‘Mariska’ is a little known but hardy and compact variety of Dill. It is a multi-purpose variety, with high essential oils, a pungent aroma and abundant foliage it is great variety for the kitchen garden.
Growing to only 60cm (24in) in height, this well behaved smaller dill is suitable for windowsill or container use and is excellent in a vase.
With ridged stems that carry starry bright yellow flower heads, it is a good choice for use as a cut flower filler and can also be dried, it is often referred to as ‘Florist’s Dill’.
Dill is easy to germinate or to cultivate and it causes few problems for novice gardeners. It is a very attractive plant and is a wonderful companion plant. Its pest-fighting punch is an asset to any vegetable garden. In the kitchen, a sprig of dill will perk up almost any soup, salad, or main dish. Best of all, the tiny individual blossoms are rich in pollen and nectar, which makes them wonderful for attracting a wide variety of beneficial insects to your garden.
In the ornamental garden, Dill’s fern-like foliage makes a beautiful backdrop for the bright blooms of annuals and perennials, and the yellow, umbrella-shaped flower clusters add colour in their own right. Plant them where the delicate fern-like leaves can be handled and the gorgeous aniseed scent can emerge from the plant.
Sow outdoors successionally from spring through summer or sow indoors at any time of year. Dill, like most herbs, loves to bask in the sun, but will tolerate afternoon shade, it prefers slightly acid, well-drained soil.
Dill is especially suited to container growing, either indoors or outdoors.
Sow seed in clumps in 7cm (3in) pots. Use moist seed compost, cover with a fine layer of compost and keep the pots well watered. Transplant into larger pots when 15cm (6in) tall - No later as the plant's long taproot resists transplanting. If keeping indoors, place the plants in a sunny position but out of direct sunlight and away from radiators. Support with a stake.
Sowing Directly Outdoors:
Prepare the soil by digging to a spade and a half depth. The long tap roots of dill need to be able to grow without hitting solid soil. Incorporate some long lasting fertiliser, such as bonemeal, at the rate of two handfuls per square metre (yard).
Sow thinly in April, covering with only a fine layer of soil. The seedlings will emerge in two weeks or so, and should be thinned to 24cm (9in) apart. Further sowings can be made during the spring and early summer to extend the harvest time.
Successful cultivation requires warm to hot summers with high sunshine levels; even partial shade will reduce the yield substantially.
Keep the plants weed free. The long tapered roots of dill will ensure that it is unlikely to need watering in all but the most extreme dry conditions.
Pinch the leaves down to the base of the plant until the plants are about 12cm (5in) high. As it grows snip the fronds where they are emerging from the stalk.
Near the end of the growing season, the plant will send up flowers, this will cause leaf production to stop. If you would prefer to have a longer season for leaf cultivation, simply snip off the flower buds as they form so the plant can put its energy into foliage production
Dill is probably one of the easiest herb seeds to harvest. If you want to harvest the seeds, allow the flowers to open and begin to turn brown before trimming them off. Bundle the heads together and place into a paper bag securing it closed around the stems with a rubber band. Allow the flowers to dry then shake the seeds loose within the bag so that it will catch them.
Correctly stored, (Cool and dry) the seeds are viable for 3 to 10 years, if you don’t eat them in the meantime!
Remember to add dill at the end of cooking, because cooking will destroy most of its flavour.
When using dill seeds in recipes, be sparing or they may overwhelm other flavours.
Dill leaves will keep well in the fridge for about three weeks, and stored in the freezer in individual portions. Seeds can be used whole or crushed in a mill or coffee grinder. The dried seeds keep indefinitely when kept out of sunlight in an airtight container.
Dill improves growth and health of cabbage and is a best friend for lettuce.
Good Companions: Cabbage, Lettuce, Onions, Sweetcorn and Cucumbers.
Dill does attract the tomato horn worm so it would be wise to plant it somewhere away from your tomato plants. Plants intended for seed for planting should not be grown near fennel as the two species can hybridise.
Bad Companions Tomatoes, Carrots Caraway Lavender and Fennel
Dill seeds contain carvone as an essential oil. Dill is considered carminative, stomachic and slightly stimulant.
Dill tea / water is given to children for digestive problems. Also it “destroyeth the hiccups” (!)
Correctly stored, seeds are viable for 3 to 10 years.
- Additional Information
Packet Size 1 gram Average Seed Count 800 Seeds Common Name Florists Dill Family Apiaceae Genus Anethum Species graveolens Cultivar Mariska Synonym Peucedanum graveolens Hardiness Half Hardy Annual Natural Flower Time Yellow starry umbels Fruit Mid-Summer Foliage Feathery and fernlike, dark blue-green Height 45 to 60cm (18 to 24in) Spread 30cm (12in) Position Requires a sunny location Soil Most soils Notes Correctly stored, the seeds are viable for 3 to 10 years.