Dill (Anethum graveloens)
About this Herb
Dill is an herb that serves multiple purposes in the garden. It’s an attractive plant in either the herb or flower garden, it grows fine, thread-like foliage that’s used as a delicious flavoring and it also produces large umbrella-like flower heads that produce dill seeds. Seeds can spread themselves and sprout to grow the next season.
How to Grow Dill
In our region, dill is an adaptable and fast-growing plant that can reach three or more feet tall. Dill can be planted in spring for a summer crop. Unlike many other herbs, dill can tolerate slightly dry soil conditions.
Locate a sunny spot in the herb, vegetable or ornamental garden. Dill can also grow well in large patio containers. Amend the soil to a well-draining rich soil or use a high-quality potting soil mix.
Dill can be started from seeds indoors, directly sown in the garden or planted as transplants from the garden center. Start seeds indoors early in spring and allow about 2 weeks for seeds to germinate. Wait for plants to be several inches tall before hardening off and planting.
Because dill can take a light frost, seeds can be sown into the garden or flower bed in early spring. Plant seeds about ¼ inch deep and 1-2 inches apart. If planting several rows make sure to leave rows 6-8 inches apart.
Dill transplants are also available at the garden center. Transplant and keep soil moist until plants become established.
Dill needs room to grow, at least 12 inches between plants. Be sure to thin crowded plants so foliage will be thick and lush. If you want to ensure fresh dill leaves through the season, continue to sow seeds in spring, summer and fall.
Clip and use fresh dill leaves as soon when plants are about 10 inches tall. Dill leaves can also be dried by snipping stalks and drying them on a screen or hanging them upside down to dry.
At the end of the season when seed heads start to form, harvest the plant and dry with a paper bag over the seed heads to collect the seeds as they fall from the flowers. If you let plants go to seed in the garden, those that fall to the ground may self-seed for the next season.
How to use Dill in the Kitchen
Dill is one of the most popular herbs for all of its culinary uses, especially in pickling. Use dill’s fresh ferny fronds in dips, on fish, in dressings, vinegars, potato salads and many other recipes. Leave a few plants standing to self-seed in the garden for next season.
Companion Plants for Dill
Plant dill with these companions:
- Brussels sprouts
Avoid planting near carrots
Materials for Dill Success
- Soaker hose or other watering method
- High-quality compost or potting soil
- Dill seeds or plants