How to Plant, Grow, and Harvest Dill

The best way to enjoy fresh dill is by growing the herb in your garden.
The best way to enjoy fresh dill is by growing the herb in your garden.
(Photo: Leeser/Yay Images)

Dill is a popular kitchen herb, flavoring everything from fish to pickles. Gourmet chefs will tell you that you can’t beat fresh dill for the flavor.

Of course, the best way to enjoy fresh dill is by growing the herb in your garden! It’s easy. Here are a few tips.

Choosing a Site for Your Dill Plants

Because dill does not transplant well, you should sow dill seeds directly into the garden after the frost has passed in the spring.

  • You should choose a site that has full sun.
  • Make sure the area has good drainage and soil that’s rich in organic matter.
  • The pH of the soil should be between slightly acidic and neutral.

In your garden, plant dill next to cabbage or onions, but keep it away from carrots. The two plants are closely related and may cross-pollinate. Make sure to shelter dill from strong winds.

Because dill does not transplant well, you should sow dill seeds directly into the garden after the frost has passed in the spring.
Because dill does not transplant well, you should sow dill seeds directly into the garden after the frost has passed in the spring. (Photo: Viledevil/Yay Images)

How to Plant Dill

Below are important pointers on planting dill.

  • Sow dill seeds about ¼-inch deep and 18 inches apart and water thoroughly. After 10 to 14 days, young dill plants should appear in the soil.
  • Wait 10 to 14 days, then thin the plants to about 12 to 18 inches apart. That is if they aren’t already spaced well enough.
  • Keep the soil moist by misting often.
Make sure to shelter dill from strong winds.
Make sure to shelter dill from strong winds. (Photo: H. Zell/Wikimedia Commons)

Growing Dill

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.

If you allow the dill to seed – and the soil hasn’t been disturbed too much – more dill plants will grow the next season.

If you allow the dill to seed - and the soil hasn’t been disturbed too much - more dill plants will grow the next season.
If you allow the dill to seed – and the soil hasn’t been disturbed too much – more dill plants will grow the next season. (Alicja/Pixabay)

Harvesting Dill

To harvest the dill leaves, regularly trim off the desired amount of leaves you need for cooking. If you wish to harvest dill seeds, allow the plant to grow without trimming until it goes into bloom.

Once dill weed plants go into bloom, they’ll stop growing leaves. Make sure that you don’t harvest any leaves from that plant.

  • The dill flower will fade and will develop seedpods. When the seed pods turn brown, cut the whole flower head off and put it into a paper bag.
  • Gently shake the bag. The seeds will fall out of the flower head and seedpods. You’ll be able to separate the seeds from the waste.
When the seed pods turn brown, cut the whole flower head off and place it a paper bag
When the seed pods turn brown, cut the whole flower head off and place it a paper bag.
(Photo: Jggrz/Pixabay)

Delicious and Beneficial

Dill attracts beneficial insects such as wasps and other predatory insects to your garden. The plant is also a host for the caterpillar of the black swallowtail butterfly.

Fresh dill weed begins to droop as soon as you clip it. The herb will begin to lose potency within a couple of days. That is why you should use it as soon as possible.

You can store fresh dill in the refrigerator with stems tucked into a container of water. The dill’s bright flavor is great with potatoes, vegetables, fish, salads, soups, and stews!

Are you ready to plant dill in your garden?

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