S.C. 29647, or from Nichols Garden Nursery, 1190 N. Pacific Highway, Albany, Ore. 97321. Write for free catalogs.
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Copyright 1985 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:Sunset
Date:Feb 1, 1985
Words:243
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