With its feathery green leaves, dill is an annual self-seeding plant that’s easy to grow and is part of the carrot family (Apiaceae). If you’re intending to plant dill for pickling, plant every few weeks into midsummer to ensure a constant supply for when the harvest begins. For a permanent patch of dill, allow some of the plants to flower and seed each year so you’ll have plenty of early dill to begin the season.
Planting and Growing Information:
Dill seeds should be sown directly into the garden after the threat of frost has passed in the spring. Dill puts down a taproot, meaning that like carrots, it doesn’t transplant well. For the best germination results, soil temperature should be between 60 and 70°F. Seedlings should appear in 10 to 14 days. To ensure a constant supply in the fall, plant dill every couple of weeks until midsummer.
Choose a planting site that has well-draining soil that’s rich in organic matter. The pH of the soil should be between slightly acidic and neutral. In your garden, plant dill next to cabbage or onions, but keep it away from carrots. Since dill can be blown over easily, make sure to shelter dill from strong winds. Sow dill seeds about ¼ inch deep and 18 inches apart. Young dill plants should appear in the soil after 10 to 14 days. After another 10 to 14 days, thin the plants to about 12 to 18 inches apart (if they aren’t already spaced enough).
During the growing season, water the plants liberally, ensuring that they don’t dry out excessively. To ensure a season-long fresh supply of dill, continue sowing seeds every few weeks. For an extended harvest, don’t allow flowers to grow on the plants. If dill is allowed to seed and the soil isn’t disturbed too much, more dill plants will likely appear next spring.
When grown in soil that’s rich in organic matter, dill doesn’t require frequent fertilizing. It’s acceptable to lightly apply a balanced 5-10-5 fertilizer once in late spring; use it at the rate of three ounces pern ten feet of row. Alternatively, you can use a soil that is relatively rich, adding extra compost for a nutrient boost. For dill grown outdoors in containers or indoors, use a liquid fertilizer at one-half the label-recommended strength every 4 to 6 weeks.
You can begin harvesting as soon as the plant has four to five leaves, but make sure to harvest older leaves first. Either pinch off the leaves or cut them off with scissors. You can take entire stalks if you have a lot of plants.