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Seed of the Week: Dill

Our mystery seeds from last week were from a dill plant, Anethum graveolens.

Here's a closer look at the seeds:

dill-seeds-usda

(Photograph provided by Steve Hurst @ USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database)

They are covered with light-colored ridges and darker valleys.

dill-plant-1

Dill is an annual plant that grows readily from seed. In fact, it will often self-sow from one year to the next.

dill-foliage-another

Dill has distinctive lacy foliage with a recognizable odor.

dill-foliage

You can use the fresh leaves in salads, on eggs, or with fish. Of course, dill is an important ingredient when making dill pickles.

dill-flower-mgDill has an open yellow flower that looks like a cluster of smaller flower bouquets.

dill-flower-101If allowed to flower, the plants will soon produce seeds, starting the cycle all over again.

Are you thinking about planting a garden this year?

Dill can fit right into many types of gardens. Of course it is equally at home in vegetable and herb gardens. It also could be added to a butterfly garden because it is also a food plant of black swallowtail caterpillars (mentioned in the post about parsley). The flowers are wonderful sources of nectar for many beneficial insects. It is a stand out plant for a sensory garden with the soft foliage and odor. Dill seed heads can also be dried and used in dried arrangement. The bottom line is that it is a versatile and useful plant.

Poetry Connections:

Since we are celebrating poetry this week, I pulled out two of my favorite garden-related poetry books for children that could accompany a unit on plants. If you are adventurous, it would be fun to take the books right out to the garden. As you read it, have the children find some of the plants and animals mentioned in the poems. Take some paper and pencils so the children can jot some words and ideas down and/or draw what they see.

I Heard It from Alice Zucchini: Poems About the Garden
by Juanita Havill and illustrated by Christine Davenier features fanciful odes to a variety of fruits and vegetables, including one to "Dainty Doily Dill Weed."

alice-zucchini

Age Range: 1 and up
Hardcover: 32 pages
Publisher: Chronicle Books; First Edition edition (February 23, 2006)
ISBN-10: 0811839621
ISBN-13: 978-0811839624

Jack's Garden by Henry Cole

Henry Cole used the familiar poem "This is the House the Jack Built" as a scaffold to create a detailed description of a garden as it develops over the season. Cole went back to his "roots," so to speak, as a science teacher and subtly ties in concepts of weather, plant growth and how plants are part of the food chain.

jacks -garden

Age Range: 4 - 8 years
Paperback: 32 pages
Publisher: Greenwillow Books (March 28, 1997)
ISBN-10: 068815283X
ISBN-13: 978-0688152833

Do you have a favorite book of garden poetry? I'd love to hear about it.

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Does all this inspire you to grow some dill?

Dill Bouquet Certified Organic Heirloom Seeds 600 Seeds
from Botanical Interests

 

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