Tuesday, August 26, 2008

On Row Covers, Watering and Too Much Dill

Well tomato horn worms are not the only nasty caterpillars in the garden. I found and picked off two cabbage worms. I always thought they looked pretty. They have such a nice velvety green. They tend to blend into the foliage of the broccoli, but I really don't have much trouble finding them. Well except that my broccoli is under a row cover and I rarely lift it up. So how did they get under? I confess I didn't have the row cover on at the start. When I found some butterflies hanging around the plants, I immediately remedied the situation. The row cover can't stay on forever though. The plants will get too tall for it. My row cover isn't wide enough to cover tall broccoli. I keep hoping that the butterflies will die off as the season progresses. I'm not sure they do though. For now I'll keep checking the plants to make sure no more hatch. They really did a job on the two broccoli plants they inhabited.

The only reason I was under the row cover in the first place was to water my plants. It has been extremely cool and sunny here. Our days have been in the 70s and our nights in the 50s and 60s. We haven't had rain for ten days, and none in the forecast until (maybe, but only if we are very lucky) the weekend. For living it has been the perfect weather. Stunning in fact. So I watered my plants about 5 days ago and I have to do it again today. The row covers tend to shed water. Which was good for our inundation earlier this summer, but not so good when it is dry. I would really like to find the woven ones that they sell in England, since they let the water through better. I actually have one from about 15 years ago that is like that. I didn't use it since it is my longest row cover and too long for the short bed. I think next year I'm going to break down and cut it. I don't anticipate needing such a long row cover in the near future anyway.

In addition to watering I deseeded my dill heads that have been sitting in the pantry drying in their paper bag. I didn't really do a great job at winnowing out all the little stem bits, but I got all the biggest ones out. I have a cup of dill seed and I have more to put in the bag to dry tomorrow. What in the world am I going to do with so much dill seed? The dill has loved the wet weather and grown unusually tall. Peaking at about five feet. In addition it has put out numerous huge flower heads. The seed smells heavenly, but really I don't cook with it much at all. I use it for pickles. I'm not sure I've ever used it for anything else. It really smells like it ought to be baked into bread.


  1. I have a great bread recipe with dill I'll look up, too. I am jealous of your dill! My dill seedlings succumbed to slugs, I've only got 2-3 plants lurking under the pole beans. I'll have to buy dill for dilly beans and any other pickles.

  2. Nancy: Thanks, those recipes looks yummy. I'm going to have to try them out.

    Henbogle: Oh I would love that recipe. Thanks. The dill really is a slug trap. Sometimes I go out in the early in the morning and destroy them.

  3. I love dill and I really want to grow it, but it's pretty dry here, so I don't know if it would do well. I eat dill with every sandwich I make. It's yummy!

  4. We're going to put in some dill next year. We bought the dill we used in our pickles this year and it has been hang drying in the garden room downstairs. The whole house has been scented with it for about three weeks now. Good ideas here for what to do with anything that is left!