Herbs – Growing Dill

Dried Dill

Dill

Dill Seeds

Dill Seeds

Type of Plant – Hardy annual
Best Place – Full sun, sheltered from winds
Soil – Light, well-drained (A thick layer of sand, light clay and some stones)
Propagation – Seed
Parts of Plant – Leaves and seeds
Uses – Craft, culinary, medicinal, chickens, attract beneficial insects

Plant Dill from September through February. Plant every two weeks to have a harvest from November through April. It will bolt once the weather warms up.

Flowering Dill

Flowering Dill

Attracts beneficial pollinators such as Butterflies. Dill also attracts True bugs like, Assassin Bug, Big-eyed Bug and Minute Pirate Bug, predaceous insects like Trichogramma wasps and others that eat Mealy bugs, Mosquitoes, Scale insects, Spider Mites, Thripes and Whiteflies. Allow Dill to go to seed to attract beneficial insects.

Growing Dill

Growing Dill

Garden Planning – do not plant next to carrots

Companion Planting – It also helps corn produce bigger ears, enhances Broccoli’s flavor,

Culinary Uses – steam carrots and serve with butter and snipped Dill. Use seeds for strong fish and leaves on lighter varieties. Use chopped Dill in omelets. Make a Dill sauce for those meatballs. Make Dill-seed crackers. Use Dill to make those Dill pickles. Make Dill vinegar or oil.

Medicinal – Digestive problems, colic, flatulence (pour boiling water over 1 tsp crushed seeds)

How to make Tagliatelle with Parsley Sauce

Plain Parsley

I have attached a video showing how to make Tagliatelle.  The recipe in the video is different than the one I have posted below.  Here is a list of ingredients you will need to make this dish  that serves 4:

1lb fresh spinach tagliatelle (I substitute any pasta noodles)
6 scallions, thinly sliced
3T olive oil
4 cloves garlic
12oz button mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 c. chopped curly-leaved parsley
salt and black pepper
pinch of nutmeg
2/3 c. heavy cream
8oz feta cheese, crumbled

Instructions:
Cook the tagliatelle (or pasta) in boiling salted water until it is tender.  Drain and keep warm.  Meanwhile, heat the oil in a pan and cook the onions over medium heat until clear or translucent.  Add the garlic and cook another minute.  Add the mushrooms, stir, cover and simmer over low heat for five minutes.  Stir in the parsley slowly to avoid breaking the mushrooms, then season with salt, pepper and nutmeg.  Add the cream and heat all the way through.  Turn the tagliatelle into a warm serving dish, pour on the sauce and toss well.  Sprinkle with Feta cheese and serve with bread, a salad of roasted red and yellow peppers or tomatoes sprinkled with basil and sunflower seeds.

Enjoy the delicious dish.

How can I use herbs in the kitchen?

Curled Parsley

Once I had herbs growing, it was time to figure out how I can use them in the kitchen for meals.

Herbs can be used in soups, starters, main dishes, egg dishes, pasta, salads, cheese dishes and vegetables.

Chervil and Tarragon can be used in clear/light chicken broth for soups.  Dill, Lemon balm and Tarragon can be used in fish soups.  Caraway, Dill and Fennel can be used to make Lentil soups.  Chervil, Dill seed, Fennel, Lovage, Oregano and Sage can be used to make pea soups.

These are just a few ways to use herbs in cooking.  How do you use your herbs?

What Kind of Soil do I need for Parsley to Grow?

Plain Parsley

When I first started gardening I didn’t know a thing about soil much less different types of soil that certain plants needed.  So I’ll share some things I have learned about herbs and soil.

There is clay soil, medium soil, light soil, sandy soil, wet soil and loam soil.  You can determine what kind of soil you have by getting a quart class jar with a lid.  Put a few tablespoons of soil in the jar and fill it with water.  Put the lid on the jar and shake really hard and then leave the jar alone for a couple days while the contents settle.  After a couple days get a marker and mark the jar at the point of each layer you see.

Here in Phoenix, AZ (Zone 9) we have clay soil.  Which means my jar once settled will have a narrow band of sand and stones covered by a much thicker band of clay.  This is called “clay soil”.  Medium soil will have equal layers of sand and clay.  Light soil will have a thick layer of sand and a narrow band of clay.

In light sandy soil water drains quickly and takes all the nutrients with it.  All Mediterranean herbs will love light sandy soil, such as:

Borage
Chamomile
Coriander
Evening primrose
Fennel
Lavender
Tarragon
Thyme
Wild marjoram
Winter savory

There are herbs that prefer Clay soil, such as:

Bee balm
Comfrey
Mint
Wormwood

Moist loam soil is loved by some herbs, such as:

Angelica
Bee balm
French sorrel
Lady’s mantle
Lemon balm
Meadowsweet
Mint
Parsley
Sweet Cicely

Here is a list of herbs that prefer wet soil:

Angelica
Bee balm
Marsh mellow
Meadowsweet
Valerian
Watercress

Loam soil is rich in nutrients and well drained, therefore the following herbs thrive in it:

Basil
Bay
Caraway
Catnip
Chervil
Chives
Coriander
Dill
Fennel
Lady’s mantle
Lovage
Rosemary
Rue
Sage
Thyme

Plain Parsley

Plain Parsley