Dill (Minnesota Naturalized)
Improvement status: Cultivated material
Seeds per packet: ~80
Love it or hate it, dill is one of the most popular culinary herbs. Valued for both its seed (commonly used to flavor pickles) and its fresh or dried fronds (often referred to as "dill weed"), dill plays a major role in the cuisine of Europe and Asia. It's often paired with fish or meat, used in soups like borsht, and mixed with sour cream or mayonaisse to make a dill-flavored sauce. Even the flower is flavorful and useful in cooking.
Like its cousins in the Apiaceae family (including parsley, carrot, fennel and caraway, among others) dill is beloved by beneficial insects, including both pollinators and pest-destroying predators such as tiny wasps you're unlikely to ever notice. It is also a popular host plant for the caterpillars of beautiful swallowtail butterflies. Dill is said to make a good companion plant for cucumbers and brassicas.
This variety comes the garden of our friend Francois Medion, of Duluth, Minnesota, where it has become a 'naturalized' fixture in his backyard, as it re-seeds itself each year and comes back on its own. Francois is a talented bread maker and market gardener. If you stop into the Duluth Grill, right off I-35 as you are entering into Duluth, you may just be eating some of his locally grown vegetables!
GROWING TIPS: Direct seed around last frost, or start seeds indoors 2-4 weeks before last frost and then transplant to garden. For use as a dry herb, harvest before flower form.