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Growing and Selling Fresh Cut Herbs.
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of the Month
To 48 inches
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.
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
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.
here to see a preview of the
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Growing and Selling Fresh-Cut Herbs
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