Herbs are the best plants to grow in your small pots, and the dill is no different from it. Dill is a fantastic, hardy plant that can easily be grown in a garden or container. The dill herb is beautiful, it’s a good spice to be paired with soup, dips, salads, and stews, and in the late summer it products some beautiful excellent yellow flowers. Although dill is an annual, it is self-seeding and once the plant is started it will continue to regrow easily. This can be helpful, but it can also lead to a garden full of dill! It is also a great addition to your herb or vegetable garden without much hassle for complex caring methods. When learning how to grow dill, make sure to take this into consideration. You may also want to consider dill companion plants when deciding where to place it in your garden.
Is Dill a Herb or Spice?
Dill is a versatile plant that has many purposes in the kitchen. It has the distinction of being both an herb and a spice.
The leaves are feathery, fern-like extensions of the stalk. This is known as the dill weed and it is used as an herb either fresh or dried. It adds a savory flavor to dishes and is often added to vegetables, meats, sauces, and salads.
The seeds are known as dill seed and are a spice. They are popular amongst people who make home preserves. The distinctive flavor provided by dill seeds is tasted in sauerkraut, pickles, and coleslaw.
How to Grow Dill From Seed
The best way to grow dill is from the seed directly into your garden or its final container. Dill can be transplanted but the survival rate of seedlings is low, and if you really need to transplant your dill, place it in a biodegradable pot when you first planted it. That way, it would give the dill herb a much more comfortable transplant since the roots are not disturbed as much. You may want to plant new seeds every few weeks in the spring and summer to ensure a regular supply of fresh dill. Once a dill plant has aged, the dill weed tends to be bitter and is better fresh.
It is also important to consider which soil you are going to plant your dill herb. The ideal soil pH to plant your dill on is in slightly acidic soil or neutral, so look for a soil that has a pH level between 5.8-6.5. If the soil you are going to plant on does not meet the requirements, you can adjust the pH level. If your soil is overly acidic, you can raise the pH by adding powdered limestone, and if your soil is overly alkaline, you can add aluminum sulfate to your garden
Choose a location in your garden that is in full sun. A location that is directly hit by sunlight for 6-8 hours. Dill is a self-sowing plant, so wherever you are going to place your dill plant make sure that spot is permanent. If you can’t find a spot with 6-8 hours of sunlight, just pick a spot that is the sunniest. Dill herbs can still thrive in shade, but it won’t be as bushy as it is supposed to be. Also, make sure that you have plotted out where the vegetables in your garden will be located. You should consider growing it close to dill companion plants such as cabbage and onion. Avoid putting the dill near carrots.
The soil needs to be in a well-drained location and full of rich organic matter. Adding some organic compost will make your soil much more suitable for planting dill, organic compost helps the draining of water to be done much quicker. If your soil is not of high quality, don’t worry, dill herbs can still thrive in sandy soil.
The seeds should be sown shallowly at around one-quarter inch deep. Plant them eighteen inches apart for best results. You should see sprouts within fourteen days of planting. Once this happens, give them another two weeks before thinning them out. The plants should maintain a distance of about eighteen inches.
If you want to lengthen the amount of time that you can harvest dill, prevent flowers from growing on the plants by pruning them. You should also be aware that if your dill goes to seed, it will replant itself for the following year. This may be the desired result but it can easily take over your garden if you are not paying attention!
To make sure that your dill herb is constantly productive, you still need to apply diligent effort in taking care of it. Dill herbs do not like having too much water on it, only water the herb when the soil is almost dry, but make sure that it is not completely dried as that would kill the herb. To check how dry the soil is, check it with your fingers regularly, and if it feels dry start adding some water to the herb. The sign that your dill herb is being overwatered is when the leaves start to turn yellow.
Remove any weeds that start to sprout out. Weeds will take the nutrition out of the soil if left to its own devices. So each time you water the dill herb check for any weeds that may have sprung up. You can remove the weeds by hand or by using a tool.
How To Grow Dill From Cuttings
One way to save money on purchasing fresh herbs at the store is to learn how to grow dill from cuttings. This may not be the most fool-proof method, but it is definitely possible to do.
Either from a plant or purchased dill, inspect the herbs for the freshest, healthiest stems you can find. Select these for the best results. Fill a glass with water and place the stems in the cup. Try to ensure that only the stem is in the water and not the dill weed, as this can cause the plant to rot.
Place the glass in a windowsill with plenty of direct sunlight and monitor for growth. You should see roots growing within a few days. You must be patient and give the stems about three weeks to establish healthy, hardy roots that can be planted into soil.
Growing Dill in Pots
There are a few benefits to growing dill in pots. First of all, if you do not have access to a garden you can still have fresh herbs available for your cooking. Also, as dill can self-seed, growing dill in pots may allow you to control where the new seeds land. Unchecked, dill can take over a garden in a few years so you want to consider this.
When choosing an appropriate container for dill, you should understand the root system of this plant. A tall plant itself, dill grows deep into the soil with a long taproot. If your container is less than twelve inches deep, it may not grow into a healthy vibrant plant. However, it does not need to be deeper than two feet.
Remember that dill can be used fresh or dried and that the seeds have been used as well. Although you may want to use fresh dill, it might be worth harvesting some dill to be dried and used in other applications.
The best time to harvest dill weed is right when the plant begins to flower. As mentioned before, harvesting too late provides a bitter flavor and harvesting too early does not offer maximum flavor. The ideal time to snip fresh dills is after 90 days after panting them, this gives the best flavor.
The key to harvesting the leaves and stems properly is in using very sharp scissors or pruning shears. You can harvest just the leaves and place them on a rack to dry. Place the rack in a warm, dry place. This will take several days and if you turn the leaves each day they will dry more readily. Continuously sow the dill herb every 3-4 weeks when harvesting it.
If you want to collect the seeds, then you must wait until the flowers begin to produce them. Watch for the seeds to turn brown before you harvest them. Tie the stems in loose bundles and place them in a paper bag. Hang the bag upside down. Perforate the sides of the bag to allow air to flow. The bag will catch seeds as they dry off the stem.
How To Use Dill in Cooking
Dill is a popular herb that has many different uses in the kitchen. When used in cooking it has a slightly sweet, licorice-like flavor. It is commonly used in Eastern European, Scandinavian, and Mediterranean foods, and goes really well with a variety of dishes. Here are some ways you can use dill in your home cooking:
- As a garnish: Fresh dill can be used as a garnish for soups, salads, and sandwiches. Simply chop the dill leaves and sprinkle them over the dish for a pop of flavor and color.
- In dips and spreads: Dill can be used in dips and spreads like tzatziki, hummus, and cream cheese. Simply chop the dill finely and mix it into the dip or spread for a bright and fresh flavor.
- In salads: Dill pairs well with cucumber, feta cheese, and lemon, making it a great addition to Greek or Mediterranean salads. It can also be used in potato salad or coleslaw for a fresh flavor.
- With seafood: Dill is a classic herb to pair with seafood like salmon, shrimp, and crab. It can be used in marinades or sauces, or simply sprinkled over the cooked seafood for added flavor. If you are partial to some salmon then try this recipe using dill – it’s one of our favourites
- In soups and stews: Dill can be used to add flavor to soups and stews, particularly those with a cream or yogurt base. It goes well with potatoes, carrots, and other root vegetables.
- In sauces: Dill can be used to make a variety of sauces, including beurre blanc (a creamy, fancy french sauce), hollandaise, and aioli. Simply mix chopped dill into the sauce for added flavor.
Overall, dill is a versatile herb that can be used in lots of different dishes, whether savory or sweet. Experiment with different ways of using dill in your cooking and discover new and tasty ways to enjoy it.
Conclusion on how to grow dill
Discovering how to grow dill is a great way to take your home cooking to the next level. There is nothing quite like using your own herbs and spices in your food. Enjoy using this lovely plant in a variety of ways!