Dill is one of my favorite herbs fresh from the garden. It’s so easy to snip a few leaves and add fresh dill flavor to dips, sauces, fish, and roasted vegetables. Dill is simple to grow and the flavor of fresh dill is reason enough to add this herb to your garden. Learn how to grow dill outside, inside, and in containers with these 5 tips.
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5 Tips for How to Grow Dill
1. Plant dill at the right time
- Plant after the last spring frost date. Ideal soil temperature for planting is 65°F-75°F.
- In the low desert of Arizona, plant dill seeds and transplants beginning in October and plant through January.
- Succession plant dill every 3 weeks for a continual harvest of the leaves.
2. Plant dill correctly
- Dill has a long taproot and does best planted from seeds. Dill grown from transplant often bolts more quickly than dill grown from seed. If you plant transplants, choose young transplants and handle roots very carefully.
- Plant dill seeds 1/8 inch to 1/4 inch deep. Thin seedlings to 4 inches apart. Keep soil moist until the seeds sprout.
- Dill prefers rich, loose soil and full sun.
- Broccoli, kale, kohlrabi, and Swiss chard are good companion plants for dill. Do not plant dill near carrots.
- For square foot gardening, plant 1 dill per square foot.
- Bouquet dill has large blooms and seed heads. Excellent for pickling.
- Dukat dill is darker green with large seed heads. Excellent for pickling.
- Fernleaf dill is slow to bolt and good for growing indoors and in containers.
3. Care for dill correctly
- Let top inch of soil dry out between waterings.
- Keep flowers cut back to encourage leaf production and keep seed-heads from forming.
How to grow dill in containers:
- Dill has a long taproot and does best in containers at least 8 inches deep.
- Dill does not require supplemental feeding.
How to grow dill indoors:
- Plant dill seeds directly in an unglazed terra cotta pot at least 8 inches deep.
- Water dill only when top inch or so of soil is dry.
- Provide supplemental lighting for dill for 10-11 hours with the lights about 6 inches away from the plant.
- Ideal indoor temperature for dill: 60°F-80°F.
- Does not require supplemental feeding.
4. Harvest dill fronds and seeds
Harvesting dill fronds:
- Dill leaves are ready to harvest 40-60 days after planting from seed.
- Begin harvesting leaves once the plant has 4-5 leaves.
- Use dill fresh or preserve it by drying, dehydrating, or freeze drying.
Harvesting dill seeds:
- Dill seeds are ready after 85-115 days.
- Seeds have best flavor if harvested just as they turn from green to brown. Harvest seeds by cutting the stalks at the base and storing them upside down in a paper sack. Seeds will fall into the bottom of the sack.
- Harvest seed heads before seeds form if you do not want dill to reseed in your garden.
5. Use dill to attract beneficial insects to your garden
Allow a few plants to go to flower; dill flowers attract many beneficial insects. Butterflies, ladybugs, bees, and other pollinators are attracted to dill blooms.
Friday 3rd of June 2022
I love your blog. You've helped me so much in my gardening journey in AZ as a newbie. When searching "growing dill in containers" some say to put one seed in the container while others say to "sprinkle seeds all over". Not sure if I should just plant one seed or many? I'm buying the fernleaf dill you suggested in the article. Thank you!!
Tuesday 7th of June 2022
Sprinkle seeds and then thin them to about 4 inches apart. Wait to plant dill until it cools off in the fall for the best results. Our summers are too hot for dill.