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Dill

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Botanical name: Anethum graveolens

Plant type: Herb

Sun exposure: Full Sun

Soil type: Loamy

Dill is an annual, self-seeding plant with feathery green leaves. It is used most commonly in soups, stews, and for pickling. Dill is easy to grow and attracts beneficial insects to your garden, such as wasps and other predatory insects.

Planting

  • Sow dill seeds about 1/4-inch deep and 18 inches apart in rich soil, then gently rake the seeds into the soil. The soil should be around 60 to 70ºF for best results.
  • Dill does not grow well when transplanted, so start the seeds fresh in the garden in early summer. Make sure to shelter the plants from strong winds.
  • After 10 to 14 days, the plants should appear in the soil. Wait another 10 to 14 days, then thin the plants to about 12 to 18 inches apart.
  • In your garden, plant dill next to cabbage or onions, but keep the dill away from carrots.

Care

  • Water the plants freely during the growing season.
  • In order to ensure a season-long fresh supply of dill, continue sowing seeds every few weeks. For an extended harvest, do not allow flowers to grow on the plants.
  • If the soil remains undisturbed throughout the growing season, more dill plants will grow the next season.

Pests

  • Leaf spot and occasionally a few other types of fungal leaf and root diseases

Harvest/Storage

  • As soon as the plant has four to five leaves, you can start harvesting. Pinch off the leaves or cut them off with scissors.
  • If you have a lot of plants, you can pinch off entire stalks.

Recommended Varieties

  • Fernleaf dill, which is good in potato salads, cucumber soup, and fish dishes

Recipes

Wit & Wisdom

For sweeter breath, chew dill seeds.

Comments

I tried herbs and got little

By campersan

I tried herbs and got little green inch worms, they made little tents and went to sleep. One finally hatched, I think it was a hairstreak butterfly. They can have all the basil and oregano they want for the pleasure of watching their lifecycle. I live in So.Calif. Can I plant dill anytime or only in spring, summer, fall? Am I wrong, won't anything put on plants to kills bad bugs, kill the good ones, like bees and lady bugs?

You can plant dill seed

By Almanac Staff

You can plant dill seed anytime as long as the soil is not frozen. There are organic sprays that will kill the bad bugs and not the good ones. Neem oil is one. Weekly use of neem oil spray will not hurt beneficial insects.
 

I found lots of little green

By Dillarama

I found lots of little green bugs on my dill. After soaking and rinsing it in gasoline, all the bugs came right off! You don't need to use premium, just regular gas works great! Rinse with cold water before using in pickles.

Gas? Really. Have you thought

By sherri gibson

Gas? Really. Have you thought that through? You will be ingesting traces of that. Rinsing or not. The green bugs sound like aphids.. A spray of warm soapy water is usually sufficient to rid yourself of those pests while it is also much safer to put into your food supply. Just a suggestion. Keep an eye out for them throughout the season so they cannot get out of control.

Can I dry the seeds and

By ginger martin

Can I dry the seeds and replant for next year.using the seeds I harvested.???

I love Dill, Plant it, pick

By Dill

I love Dill,
Plant it, pick it, let it go to seed and love it.
You better love it because little dill plants will pop up everywhere in the garden. : ) I have dill as a vegie.
I'm a vegetable gardener type of the 'grow everything and eat what grows well'.
My comments also work for silver beet, eat it and let it go to seed. Baby silver beets everywhere! Even growing in cracks in the concrete paths.

Yes, you can, Ginger. If you

By Almanac Staff

Yes, you can, Ginger. If you need specifics on how to, here is the process in detail:
http://ucanr.edu/sites/scmg/The_Kitchen_Garden/Additional_KG_Articles/Harvesting_and_Preserving_Dill/

The leaves of my plant are

By Es

The leaves of my plant are getting white spots that are spreading to the upper leaves. The white spots almost look gray in color. Also, some pickles are turning yellow before maturation and do not continue to grow. Please advice as this is my first season planting dill pickles! Thanks :)

It could be powdery mildew, a

By Almanac Staff

It could be powdery mildew, a fungus. Or it could be something else. See this coopoerative extension site: http://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/PMG/PESTNOTES/pn7406.html
By the way, you know that pickles do not grow "dilled" on the vine, right?  The dilling happens when you make them that way. Here are several recipes: http://www.almanac.com/search/apachesolr_search/dill%20pickles?filters=type:recipe

Hello I am a beginner at

By Cathy Eads

Hello
I am a beginner at planting herbs. I want to plant Dill and Garlic for my canning next year. I live in NW Arkansas. When is the right time to plant Dill/Garlic in this region.

Thanks So Much
Cathy

Hi Cathy, What a great idea.

By Almanac Staff

Hi Cathy, What a great idea. In your area of Arkansas, you plant garlic in October, November, and December.  Plant dill in April.

Hello- thanks for all the

By miha

Hello- thanks for all the great advice in the comments. My dill is turning yellow and some of them bright red. I live in the pacific north west. I had an aphid problem on my brussels sprouts planted near the dill but I did not see any on the dill. I water the dill once a day in the very early morning. Any thoughts? Thank you.

Yellow dill is crying for

By Almanac Staff

Yellow dill is crying for fertilizer/nutrients. Check the pH; it likes 5 to 7, and composted soil. The red...may be screaming for help. We just don't have an answer for that. Sorry. Dill repels aphids, so that's not a cause.

My fresh dill has flowers

By Mari Ann

My fresh dill has flowers starting, can I cut them and store them for use when my veggies are ready?
If so, how would I store them to keep them fresh or should I just cut the flower heads off and toss them and just use the feathery weeds in the veggies to preserve?
Can I put the fresh dill weed in zip lock bags and freeze until ready to use?
Thank You
Mari Ann

If you allow dill to flower,

By Almanac Staff

If you allow dill to flower, the plant will cease producing leaves. When the plant sets seeds (following the flower), the plant will die.
Dill leaves (foliage) stored i nthe refrigerator (not the freezer) has shelf life if about 3 weeks.
If you can, harvest leaves (foliage) before the flowers open. Cut the stems with scissors and group them in bundles loosely gathered with kitchen string or rubber bands. Hang the bundles upsidedown in a warm dark place that has good air circulation. They will be dried and ready for use when they are crisp and crumble at the touch. Crumble them and store them in an airtight jar. (If, in a week, you notice condensation on the jar, remove the dill and set it aside to dry completely.)

Hello, I have a dill plant

By Courtney S.

Hello, I have a dill plant that I bought at a local hardware store. After I got it home I transplanted it. It did fine for the first week or so but then it started to turn yellow. What would be doing that? Is it getting to much sun or to much water? It keeps sprouting new dill so I don't understand. And should I cut the yellow off and throw it away or can I use it?

Your dill may have root rot,

By Almanac Staff

Your dill may have root rot, most likely something that was wrong when you bought it. (A type of root rot mentioned above.) If the plant has any green, healthy foliage, snip it while you can.
 

My dill grow well but the

By william wasie

My dill grow well but the main stem is huge while leaves are thin and sparce. What gives?? BTW. I have a corner lot with lots of breezes.

Dill's leaves are quite thin

By Almanac Staff

Dill's leaves are quite thin and feathery. You just use the top 8 inches. The leaves are best when they are used fresh (though you can freeze and store). You can save the dill seeds, too.

I'm growing dill (3 seedling)

By Gardening Noobie

I'm growing dill (3 seedling) on a kitchen side table. They grew to about 6 inches each, and keep toppling over. Is there a way that I can brace them to stand upwards?

This is occurring because

By Biologist

This is occurring because your dill plant is not exposed to the elements. For proper growth to occur, your plant needs some artificial stimulation so it can grow strong enough to support itself. It is probably too late now, but next time spend a few seconds of your day tossling the leaves around to mimic the effects of wind. This will stimulate the growth of supportive cell types which will allow your plant to hold itself up.

Some ideas are: You can buy

By Almanac Staff

Some ideas are: You can buy small stakes at a garden nursery or make your own, such as using a popsicle stick, chopstick, plastic or wooden ruler, etc. Be careful not to injure the roots when inserting the stake; support the seedling loosely with string tied around the stake. Or, you can make a mini cage, sort of like a tomato or peony cage, using wire shaped into a cylinder with prongs to sink into the soil. As the dill grows larger, you'll need a larger support. If your seedlings are leggy, make sure that they are getting enough light, and that you turn the pot every so often, if the light is coming from one side rather than on top.

Can I prolong the life of

By DEBRA A SMITH

Can I prolong the life of dill in my garden by pruning it before it produces flower heads?

Yes, pruning dills (and most

By Almanac Staff

Yes, pruning dills (and most herbs) regularly promotes vigorous, sturdy growth. If you harvest herbs regularly, this should keep your plants pruned.

Actually, I am looking for

By Chatty Cathy

Actually, I am looking for plants that encourage ladybugs and it is my understanding that dill (as well as fennel) are in that catagory.
I am an avid gardener and feel my plants are an extension of my family, so when the aphids, spider mite and white fly invaid, I put on my warrior suit and attack with insecticides (my own organic soup of fels-naptha water). Alas, I am losing the battle. My hybiscus, and roses are taking the brunt of the attack and while I feel as tho I am gaining ground, the results are not pretty and my beautiful plants are withering. Sooooo, I wish to capatalize on the ladybugs culinary preferances to lure them into my garden for the purpose of eating the enemy. My growing zone is the neucular Phoenix Arizona. I feed, mulch and protect from the blazing sun as much as possible. The nurseries here sell ladybugs September thru March only, plus I feel that maybe we should have our own "home grown" natives help me out. Bringing in "outsiders" could defeat the purpose and add to diseases I don't have. Pests are bad enough. Suggestions Welcome and thanks.

Plants of the Asteraceae (aka

By Almanac Staff

Plants of the Asteraceae (aka Compositae) family tend to attract ladybugs. These plants include sunflower, asters, goldenrod, daisies, yarrow, etc. Also, members of the Apiaceae (aka Umbelliferae), which includes dill, fennel, parsley, carrot, etc. You might want to check with your local nursery as to which native plants fall into these two families, or if they know of other native plants that are known to attract ladybugs in your area.

I have a small cluster of

By Lara

I have a small cluster of dill and another of fennel close by that I've allowed to reseed every year and have left relatively untouched. I take cuttings for cooking and have trimmed the dying stalks back in the fall. They're starting to look cramped and am wondering if I should separate them at all. They've been doing as they please for about three or four years now. Or are they better left alone?

I absolutly love dill! I have

By Don Schwartz

I absolutly love dill!
I have NEVER been able to cook with fresh dill and get any flavor. I love lemon dill and caper sauce for my fish but no joy. What am I doing wrong? I have tried tearing and cutting, adding the dill at the start and the end of cooking. Maybe there are better varieties? All I have used so far is store bought but I'm ready to grow if someone can suggest the best variety to grow here in Tennessee. Thanks in advance.

Fresh dill loses its flavor

By Almanac Staff

Fresh dill loses its flavor quickly when heated. It is best to add it at the very end of cooking.

Thank you for your response,

By Don Schwartz

Thank you for your response, I bought a package of fernleaf dill and will grow it and try adding to my dishes after I have removed them from the heat prior to serving.
Thanks again,
Don

I have had trouble growing

By Pamela Whatley

I have had trouble growing dill. I live in NW FL and put out plants after danger of frost. After a few weeks, it dies. I have a small raised bed that is on my sprinkler system and gets plenty of sun. The rest of my herbs grow just fine, but I want dill!! Can you tell me what I am doing wrong?

Dill does not transplant

By JBush

Dill does not transplant well. It grows much better when sown directly into the soil. Contrary to a lot of published information, it will grow in most soils was long as it’s not soggy. I grow it in sand that has been enriched with manure and it always performs well. My only problem is getting to use it before the rabbits eat it!

Make sure that the soil is

By Almanac Staff

Make sure that the soil is allowed to dry completely before watering again. Could your sprinkler system be giving the dill too much water? Dill doesn't like overwatering, and tends to get diseases in that case.
 
Also be sure to thin the seedlings to about a foot or so apart. Soil should be loose, well-drained.
 
Dill also does not transplant well; direct sowing is usually more successful.
 
Hope this helps!

I had planted my seeds 3

By GraceG

I had planted my seeds 3 weeks ago and I see nothing. I tend to it like a baby, I put it outside in the sun during the day and bring it inside at night, 3 weeks and nothing :( I live in Southwest FL and this is my first attempt to grow dill from seeds. I really want to learn to grow a garden and have my own food, please help me. I also planted chia seeds and they sprouted so fast and nice I am already putting it in salads, but my dill doesn't even have a speck of growth :( I would so appreciate the advice. Thank you.

Dill is a good choice as it

By Almanac Staff

Dill is a good choice as it is a hardy South Florida herb. It usually grows very easily.  October through March is a good time to seed dill in your area. One common issue is planting the seed too deeply. When you do seed, just scatter in the soil like grass seed (1/4-inch deep) and it should sprout in 10-14 days. Keep it outside.  Do not overwater at dill is drought-resistant; just water in intervals twice a week.  For growing dill in containers, choose those that are at least 10 inches deep to accommodate its taproot and have drainage holes.

Does dill grow in tropical

By Suraiya Mohd Ali

Does dill grow in tropical condition?

I have a 2 part question.

By L. Hernandez

I have a 2 part question. 1)When my dill flowered I cut the flowers off and put them in brown paper bags, then fed the rest to my rabbit before the plant died. The flowers are now dry and brown and have darker, what I believe to be, seeds on them. Are these ok to save to plant next year or did I kill them all together? And if I can, what is the best way to get them off the dried plant? Next question, which I think technically makes it a 3rd. In the planters where the dill was, I now have what looks like grass stems with feathered like parts at the tops. I don't remember the dill looking like this before, but is it possible that's what it is? Don't want to pluck them out if they are young herbs.

Yes, dill seedlings look like

By Raydiate

Yes, dill seedlings look like tiny sprigs of grass, and the leaves are feathery. Dill is very good at reseeding, so that's probably what they are! :) No wonder it's called dill "weed."

Let's back up and explain how

By Almanac Staff

Let's back up and explain how to save dill seeds. After dill flowers, you let the seed heads dry on the plant. Harvest early so the seedheads don't burst. Dry out in a brown paper bag. Once the seed heads are dried out, just remove the seeds from the seed heads. Store in envelopes or small glass jars until planting time! Once the dill flowers and goes to seed, it's time is done. Start anew.

My dill is flowering, when do

By Emily5

My dill is flowering, when do I know it went to seed? Also, my dad wants the leaves and seeds to make pickles. Can I collect the leaves, chop them and dry them? Or do they have to be fresh?

I use my own home grown dill

By JBush

I use my own home grown dill and dill seeds for pickling and it works well for me. What I do is harvest the seeds heads as they start to mature and dry them in paper bags. I save the seeds for next years crop and for pickling. Once I have a batch of cucumbers ready to pickle, pick fresh dill and use it with seeds from the previous year for my pickling spice mixture.

Dill needs to be harvested

By Almanac Staff

Dill needs to be harvested before its umbrella-like flower clusters open. For dill pickles, you can put the whole flower head and leaves in a jar with the pickled cukes or veggies. The head should still be green and flexible; flowers should have given way to seeds, but the seeds do not need to be fully mature.

Why did my Dill die?

By Anonymous

I recently moved to a new apt, and my dill is in a rectangular pot, it was happy for a day but then it died, with died i mean all the leaves have withered away> what could be the probable reason? is the temperature too warm for it? now only that there were other dill growing in few other pots all of them have gone bad.. my dill were lovely lush green about 8-10 inches :( can anyone suggest what happened? i had left it next to the heater vent for warmth also the sun did not shine for 3 days since i moved..did that cause it?

You mentioned a heater vent.

By Almanac Staff

You mentioned a heater vent. Dill will die when the weather gets hot or exposed to heat. 

The exact same thing happened

By Laurier

The exact same thing happened to mine --- I had 4 plants the same age, 3were out in my garden and one inside on kitchen window sill along with some other plants ---they were all fine for a month or more, then one day the inside dill was limp and dying ....??

It was at the growth stage where the ones outside are starting to flower ----- is this a clue?

Yes, after the plant flowers,

By Almanac Staff

Yes, after the plant flowers, it is done. You can either harvest the whole plant or let it go to seed to produce more plants in the spring.

Did the apartment complex

By A Schweinle

Did the apartment complex spray an herbicide? It could have blown onto your plants.

Not sure what happened. The

By Almanac Staff

Not sure what happened. The temperature was maybe too warm next to the heater vent. Indoors dill needs at least 5 to 6 hours of direct sunlight or you can use a fluorescent light above the plant. Dill roots are long so your pots need to be deep.

Dill root predator?

By Rowan FitzGerald

I don't have a bug pest problem - I have an animal problem. Something keeps digging into the roots of my dill. I have it growing in a tall pot among a lot of other herbs on top of a tall herb table. Whatever it is that is eating it passes up a lot of other plants, climbing up into my herb table at night to rip it apart, leaving dirt everywhere and dill stems/leaves. I've tried to watch for it, leaving lights on the area and staying up, but I can't seem to catch it. We sometimes have a skunk come through, but I didn't think skunks climbed. Any ideas what might like to dig up and eat dill roots?

Dill Diggers

By Janice Stillman

Hi, Rowan, Thanks for your interest in The Old Farmer's Almanac. Strange as it might be, it sounds like pocket gophers (Thomomys bottae) are getting into your pots. These little critters like the roots of several plants—dill, potatoes, even ornamental bulbs. We found a couple of possible solutions: commercial animal urine (apply as directed) and/or wire mesh (put over the pot at soil level, around the base of the plant—easier said than done, to be sure). You might also try a few moth balls scattered on the surface of the soil.
FWIW, some caterpillars eat dill (and parsley and carrot) greens, but they are not like to beneath the soil. We hope this helps!

I have to give a BIG thumbs

By beekeeperjoy

I have to give a BIG thumbs down on the moth ball idea. Those things are exceedingly toxic and may render the dill toxic as well. They are also hazardous to even touch or breathe in the fumes. Seriously those things are toxic, so don't use it. (google it)

Yellow and Black worms on my Dill

By Skinfan

I grew dill and basil between my tomatoes as a pesticide free alternative to keep tomato horn worms away. I have done so for two years with great success. Plants that didn't have dill, I had to use Seven Dust. Now, I've got a yellow and black worm all over my dill. Should I kill it? Is it a good worm? Should I leave it alone? Please help.

these are black swallowtail

By Rachy Ray

these are black swallowtail caterpillars.they DO eat a lot, yes, but do not kill them. the butterflies they turn into are both beneficial and beautiful. I had these butterflies lay eggs all over my dill.I just let them grow up and soon(if birds don't get them)they will make their chrysalis and become butterflies

You have a black swallowtail

By Almanac Staff

You have a black swallowtail butterfly caterpillar on your dill. Dill, carrot tops, parsley, and fennel are their favorite food and they will eat a lot. Don’t get rid of the caterpillar; just plant more dill.

It was the last 4 words in

By Rene Martin

It was the last 4 words in your reply that reminded me of what an old peasant Portuguese woman once told me & this I'd like to share w/you:
"Always sow/plant 4 times (more) than what you need." I asked her why and this is what she said:
"Firstly you plant for yourself, what you think you will need. Then you plant the same amount for your Family & Friends, who have no land to plant. The third amount you have to plant counting with pests and climatic problems, like drought or excessive precipitation. The fourth amount you have to sow is for the thief."
"For the thief?" I exclaimed. "Yes" answered the old lady, "the thief does not till the earth, he is a thief. Growing/producing the food is your business and the thief, well, he has to eat, too..."

Thank you!! I've been

By Tanith

Thank you!! I've been searching for this as well, my little dill plant is full of them! So I just plant more dill? Would it be better potted with another plant/herb?

Love your advice. Too many

By Yukon Gal

Love your advice. Too many times I have read KILL IT...whatever it is because it is eating a few plants. I agree with sharing of the crop when it is an insect or animal that is looking for a meal that is not going to destroy the entire garden.

Dill Food for Butterfly

By Skinfan

Thanks for the info, buying more seeds.

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