The Great Dill-Off

Being of Scandinavian descent, we have a great affinity for dill in my family. There are very few dishes that can’t be improved by a little dill, and as a result it’s been a garden staple for several years. Phoenix being Phoenix, however, dill can be a problematic herb: it tends to prefer steady, cooler temperatures. We often get erratic weather which dill does not enjoy.

So was born last year’s garden lab experiment: Battle of the Dills. The old standby of Bouquet was seeded along with newcomer Tetra (or Dukat). The results were interesting (and again proved this kind of experimentation is well worth the effort and meager garden space it requires).

Bouquet Dill

  • Better overall flavor throughout the season
  • Maximum height of approximately 5 feet
  • Suffered partial losses during varied weather
  • Bolting common as spring began; could be retarded by cutting
  • Dead by mid-spring
  • Large, recognizable seeds; good for pickling

Tetra Dill (Dukat Dill)

  • Good flavor at peak season, bland but recognizable at end of season
  • Maximum height of approximately 4 feet
  • Unaffected by varied weather
  • Did not bolt
  • Survived through summer, though with reduced flavor
  • Smaller seeds; less flavor per seed, but can use more seeds
  • Can address plant as Gul Dukat and shout angry DS9 dialog at it

With the new dill season upon us, the battle royale continues with additional contenders. Joining the fray this year are Mammoth and Fernleaf varieties.