1. GENERAL.

This is an annual plant native to East and the Mediterranean basin.  Grows wild in many parts of Europe, Southern Russia, Asia and Africa.  It is cultivated in several countries: Germany, Hungary, Italy, England, Holland, India, Pakistan, United States.  The absorption of the product sectors are pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, food and spirits.  The herbalist uses dill seeds for its carminative properties, stimulant, stomach, digestive.

Dill is an aromatic plant and decorative Umbelliferae family, has a long history of medicinal and culinary herbs.  It occupies a special place in the kitchen, as its delicious flavor is unmatched by any other herb.  In continental Europe it is common to use dill in all fish stews, it improves the flavor and makes them easier to digest.
Ancient Egyptian texts mention and dill, and Greek and Roman physicians also advised its use.  The practice of adding this herb to stews gradually spread throughout Europe.

2. BOTANICAL CHARACTERS.

It is an annual, herbaceous, of 25-50 cm, glaucous, glabrous, with taproot and foul odor.  The stem is brittle, grooved and hollow.  Tritetrapinnatisectas The leaves are finely divided into threadlike lacinia mucronate, the upper sessile, in a sheath shorter than the limbo.  The yellow flowers appear grouped in umbels of 15-30 radios, uneven, with the involvement and involucelo zero, ie, without bracts or bracteoles.  Calyx absent.  Petals yellow, oblong entire, suborbicular, with apex curved inward.  The fruit, 5-6 mm, are oval-elliptic, strongly compressed by the back, dark brown, surrounded by a clear wing.  Mericarps with five ribs, three protruding dorsal, filiform, fairings, and the two sides in a flat wing dilated.  Commissural face seed flat.  They have a strong odor, pleasant and similar to caraway, if chewed they taste aromatic and pungent.
All parts of the plant contain essential oil of dill.  The accumulation of this oil in different parts of the plant changes significantly both in quantity and quality during the growing season.

The plant growing season is short.  Depending on environmental conditions, it takes between 100-120 days to mature fruit and its seed can be obtained.  Choose a suitable time for collection and proper storage of seed germination capacity keeps for 2 to 3 years.
The optimum temperature for seed germination is 8-10 º C and the period of sprouting seedlings take about 10-17 days.  The beginning of stem growth is expected between 35-40 days after germination, bud.  Depending on weather conditions, the plant will reach full bloom about 50-70 days after the appearance of the cotyledons.
Under cold and rainy conditions to reach the flowering period is prolonged and the adherence of the seed is bad.  On average you’ll need around 40-45 days from the beginning of flowering for the seeds ripen in primary umbels.  In addition, the crop ripens unevenly and the ripe seeds fall off the plant (umbels) very easily.

3. CLIMATE AND SOIL.

For this species the best soils are light, draining.  The preferred humíferos, light, fertile, fluffy and exposed at noon.  The preparation of the seedbed consists of a shallow plowing followed by tillage suitable to ensure smoothness and finesse required by this species, as regards the environment, dill is hampered by the cold, dry or too wet.  Cold Fear returns.
Their normal habitat is southern Europe, Egypt, Asia Minor, North Africa.  In Spain, mainly in the lower valley of the Ebro and in Andalucia.  It prefers temperate climates – warm, but can live in areas with little cold.

4. SPREAD.

It is performed almost exclusively by seed.  The time falls between February and March but may be delayed in an environment where returns can be cold.  If the goal is the production of the crop seed, planting can not be postponed beyond the end of April, as, indeed, after this period dill risk at being unable to complete the cycle.  The planting, carried out with drill should be done with amounts ranging from 4 to 10 kg / ha depending on seedbed, but especially to the degree of germination of the seed itself, it is always best to try before .

More specifically, it speaks of vitality, which can be reduced as a result of faulty development of the seed in the plant, harvest damage, but mostly by aging and poor maintenance.  Typically, the seed is retained after harvesting during a period that varies according to species.  The best condition to maintain the vitality of the seeds during storage is to slow your breathing and other vital processes, without harming the embryo.  The most important factors to be taken into account to achieve this result are correct internal moisture of the seed, low storage temperature and atmosphere control.  Of these, the relationship temperature – humidity are the ones most important in practice.

The use of the method of controlled atmosphere storage is limited only to seeds that have a short life.  The most common is being done in places where the atmosphere is dry, temperature control, which is the environment.  The water content of the seeds should be low.  They need to be dried, generally containing from 4 to 6% moisture to a maximum of 8 to 10%.  The relative humidity in storage premises must be maintained at average levels.  The seeds should be stored in piles or bags placed low in stock.  The containers and often the premises must be fumigated or treated with insecticides in order to cut parasitic attacks.

5. PLANTING.

5.1. Cultivation.

Need soil moist but not waterlogged.  The land must be paid in advance, would be convenient after the subscriber has been a harvest.  It is sown from March, in rows 25 inches apart from each other, pressing the seeds into the ground, with a table.  Germination occurs at 14 or 21 days.  It has a fast growing and requires regular watering.

In some field tests have verified that the quality and quantity of the harvest, whether for the production of leaves, seeds or oil, varies very significantly by planting date.  So the earliest dates given proper crop development and a full completion of the plant growth cycle, so that yields were higher in the three cropping patterns.

5.2. Fertilization.

This species requires the presence of organic matter in the field.  Therefore, at the time of primary tillage, it provides 15 tons / ha of manure well done.  The chemical fertilizer varies depending on the purpose of cultivation, the plant you want to collect.  Just for information, and based on field trials (8), to obtain the blade recommend the following quantities: N (120 units), P (40 units), K (20 units), with production of 630 kg / ha.  To obtain the essential oil of the green parts are recommended: N (80 units), P (40 units) and K (20 units), with yields of 90 kg / ha.  For seed production yields were higher for inorganic subscribers: N (40 units), P (80 units) and K (20 units), yielding 1000 kg / ha.  For seed essential oil: N (40 units), P (120 units), K (20 units), leading to yield up to 25 kg / ha.

Other studies on the effect of spacing and nitrogen levels to be applied to crops have revealed dill, for tests that the best production results are achieved when N levels do not exceed 90 kg / ha, for some row spacings of 30-45 cm.  Higher levels of N did not result in higher yields (3.17).

5.3. Cultural Work.

During the spring will at least two turbines and if it does not rain, two or three irrigations.  Weeding can be avoided by using selective herbicides.  In the fight against weeds weeding can be reduced to one only, or at most two whether there has been chemical weeding.  The active principles are selected for the dill are linuron and prometryn.  The linuron was applied in doses of 1.5 kg / ha of commercial product; Prometryn in doses of 2 kg / ha of commercial product.  The action of these herbicides is mostly antigerminadora, so you must lie with the soil moist after planting.

Watering is done only after planting and, rarely, if expires dry season, when vegetation.
Seeds should be sown from April to June.  Seedlings are delicate, the planting site must be kept clean of weeds and the soil should always be moist.  If the weather is dry, the young plants often have a tendency dill suddenly large, in which case they must be sown again.

The leaves of dill can be cut for use at any time, but still would gather it’s best just before flowering.  Dill roots are weak, and generally do not support the transplant.  We must be careful not to plant dill near fennel, as it could result in further cross-pollination and the aroma of dill, more sensitive, could be masked by the more powerful of the fennel.

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