How to grow Dill

How to grow Dill

Do you want to make your own home-made dill pickles? Well it starts with fresh dill. Native to Asia minor and Mediterranean region has been used from pickling to breath mints. Dill is a biannual that's usually grown as a annual herb. Like so many plants from that region Dill was used by many peoples. Egyptians 5000 years ago referred to Dill as soothing medicine. Babylonians grew Dill in gardens and romans saw Dill as a symbol of good luck. Dill seeds have even been used as breath mints. Dill can be a little temperamental when growing. But with some luck and a little study it shouldn’t be to difficult to grow. Dill is a cold hardy plant that can handle from temperatures 25 F to 70 F, but will bolt at higher temperature. Dill is a spice used in soups, soaps fragrances and cosmetics. The plants is mostly edible stems, seeds, and flowers.


Companion plant: Corn

Dill can reach 3-5 feet tall and 2-3 feet wide at maturity. You can start harvesting 6-8 weeks after sowing seeds. Seeds can be sown in spring after last frost. Make sure to pick a spot out of windy areas or use a stake and gets 6-8 hours of direct sun. Dill has a taproot system and doesn’t like to be transplanted after certain stage. If growing in a container verify the type of plant your growing and its dimensions. Because of the taproot some recommend a 5 gallon bucket for one plant and others say 8x8 is fine, you’ll have to experiment a little to find out what works best for you. Once you have the particulars worked out its time to plant the seeds. Dill seeds need some light to germinate, sow seeds ¼ inch in bunches and cover with dirt, moisten dirt. Best time to do this is once last spring frost has passed, soils temperatures should be between 60-70F. Seeds usually take 10-14 days to germinate. Secession seed as needed every 2-3 weeks. Dill isn’t considered a invasive plant, but it’s self seeding and will take over a larger area as it goes through its life cycle. If you plan on transplanting dill remember they develop a taproot and after that they don’t like being moved. Transplant after last frost and when seedlings are 1-2 inches tall with at least one set of true leaves. Start to thin seedlings to 1-2 inches apart. These plants can have dimensions of up to 3-5 feet tall and 2-3 wide at maturity. Final space goal is 10-12 inches apart once established. Once your plants are thinned staked all that’s left is to wait and water. Consider using stakes for each plant. High winds can damage plants. Depending on the area dill only needs 1-2 inches of water per week. Plants are cold hardy and slightly drought tolerant there’s no need to over water them. Fertilizer recommendation is 5-10-5. Dill is a light feeder, and does well in poor soil. Dill is ready for harvest 8-10 weeks after planting.


Once planted and established there isn’t much to do except water and wait. Leaves are ready for harvest 6-8 weeks after planting. Some folks wait to harvest just before the plant flowers because the oils are the most potent. You can chose to wait until then or harvest earlier. When harvesting only take 1/3 of the plant when pruning or harvesting. Use clean shears and only take the oldest leaves. A good practice is to water your herb before you harvest.

Fun Fact

Dill comes from the old English word dilla, to lull or soothe.

Dill can be chewed to get rid of halitosis.


-Stake your plants, the stalks are hollow and can be damaged in high winds.

-Dill is a poor companion plant to carrots and tomatoes. But a great companion to cabbage, broccoli and brussel sprouts. 


Fun Fact

Dill in the middle ages was hung above doorways to repel witches.

Dill has been used as a remedy for hiccups.


Dill can be a challenge for beginner gardeners. But with a little study and patience you can have all the dill you need for every growing season. 

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