Wyrtig

For gardeners with a sense of history
 

OE wyrtig, adj: Garden-like, full of plants;
On anum wyrtige hamme, Homl. Skt. ii. 30:312
.

  

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 Illustration Anethum graveolens0.jpg

 

 

 

 

  Dill
  Anethum graveolens

 

 

Dill in early sources


 

Description      Propagation      Cultivation        Harvest

Scientific name

Anethum graveolens

Anethum, dill; graveolens, strong smelling

In English, there is a verb, dill, which means to assuage, calm, sooth, lull to sleep. This verb may be derived from the medicinal uses of dill that appear in the earliest herbals, as seen in the sampling below.

Common names, modern  Dill, dill weed
Description  
Lifespan  Annual, but self-seeds with gay abandon
Hardiness  
Size  24"-30" tall and about 15" wide
Habit

Delicate plant with hollow stems; bright green, feathery foliage and tiny yellow flowers in umbels

Flower

 White to yellow flower umbels are beloved of black swallowtail butterflies. Seed is large, and an excellent seasoning (as is the foliage, known as dill weed).

Foliage

 Vivid green, finely cut, and strong-scented; best used fresh, as scent fades quickly.

Comments Ornamental as well as useful, dill should be in every garden. 
Propagation  
By seed Sow seed directly when soil temps are around 65 degrees. Cover with 1/4" of soil. Space 15" apart in row. Seed is viable for 3-10 years.
Germination temp  60-70 degrees
Germination time  10-14 days
Moisture Moderate
Light Full sun 
Cultivation  
Soil Rich, well-drained
Moisture Moderate until seedlings are established
Light Full sun
Natural habitat Unknown, as has been grown for millenia
Vigor Plant where sheltered from high winds, or stake
Diseases I read that dill suffers at times from mildew, but have never run into that in my hot and humid garden.
Pests  Dill is a good companion plant for cucumbers, but shouldn't be planted near carrots or tomatoes.
Season to bloom/bear Flowers in mid- to late-summer
Seed collection Early fall
 

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