Growing Dill hydroponically in condo-farm

The ‘official’ botanical name of Dill is Anethum graveolens. This herb is mostly known for being the spice in pickles. Its leaves and seeds are also used as a seasoning in salads. It is a big plant that can grow up to 92 centimeters (three feet) long.

The plant grows delicate, fern-like aromatic leaves (also called dill weed or sprigs). Because of this, it is extensively used in Europe and Asia for adding flavor to local dishes. It bears flower-heads that later on produce the seeds.
Dill is a biennial (warm season) herb. This means it can live up to two years. As urban farmers, we prefer to grow and harvest its leaves for the first year. The plant needs to develop its roots and seeds during the second year.

The Nutrients we get from Eating Dill

The nutrient composition of both the dill seeds and leaves are available in an online public database. The following tables based on this information is presented below. The corresponding percentage of the Recommended Daily Allowance provided for a specific nutrient based on a given quantity is also stated in the same row.

Table 1: Nutrient data for: dill seeds (Source)
Nutrient Unit Value per 100 g %RDA 1 tbsp =6.6g %RDA
Proximates
Energy kcal 305 10.52 20 0.69
Protein g 15.98 25.36 1.05 1.66
Total lipid (fat) g 14.54 2.08 0.96 0.14
Carbohydrate, by difference g 55.17 22.07 3.64 1.47
Fiber, total dietary g 21.1 70.33 1.4 4.66
Minerals
Calcium, Ca mg 1516 151.6 100 10
Iron, Fe mg 16.33 204.12 1.08 13.5
Magnesium, Mg mg 256 64 17 4.25
Phosphorus, P mg 277 39.46 18 2.56
Potassium, K mg 1186 59.3 78 3.9
Sodium, Na mg 20 4 1 0.2
Zinc, Zn mg 5.2 47.44 0.34 3.1
Vitamins
Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid mg 21 23.33 1.4 1.55
Thiamin mg 0.418 34.83 0.028 2.33
Riboflavin mg 0.284 21.88 0.019 1.46
Niacin mg 2.807 17.54 0.185 1.16
Vitamin B-6 mg 0.25 19.23 0.017 1.31
Folate, DFE µg 10 2.5 1 0.25
Vitamin A, RAE µg 3 0.33 0 0
Lipids
Fatty acids, total polyunsaturated g 1.01 5.32 0.067 0.35

 

Based on a tablespoon quantity, the most significant mineral dill seeds provide is iron which is more than 13% of the RDA. Calcium at 10% RDA is also very substantial.  The amounts of magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and zinc are not very high. But remember that the serving size is just a tablespoon. So their respective quantities are not insignificant and can add up towards the RDA.

Table 2: Nutrient data for: Dill leaves, fresh. (Source)
Nutrient Unit Value per 100 g %RDA 1 cup sprigs = 8.9g %RDA
Proximates
Energy kcal 43 1.48 4 0.14
Protein g 3.46 5.49 0.31 0.49
Total lipid (fat) g 1.12 1.45 0.1 0.13
Carbohydrate, by difference g 7.02 2.8 0.62 0.25
Fiber, total dietary g 2.1 7 0.2 0.67
Minerals
Calcium, Ca mg 208 20.8 19 1.9
Iron, Fe mg 6.59 82.37 0.59 7.38
Magnesium, Mg mg 55 13.75 5 1.25
Phosphorus, P mg 66 9.4 6 0.85
Potassium, K mg 738 36.9 66 3.3
Sodium, Na mg 61 12.2 5 1
Zinc, Zn mg 0.91 8.3 0.08 0.73
Vitamins
Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid mg 85 94.44 7.6 8.44
Thiamin mg 0.058 4.83 0.005 0.42
Riboflavin mg 0.296 22.8 0.026 2
Niacin mg 1.57 9.8 0.14 0.875
Vitamin B-6 mg 0.185 14.23 0.016 1.23
Folate, DFE μg 150 37.5 13 3.25
Vitamin A, RAE μg 386 42.94 34 3.78
Lipids
Fatty acids, total polyunsaturated g 0.095 0.5 0.008 0.053

 

On the other hand, the nutrient table for dill leaves show that vitamin C is most significant at 8.44% RDA in just a cup serving size (8.9 g). Vitamin A (3.78%) and folate (3.25%) are also significant. It is quite easy to consume more than a cup of the leaves. If you can eat up to 3-4 cups amount in a day, then a big proportion of the required RDA would have been taken in by your body. This is true for most of the vitamins and minerals listed on the table above.

The Health Benefits of Dill

Traditional herbalists use dill to treat digestive problems, liver and gallbladder problems. It is also used for kidney and urinary tract disorders. They can serve as a remedy for various health conditions and illnesses.

There is accumulating evidence that dill can positively impact certain health issues. So if you suffer from those disorders, you might try dill leaves and experience the following benefits:

  1. Improves digestion.
  2. Build The stomach lining.
  3. Relieves pain.
  4. Fight infections.
  5. Improves Type-2 Diabetes sugar levels.
  6. May relieve depression.
  7. May relieve epilepsy.
  8. Used in home remedies for sleeplessness.
  9. May prevent or cure cancer.
  10. Contains antioxidants that protect from free radicals and carcinogens.
  11. Anti-bacterial.

 

Drinking dill tea can promote sleep, calm nerves and treat an upset stomach.

By chewing dill seeds you can treat throat and gum (mouth) problems, as well as make your breath fresher.

Laboratory analyses of dill leaves and seeds had isolated numerous essential oils and volatile organic compounds. These include but not limited to; dillapiole, d-carvone, eugenol, limonene, terpinene, and myristicin. These are mostly responsible for the aromatic though pleasant smell given off by the plant.

In terms of health effects, phytochemicals present in dill were discovered to give the following benefits:

  • Limonene and myristicin which have given evidence for anticancer, anti-inflammatory, and antibiotic activities.
  • Eugenol has shown anesthetic and antiseptic properties. It is may also reduce blood sugar levels in diabetic people.
  • D-carvone has shown the ability to control fat intake by the body and thus, obesity.

Their respective mechanisms of action and how they interact with each and other substances in dill that brings about these healthful benefits is still not clear. What is apparent, from centuries of use by traditional health practitioners, is that these combine in a wholesome way within the plants’ tissues. We can all benefit from this through a regular yet moderate consumption of this herb.

 

Why should I grow Dill?

Dill is an herb with many health benefits which could be obtained in varied ways that you might want to explore. If you like its taste, you can enjoy using it to make aromatic and flavorful dishes.

And If you feel like you are having the flu, you can eat 100-200 grams of dill leaves and sleep on it overnight. The next morning, you will probably wake up “like new”. The volatile essential compounds in fresh leaves are the reason for the fragrant and refreshing scent whenever you crush or shred them. Keeping a pouch of these or even chewing a couple of leaves provides instant aromatherapy wherever you may go. This will help keep you energized and healthy throughout the day.
You can even make your own fresh essential oil extract and use it for room-humidifier devices instead of buying commercial preparations. This will help repel insects like mosquitoes and bugs from your room, or by applying it on your clothes and hair.

You may also use it for tea, either on its own or with other herbs to take beneficial minerals and vitamins into your body. “Gripe” or “calcium” tea had been made by many mothers and old folks to soothe an upset stomach or get their needed dose of the mineral.

Since growing this herb quite easy and hassle-free, it is worth the effort to add to the collection in your condo-farm.

Recipes using Dill

Dill leaves are a nice garnish and can add a spicy flavor to any cooking. You can use fresh or cooked dill leaves as you like. If preparing a meal for children, you can put some dill on a side plate and let the children take as much as they like.

Spicy yogurt:

Ingredients:
A half cup of dill.
A half cup of parsley.
Small onion.
500ml. yogurt.
Some salt.

Cut the vegetables into small parts. Mix them well with the yogurt. Let it sit in the fridge for a half hour.

Enjoy!

Dried Dill

You can dry dill leaves and use them as a dry spice for your cooking. Just cut some bouquets of the leaves. Then place them in a dry and dark area. Let them dry out thoroughly. Chop the leaves and put them in a used empty spice jar.

If you have gum or mouth issues, you can chew dill seeds. It will release the vitamins, minerals, and oil in your mouth and help it recover.

“Gripe Water” with Dill Seed

This is simply tea made by steeping some dill seeds in boiling water. If making just a cup, you would only need about a tablespoon amount. Crush or grind the seeds before putting in the water to further bring out the flavor. You an filter out the seeds (which could be stored in the refrigerator and reused later). Cool a little before drinking. Adjust the proportions depending on how strong you want it to be.

How To hydroponically grow Dill in condo-farm

Dill can grow to a height of up to 3 feet (90cm). So it is a large plant and we should harvest it frequently to keep it in a manageable size on our farm.

It requires as much sun as possible. In northern countries, you should use LED growing light to supply its needs.

Dill seeds are small and should be immersed in the seedling planter near the topsoil. The seed will sprout in about two weeks. After sprouting, let them have another two weeks in the planter to mature, as they don’t like being transplanted.
You might want to plant a few seedlings in the condo-farm planter. Keep the others in their nursling planter in case they will not survive the transplanting shock. In this case, try again in another week. As Dill is a big plant, you should plant only 3-4 seedling and harvest often. You can start harvesting four weeks after seedling.

Growing Dill indoors spread the distinct odor of the plant present in the house. You should be aware of that.

If the condo-farm system is in a windy place, you should secure the Dill to the planter’s connectors.

Dill is a strong plant and is not vulnerable to Insects and Diseases. If the condo-farm is outside you might see caterpillars on it. It’s not problematic – you have more than enough to share.

 

Harvesting the Dill

Use scissors to cut out the amount of Dill you want. Since you have big plants there is no need to store cut leaves. You can just go and cut new leaves every time you want.

Cut the top leaves of the Dill to allow it to regenerate and cut other stems every time.

 

Bloom season

Dill can bloom in about 8 weeks after sawing. When it begins blooming it focuses most of its energy in producing seeds instead of producing leaves. If you after leaf harvesting, you should trim the flowers as they appear to prolong the “leaf” season of the plant. Another option is planting new Dill seedlings instead of the mature ones.

The flowers of the Dill are yellow flowers on small stems. The seeds are generated at the center of the flower. If you want to harvest seeds you should cover the flowers with a small bag. Make a small hole in the bag to let the leaves “breathe”. If you don’t cover the flowers, the seeds will be “gone with the wind”. Or cover your condo floor. When the flowers are mature, you can cut them out and dry them inside the bag. After a while press the bag and get the seeds out of the foliage.

You can use the seeds to grow new Dill plants or eat them.

We would love to hear from you! Send us your growing experience and pictures and we will upload them to this site. (With credit to you if you wouldn’t mind).

Immediately check the impact of Dill on your body

Growing Dill, until it is matured enough to be eaten, can take two to three months. If you want to test the impact of Dill on your body, you can order the following products from iHerb, and get them in about a week. Then you can make an educated decision whether you want to grow Dill or not.

References

https://www.nutrition-and-you.com/dill-weed.html

Dill weed (herb) nutrition facts.

 

http://www.studiobotanica.com/delightful-dill-medicine/
Delightful Dill Medicine benefits + recipes

 

https://www.curejoy.com/content/health-benefits-of-dill/
13 Amazing Health Benefits Of Dill Weed, Seed, And Dried Weed

 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC522076/
Mechanisms of Bactericidal Action of Cinnamaldehyde against Listeria monocytogenes and of Eugenol against L. monocytogenes and Lactobacillus sakei.
Alexander O. Gill and Richard A. Holley
Appl Environ Microbiol. 2004 Oct; 70(10): 5750–5755.

 

https://scialert.net/abstract/?doi=pjn.2014.303.309
Hepatoprotective Effect of Dill (Anethum graveolens L.) and Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) Oil on Hepatotoxic Rats
Naeem M. Rabeh and Alaa O. Aboraya
Pakistan Journal of Nutrition. 2014. vol.13(6): 303-309.

 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4707388/
Lipid Lowering Effects of Hydroalcoholic Extract of Anethum graveolens L. and Dill Tablet in High Cholesterol Fed Hamsters
Oshagi,E.A. et al.
Cholesterol. 2015; 2015: 958560.

 

https://www.lktlabs.com/products/Myristicin-126-50.html
Product List: Myristicin. LKT Labs.

 

https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/edible/herbs/dill/dill-plant-has-flowers.htm
Why Is My Dill Flowering: Reasons A Dill Plant Has Flowers

 

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1365-2621.2005.tb07190.x
Chemical Constituents, Antimicrobial Investigations, and Antioxidative Potentials of Anethum graveolens L. Essential Oil and Acetone Extract: Part 52
Gurdip Singh  Sumitra Maurya  M.P. de Lampasona  C. Catalan
Food Science. Vol.70(4):208-215.

 

https://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/jf00116a036
Composition and content of aroma compounds in dill, Anethum graveolens L., at three different growth stages.
Rainer Huopalahti, and Reino R. Linko.

  1. Agric. Food Chem., 1983, 31 (2), pp 331–333

 

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