How To Grow Dill


(See individual varieties for specific product information, but in general the growing information will be the same for all dill.)

Average Days To Maturity: 40-60 days

Distance Between Rows: 24 inches

Spacing Between Plants: 9 inches apart

When To Plant: Charley recommends planting Dill in mid to late April or after last frost, but experienced gardeners can plant earlier and protect the young plants with buckets and milk jugs or start them out in a cold frame or small greenhouse.

Planting Tip: When growing Dill in a pot or container, make sure there is good drainage. This can be achieved by putting a layer of gravel or small rocks in before the dirt.  If planting in the ground, keep the soil free of weeds and water it a bit so that it is moist when you plant.

Dill grows tall so it needs to be protected from the wind.  You can help make the plants sturdier by providing plenty of room for the roots to go deep.  Just like any structure, having a good, strong foundation is best.

Preparation and Care: If the soil that you are planting in is poor, then work some compost into the soil.  Dill does not need much feeding so working some kind of compost or time release fertilizer into the soil before planting should be sufficient.

You will need to hoe or VERY shallowly till or cultivate the soil around the plants to keep the weeds under control. Be sure to keep it shallow and not damage the roots.

Make sure there is plenty of air flow around the plants to prevent rot and disease.

Watering: It is recommended that you water Dill with drip irrigation (because they have deep roots) once or twice a week.  Dill can withstand dry conditions but if there is a drought you might irrigate a little more frequently.  The soil needs to have proper drainage but make sure that it retains enough water to stay moist and not soggy.

Water your garden (tomatoes and everything else) once a week with a 8-12 hour soaking. This will allow the soil to absorb an adequate amount of water and also limit the time you spend each week watering.  If you use a sprinkler to water, do this during the day so that the plants will have some time in the evening to dry out before dark. This will limit the chances of disease. If you use a soaker hose, you can water at night. Watering with a soaker hose at night is best as it limits the amount of water lost to evaporation and keeps the plants dry which limits the chances of disease. During dry periods you may need to water more often (every 4-5 days), and watering at night is important in water conservation during droughts.

Fertilizing:  Working compost or some type of fertilizer in to your soil before planting should be sufficient for growing Dill.

Harvesting:  Dill can be harvested for its leaves or seeds.  The leaves are commonly referred to as Dill Weed and can be harvested as soon as the leaves are big enough but you get the best flavor right before the flowers begin to form.  Cut the stem and when ready remove the leaf for use.  Dill Weed will keep in the refrigerator for several weeks. You can also freeze the stalks and use the leaves at a later date.  Dill Weed is best used as a garnish or after the meal is cooked.  It tends to lose flavor when cooked for long periods of time.

Dill Seed is pretty self explanatory.  You can allow the plants to bloom and go to seed then either cut the flowers off and hang them to dry with a paper bag to catch the seeds or let the seeds mature on the stalk and collect them in a bag.  You will have to separate the seeds from a little bit of debris.

Dill contains Vitamins A and C and calcium and iron.

Common Insect Problems

Dill is not bothered by many insects.  Aphids may appear when the flowers bloom but Dill attracts butterflies, lady bugs and other helpful bugs that will take care of these pests.

Common Disease Problems

Dill has few disease problems, but watch for powdery mildew.  Allowing for proper air flow around the plants will help prevent this.  Over watering can cause other issues so make sure you have proper drainage.

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