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How To Grow Dill

Anethum graveolens

Anethum graveolens |  Dill Plants

Anethum Graveolens (Dill)

An Old-World annual or biennial herb (Anethum graveolens) of the Parsley Family, grown for it's leaves bitter seeds which are used for flavoring the popular dill (cucumber) pickles.

Dill leaves can be snipped and frozen in ziplock bags. Dill vinegar can be prepared by soaking a few leaves in vinegar for 4 or 5 days. Dill leaves are excellent when chopped and used in soups, salads, cottage cheese, roasted potatoes, and many other dishes. Dill is also used extensively in Europe to flavor cakes and other pastries.

Growing the Herb Dill

Dill generally grows two to three feet tall. It may be planted in spring or fall. Planted in early spring, dill will produce seeds during the same season. It can also be planted in fall so that the seed germinates on it's own when conditions are right. Sown in drills 15 to 18 inches apart in early spring in warm soil and a sunny place. Thin the seedlings while small to stand 8 to 10 inches asunder. Cultivate frequently. In midsummer cut the ripening heads and spread thinly on sheets. When dry, thresh with light rods. Clean and store the seed in cotton sacks in dry quarters.

Growing Cultures

Outdoors, in containers (sow direct in final pots, using 8 to 20 seeds per pot), and hydroponic culture.

Plant Height

Dill usually grows to a height of 2 to 3 feet (60 - 90cm).

Plant Spacing

Dill plants should be spaced between 12 and 15 inches (30 - 38 cm) apart.

Preferred pH Range

Dill will grow in a relatively wide pH range between 5.5 (strongly acidic) and 7.5 (mildly alkaline) with a preferred range between 5.5 and 6.5.

Propagation

From seed. Direct sow outdoors in fall or in spring after last frost.

Seed Germination Period

Dill seeds will germinate in soil in approximately 7 to 10 days, but can germinate in as few as 6 or 7 days in dedicated propagation media such as Oasis Rootcubes, Rapid Rooters, or Grodan Stonewool.

Number of Seeds per Gram

There are between approximately 400 and 1,000 dill seeds per gram.

Soil Requirements

Dill prefers soils that are well drained, moderately rich, and loose.

Alternative Growing Media

Soilless potting mixes (Pro-Mix, Sunshine Mix, etc.), perlite, vermiculite, rockwool, coco peat, Oasis Rootcubes.

Time From Seed to Saleable Plant

Seeds to saleable plants in six weeks.

Sun & Lighting Requirements

Dill grown outdoors prefers full sun. Dill grows well indoors under high output T5 fluorescent plant lights and high intensity halide and sodium lamps.

USDA Hardiness

Annual. Not applicable.

Water Requirements

Water regularly, being careful not to overwater. Allow soil to go completely dry between watering, then soak thoroughly.

Potential Plant Pests and Diseases

Dill can be susceptible to aphids and powdery mildew.

Companion Planting

Dill is beneficial to cabbages, corn, lettuce, onions, and cucumbers when planted nearby by repelling or distracting aphids, spider mites, squash bugs, and cabbage looper.

It attracts Tiger Swallowtail butterflies and caterpillars, hoverflies, wasps, tomato hornworm, honeybees, and Ichneumonid wasps.

Avoid planting dill near carrots or tomatoes. Dill is one of the few plants that will grow with fennel.

Special Notes

Dill is known to attract bees and butterflies.

Buy Dill Seeds by Botanical Interests

Organic Heirloom Bouquet Dill Seeds
Large seed heads make Bouquet excellent for pickling. Plant extra for the swallowtail butterflies!

Tetra Dill Seeds
This late flowering, bushy variety of dill is slow-to-bolt for more fresh herb through the season.