Dill, Mammoth

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Geography/History:
Originally named Long Island Dill, this tall billowing relative of Queen Anne’s Lace and carrots is perfect for edible landscaping, container gardens and, well, pickles, of course! All parts of the plant–leaves, stems, flowers, and seeds–can be used to impart dill flavor to dishes. We particularly enjoy our early mornings in the seed garden when the dew dropped dill refracts the sunlight.  Beyond its pungent flavor and culinary versatility, dill has a long history of medicinal use. Ancient Egyptians referred to dill as a soother; gladiators believed it imparted courage; churchgoers felt the seeds imbued alertness; and villagers considered dill a protective charm. Dill still makes great pickles, but what of its other uses for the modern age? Where do we most need to be soothed, alert, courageous, and protected? Traffic jams on Long Island. Grow this herb for its flavor, and you may just prevent road rage to boot.

Nutritional Value:

Dill weed contains numerous plant derived chemical compounds that are known to have been anti-oxidant, disease preventing, and health promoting properties. This popular herb contains no cholesterol and low in calories. However, it contains many anti-oxidants, vitamins like niacin, pyridoxine, etc., and dietary fibers, which help to control blood cholesterol levels. Dill leaves (sprigs) and seeds contain many essential volatile oils such as d-carvone, dillapiol, DHC, eugenol, limonene, terpinene and myristicin. The essential oil, Eugenol in the dill has been in therapeutic usage as local-anesthetic and anti-septic. Eugenol has also been found to reduce blood sugar levels in diabetics. (Further detailed studies may be required to establish its role.) Dill oil, extracted from dill seeds has anti-spasmodic, carminative, digestive, disinfectant, galactagogue (helps breast milk secretion), sedative properties. It is also rich in many vital vitamins, including folic acid, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin A, ß-carotene, vitamin-C that is essential for optimum metabolism inside the human body. Vitamin-A, and beta carotene are natural flavonoid antioxidants. 100 g of dill weed sprigs provide 7718 IU or 257% of recommended-daily levels of this vitamin. Vitamin A is also required for maintaining healthy mucus membranes and skin and is essential for good eye-sight. Consumption of natural foods rich in flavonoids helps the human body to protect from lung and oral cavity cancers.  Fresh dill herb is an excellent source of antioxidant vitamin; vitamin-C. 100 g contain about 85 mg or 140% of vitamin C. Vitamin-C helps the body develop resistance against infectious agents and scavenge harmful, pro-inflammatory free radicals.  Dill weed is a good source of minerals like copper, potassium, calcium, manganese, iron, and magnesium. Copper is a cofactor for many vital enzymes, including cytochrome c-oxidase and superoxide dismutase (other minerals function as cofactors for this enzyme are manganese and zinc). Zinc is a co-factor in many enzymes that regulate growth and development, sperm generation, digestion and nucleic acid synthesis. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps control heart rate and blood pressure. Manganese is used by the body as a co-factor for the antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase.

Dill herb has all the characters to consider it has one of the most valuable functional foods. 100 g of dill weed provides only 43 calories, but its phyto-nutrients profile is no less than any other high-calorie food source; be it nuts, pulses, cereals, or meat group.

100 g fo this herb provides (%of RDA per 100 g):

37.5% of folates (vitamin B11),
14% of vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine),
23% of riboflavin (vitamin B-2),
140% of vitamin-C,
257% of vitamin-A,
21% of calcium,
82% of iron and
55% of manganese.

Sun:                                      Full Sun

Spacing:                               6″ – 8″

Height:                                  16 – 24″

Optimum Soil Ph:                  6.0 – 7.5

Days To Maturity:                 40 – 60

Sowing Method:                    Indoors/Outdoors

Planting/Growing Tips:
Direct sow around last frost, or indoors before last frost and then transplant fairly quickly. Sow Mammoth Long Island Dill every 3-4 weeks for highest quality fresh dill leaves all season. For use as a dry herb, harvest before the umbel (Latin for umbrella) flowers form.

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