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Growing and Selling Fresh-Cut Herbs
Growing & Selling  
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Author Bio Biographical statement from the author of Growing and Selling Fresh Cut Herbs.

Sandie is a speaker
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Growing and Selling
Fresh-Cut Herbs

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Herb of the Month


Anethum graveolens
To 48 inches

     Dill is a very versatile herb that has been cultivated since antiquity for culinary and medicinal uses. It is very popular worldwide, especially in European cuisine. It has an affinity for seafood but it has many other foods as well.
     Most everyone is familiar with dill seed heads used for making pickles. The fresh leaves, sometimes called dill feathers, are most often used for flavoring food. Dill can be found dried in spice bottles on supermarket shelves most often labeled as dillweed.
     Dill is quite easy to grow from seed. It does not transplant well so it should be sown where it is to grow. There is seems to be conflicting information about whether dill seeds require light to germinate. Some seed packets say to cover the seed, as it requires darkness and others the opposite. It has never germinated for me if it was covered and other growers have covered it with an inch of soil with good results.
     Dill has always been a tall growing herb. In recent years new varieties have been introduced that are manageable for the commercial grower as well as the home gardener. The tetraploid types are shorter in height and more compact. "Fernleaf" is a good variety that produces an abundance of foliage and only grows to 18 inches in height. It is a good choice for commercial growers for use in the greenhouse.
     After several weeks of producing leaves at the base of the plant a center stem will begin to grow. When the leaves have been picked from this stem another one will not grow in its place. Sometimes a leaf will grow but it will be quite small, and not useful for commercial sales. Eventually you will have a leafless stem. This does not prevent the plant from flowering and producing seed, however, it will just look rather silly and bare!
     If you would like to maintain a continuous supply of dill leaves make several succession plantings throughout your growing season. It is quite hardy and can withstand cooler temperatures and even some light frosts.
     The flowering heads of dill are quite pretty when dried. If you wish to dry them do so before the seeds form or you may have dill growing in places you do not want it to. The bare stems, before they are dry, can be woven into various baskets or crafts. Many of them will dry with a beautiful iridescence.  

     Dill is covered in more detail in Chapter 18 of Growing and Selling Fresh-Cut Herbs by Sandie Shores.
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The comprehensive revised edition of Growing and Selling Fresh-Cut Herbs is available from author, most internet booksellers, bookstores, and in libraries.  It can be ordered from the distributor, Independent Publishers Group


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