Starting Dill From Seed
Dill is a self sowing annual in the carrot family (Apiaceae). It is a fragrant herb commonly used in pickling. The leaves & seeds may also be used in soups, salads, breads, dips, & fish. The feathery fronds make a beautiful green filler in floral arrangements.
Planting dill in your garden will help to control aphids because it attracts many beneficial insects to the garden including lacewings & their larvae. Dill also is a source of food for the swallowtail butterfly so be sure to plant extra.
Don’t plant dill near closely related plants like fennel or coriander because they can cross pollinate. Because dill is somewhat tall & leggy with hollow stems, make sure to protect it from high winds.
Dill, like most herbs doesn't require frequent fertilizer. Here at Running Bug Farm we direct sow & never use fertilizer on any of our herbs but we do add compost to our soils to keep our soils healthy.
You can harvest the fresh mature foliage any time & use right away. You can also hang it to dry in a location out of the sun with good ventilation. Once dried the flavor is greatly diminished.
To harvest the seeds, cut the seed heads at the base of the stalk when they have turned brown. Gather & tie in a loose bundle. To avoid lost seed you can put them in a paper grocery sack & gently shake. The seeds will fall out of the flower heads pods & into the paper bag. You can also shake the plants over a large bin to collect the seeds rather than using a paper bag.
For dill pickles, a whole flower head & leaves are typically placed in each canning jar. The dill heads should still be green & flexible. The dill flowers should have gone to seed, but the seeds do not need to be fully mature.
Sow outside: 1 - 2 weeks before average last frost.
Days to emerge: 7 - 14
Seed depth: 1/4"
Seed spacing: 2" - 4"
Thin: 12" - 18"
Row spacing: 18" - 24"
Leaf Harvest: 30 days
Seed Harvest: 60 days
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