Success With Growing Dill

Growing Dill

Learn growing dill to have a long lasting supply of this wonderfully tasty herb.

Swedish cooking would not be Swedish cooking without dill weed. It goes in with boiled potatoes, seafood dishes, dips and sauces. A favourite summer meal is (dill-) pickled herring with boiled (added dill) new potatoes.

Freeze dill and you'll never run out of this herb. Just put small amounts of leaves in tiny snap lock bags and squeeze out as much air as possible. Straight into the freezer.

Drying dill is another way of ensuring some back-up supply, but it'll never taste as good as the fresh herb. It tends to lose flavour in the drying process.

Do not grow dill too close to fennel as they cross pollinate with each other, and you'll end up with who-knows-what.

How to Grow Dill, Anethum graveolens

Starting: Sowing direct is the easiest way to start planting Dill. Plant seeds when soil is still cool. Seedlings will appear in up to two weeks. Thin them to 25 cm apart. Bought seedlings are sensitive to transplant shock.

Soil: Any type of well draining deep soil will suit dill plants.

Climate: The plant will tolerate light frost. It can be found in all climates but needs warm summers to grow well.

Watering: Regular watering.

Fertilizing: Feeding is usually not needed unless grown in a container.

Growing Dill

Harvesting dill: Trim as you go for the entire season, or wait until just before flowering to cut the whole plant. Dill flower heads are often used in pickling gherkins, herrings and other goodies. Leave some flower heads to mature and form seeds. Not only are you saving seeds for next season's harvest, but the dill seeds can be used in pickling and baking.

Containers: Grows well in containers at least 30 cm deep, that have room for its long tap root.

Shady areas: Growing this herb in shade is probably going to be a waste of time, but it never hurts to try. Ensure good air circulation to prevent mildew forming.

Pests and diseases: Dill is not often attacked, but watch for caterpillars enjoying the occasional feed.

Support: Dill needs support of some kind as it grows taller, either by other plants or by tying it up. Keeping it out of the wind helps to protect the plant.

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