Cousin to the carrot, dill (Anethum graveolens) shows comparable lacy, ferrn-like leaf. The fragrant, blue-green leaves are broken up into thready, inch-long segments. At maturity, dill stands 3 to 5 feet tall. Plant the yearly at the spring or fall in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zone 8 and also in winter in USDA zones 9 to 11. Although it may also grow inside in a deep pot, it tends to turn into gawky if not in direct sunlight. The leaf, along with the seeds, of the culinary herb flavor many dishes.
The chopped foliage, usually referred to as dill weed, is the perfect seasoning for fish. Also often contained in herb butters, potato or other root-vegetable recipes, bread and herbal teas, dill has ever been vital in Russian and Scandinavian soaps. Dill leaves generally have the best flavor and ought to be cut off the plant as the yellow flowers start to open. Because dill weed loses much flavor when dried, freeze whole branches in plastic bags if you are unable to use all of the dill when freshly elected.
Two to three weeks after flowering stops, cut the dill seed heads off. Dry them in a paper bag until the heads release the seeds. Store them for future use in an airtight container. Dill seeds lend piquancy to vinegars and dishes, such as potato salad, sauerkraut and, needless to say, dill pickles. During colonial times, dill seeds got the nickname “meetinghouse seeds,” since parents occasionally gave them to children to chew over while enduring lengthy church services.