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)

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Broccoli Investigation – Part 2

Arcadia Broccoli

My investigation began when I noticed the broccoli I was growing, Arcadia Broccoli, looked like cauliflower.  Then I wondered if it had been genetically altered in some way.  In order to grow a pure and clean Broccoli the temperatures must be between 50F to 73.4F.  If Broccoli is grown outside of these temperatures it is genetically modified in some way.  This is why I only grow broccoli in our fall and winter months.

Broccoli is in the top 10 crops of the United States with a market value of $700.  Top crops can be found here>>>>http://usda.mannlib.cornell.edu/MannUsda/viewDocumentInfo.do?documentID=1858.  The rising fuel prices make it unaffordable to grow in one part of our country and ship it to the other side of the country and still be affordable to the average consumer.  Yet, it is consumer demands that is driving this market due to the health benefits of broccoli.

Most of the Broccoli you see in the grocery stores appear to be Packman Broccoli.  Packman seed belongs to Seminis.  Monsanto owns Seminis.  I don’t mind hybrids, as long as, it is done in nature and not in a lab, injected with chemicals or crossed with another plant that would not normally cross in nature.  Most of the broccoli we see on the market today are a hybrid of some sort.

My first experience at growing broccoli was with one called ‘De Cicco’ Broccoli.  I noticed it did not not look like the huge broccoli heads in the grocery stores, but didn’t matter because I knew it was an heirloom seed that had not been tampered with in a lab.  This past fall we experimented with other varieties of broccoli.  We tried Spring Raab Broccoli which was just to bitter for us.  The Arcadia Broccoli developed nice big heads.  I’m still researching the Arcadia Broccoli because it is in the hybrid category.  Here is a link to most, but not all broccoli.  If it is labelled with “F1”, it is a hybrid.

My conclusion at this point is to stay away from all “F1” crops in our garden until I can determine how it was created.

Arcadia Broccoli

Arcadia Broccoli

Arcadia Broccoli

This is our Arcadia Broccoli that we planted Fall 2014.  Which is about 138 days after we planted the seed.  It is funny how climate, soil conditions, temperature and sun can determine the outcome of our vegetable harvests.

Today I wanted to know a little more about this variety of Broccoli.  It performed well and looked a little closer to what is purchased in the grocery stores.  I don’t mind hybrids, as long as, they are not crossing over into other vegetables, animals/pests or pesticides.  I began to think about this and wondered, “What is this variety crossed with?”  So my search has begun.

Master Gardener – Part 2

North side of fenced area.

I’m late getting this post up and I do apologize for not getting up yesterday.

Today we are going to take a look at what the Master Gardener did next.  Just in case you are wondering what version of the Bible I am using, it is the King James Version.

Gen 1:14  And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years:
Gen 1:15  And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so.
Gen 1:16  And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also.
Gen 1:17  And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth,
Gen 1:18  And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good.
Gen 1:19  And the evening and the morning were the fourth day.

Here the Master Gardener is working on the sun, moon, stars and galaxy so that we have nights, days, months, years, seasons and signs.  They day begins at sunset on one day and ends at sunset the next day.  Which in our world thinking today, the day begins at 12:01 a.m. and ends at midnight.

Observing where the sun hits your garden is important.  The suns position changes during the days, months and seasons.  Plants need a minimum of 6 hours of sunlight a day in order to be happy and productive just like we need sunlight every day.  Here is link where you can type in your city; state and country to see how the sun affects your garden CLICK HERE.  Watch it throughout the year and make necessary changes.  For example, in our summer here in Phoenix, AZ, our garden sits in direct full sun.  Full sun in our area, is too much sun for our garden.  So we have to help it during the summer.

A couple different things we have done in the past to help our garden in the summer is shade cloth and water.  Each one reduces the heat stress on the plants.  It is very difficult to shade tall plants, such as Sunflower and Corn.  However, in the summer corn and sunflowers can be planted on the south and west parts of your garden to help shade the other plants.  Corn and sunflowers do really well in full sun.

I’ll give you a specific example of what not to do.  My husband asked me to order some berries so that he can plant them against the fence.  So I ordered them, as any good wife would do.  Then I asked him, “Did you happen to notice whether or not they would be getting enough sun?”  The answer I got was “no”.  Berries need a minimum of six hours of sun a day with afternoon shade in our area.  I’ve included a couple photos of the area.  It is not complete as of yet and when we get it complete, I will do another update.  The berries arrive in January.

This area will have rainwater that drains to the area to conserve water as much as possible.  We will be removing the fence and replacing it with lattice, so that the berries receive enough sunlight.

Another thing that I would like to share is planting by the New Moon.  I get 100% seed germination when I start my seeds on a New Moon day.  We get one New Moon day a month, so you will want to find out what those dates are, so that you can use seeds more productively.

I love finding all these nuggets of instructions that God has left us for teaching, correcting or rebuking.

Be blessed until next time.