Home > Growing Herbs > Growing and Harvesting Dill

Growing and Harvesting Dill

By: Kate Bradbury - Updated: 28 Feb 2014 | comments*Discuss
 
Growing Dill Caring For Dill Growing

Dill is a versatile herb that originates from Eastern Europe. It is a semi-hardy perennial (though it is grown in the UK as an annual). This means that in its natural environment dill lives throughout the year and can survive for several years. However because temperatures in the UK can drop below –4C, dill is most commonly grown as an annual herb. This means seeds are re-sown each spring and it only lives for a year.

Dill is grown for both its leaves and seeds. They are used to flavour all sorts of dishes, including fish, lamb, potatoes and peas. Its flavour is similar to aniseed, so only use a small quantity as too much of it can overwhelm the other flavours.

Dill is an attractive herb, with wispy, feathery leaves. It can be grown in containers or in the garden.

How to Grow Dill

Dill thrives in most conditions and germinates quickly. Prepare the soil by digging thoroughly, removing weeds and incorporating plenty of organic matter such as well-rotted animal manure or homemade compost.

Start sowing seeds in April. Scatter them over the soil’s surface and cover with a thin layer of compost. Seedlings will usually emerge within 2 weeks and should be thinned to around 24cm apart. Re-sow seeds every 3-5 weeks. This will ensure a continual supply of dill throughout the summer months.

Growing Dill in a Container

Dill will thrive in a container on a balcony or patio. Ensure the pot has drainage holes and place old crocks or stones at the bottom to prevent the holes becoming blocked with compost. Use normal potting compost and sow seeds as you would in the ground. Keep the pot well watered – terracotta pots in particular can dry out quickly in hot weather. It’s a good idea to line the inside of pots with a layer of plastic to prevent moisture evaporating. Old compost bags are ideal for this; cut the bottom off and place inside the container before filling it with compost. Once the pot is full the bag is invisible but it will help retain moisture in dry periods.

Caring for Dill

Dill requires very little attention, apart from watering the plants in dry periods. Keep the area free from weeds; weeds will compete with the dill for water and nutrients, which will hamper the growth of your herb.

Harvesting Dill

Dill produces wispy leaves, which can be harvested about eight weeks after sowing. The best way to harvest dill is to cut the plant right down to within 3cm of its base, just before the flower heads open. The plants should re-grow to produce a second crop later in the summer. Dill keeps well in the fridge for up to three weeks. Alternatively, you can freeze it. Simply separate the leaves into individual portions and place them in freezer bags in the freezer. Dill is an attractive and useful herb to grow in the garden. Both its leaves and seeds can be used to flavour a variety of dishes. It is easy to grow and harvest and can be stored in the fridge or freezer to use later on in the season.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
Very well articulated article on how to start growing Dill. In Poland Dill is a favourite herb with boiled or mashed potatoes.
Pent - 28-Feb-14 @ 8:17 AM
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice...
Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Latest Comments
  • BrianChido
    Re: Cooking with Marjoram
    great article on the uses of Marjoram. I have been visiting Germany over the past few years and discovered that the herb is quite popular…
    2 October 2019
  • MN-CY
    Re: Growing Thyme
    Please can you tell me which variety of thyme has the smallest leaves ?
    31 July 2019
  • Harry
    Re: Growing Bay Leaves
    I have an 8ft / 2.5m high established bay tree in the garden. When I prune it should I keep some of the new leaf growth or older darker leaf…
    22 July 2019
  • 4waystoyummy
    Re: Cooking with Calendula or Pot Marigold
    yes, the photo shown is another type of marigold. I think it is important to investigate the true flower you wish to…
    17 July 2019
  • Pertwee
    Re: Cooking with Chives
    Can you and how do you use chives in Thai cooking please
    11 July 2019
  • sjpmorris
    Re: Growing Rosemary
    Long shot; we have a quite large rosemary plant that has no leaves or branches on the bottom foot of the "trunk", is there any way to bring them…
    18 June 2019
  • Dorey
    Re: Growing Thyme
    Hi. I have several seedlings that’s sprouted and now need repotting. How many seedlings should I plant per pot please, appreciate the advice. Thanks
    4 June 2019
  • janice miller
    Re: Growing Rosemary
    I have grown rosemary for several years.For the first time i have lovely lavendar flowers on it. Is this usual?
    30 April 2019
  • Cindy
    Re: Cooking with Thyme
    I have german thyme and want to dry and save. My plants when I harvested/pruned them I noticed that some of the stems and leaves are a…
    3 April 2019
  • MaryAnne Sans
    Re: Cooking With and Recipes Using Mint
    Will the mint I planted last year come back this year ?
    17 March 2019