Planting, Growing, and Harvesting Dill.
Growing dill plant, Dill is one of the widely cultivated annual herbs in Eurasia that belongs to the celery family Apiaceae. The leaves and seeds harvested from the plant have become essential herbs in seasoning various cuisines worldwide.
They can reach a height of about 40-60 cm and appears to have a very slender shoot structure. The presence of dill weeds in various tombs in ancient Egypt testifies to its long association with humankind
Herb Type annual plant.
They take about 364 days to mature and become ready for harvest.
The plant can reach about 2-4 feet tall when fully grown.
The plant prefers a well-drained soil structure with sandy or loamy soil particles.
The plant requires direct sunlight of about 6-8 hours every day during its growth phase.
Hardiness (USDA Zone)
The USDA hardiness zone of dill weed falls in the 2-11 range.
A spacing of about 10-12 inches should get maintained between two plants and 2-3 feet apart when measured from row to row.
The plant blooms in the late summer and early fall.
The color of the foliage ranges from dark green to bluish-green.
The plant takes about a year to grow and become ready for harvest.
They are native to the Arabian Peninsula and the Northern part of Africa.
Proper water management plays an important role when it comes to growing Dill. The soil should remain moist for the plant to establish itself quickly. They take about 1-2 inches of rain every year to thrive. Like most herbs, the fertilizers demand of the dill plant can get considered negligible.
The term ‘dill’ has got its name derived from the German language. The plant has a long history in various parts of the world regarding the Dill uses in medicinal and culinary purposes. They had a humble beginning back in the Mediterranean regions, and the earliest known evidence of the use of Dill as a medicinal ingredient dates back to 5000 years in Egypt.
They find their relevance in Greek as well as Babylonian culture. Many believe gladiators consumed food with dill sprinkles on them in pop culture as the Romans thought it gave them bravery and courage.
The dill seeds, often called meetinghouse seeds, got chewed in the church during long praying hours. The aroma present in the seeds positively impacts people suffering from bad breath and stomach ailments.
Nutritional Facts of Dill Seeds:
Dill herbs, which often referred to as dill weed, have a wide array of nutritional and medicinal benefits on the human body. Commonly, the dill herb finds its application in various cuisines worldwide to elevate the flavor of a dish.
Still, the nutrient-rich weeds help the body to tackle multiple ailments of the body. The low-calorie content and rich in different vitamin groups and minerals make it one of the essential ingredients in any healthy person’s diet.
The Vitamin A content in the herbs helps the body improve the optic nerve of the body and significantly boost the immune system. It also takes a leading role in enhancing the reproductive system in both males and females. The manganese-rich dill leaves help the brain to function correctly along with the nervous system.
Manganese plays an essential role in fat and sugar metabolism. Freshly chopped dill weed is a rich source of calcium, copper, and zinc.
The anti-oxidant-rich Dill helps the body to fight and protect various cells by neutralizing the free radicals. Apart from neutralizing free radicals, antioxidants play a leading role in treating chronic inflammations, rheumatoid arthritis, and multiple forms of cancer known to medicine.
Nutrients and Minerals Required for Dill Plant:
Like every other herb-type plant, Dill does not require many nutrients, and the need for additional fertilizers can remain close to nil. Adding compost or manure to the soil should do the job appropriately, and cultivators should keep an eye on the nitrogen and phosphorous content of the earth as they significantly deteriorate the oil content and yield of harvest.
The plant requires a lot of water to grow and prefers soil that remains moist throughout. Various irrigation methods dill cultivators use across the globe, like sprinkling water to the cultivation when the dill seedlings emerge. Once the seedlings reach a height of about 60 cm, cultivators can employ furrow irrigation that helps absorb the plant’s stress.
Growing Dill requires soil that has a sound drainage system along with a pH within 6.4. They grow well in soils with light to medium textures, and the plant responds when grown in organic soils.
When to Plant Dill:
Once the last frost date passes, a cultivator can begin sowing dill seeds in the designated garden area. The nature of the root of the dill plant, they do not transplant well like carrots and die if transplanted from one place to another.
Planting dill in a soil temperature less than 60 degrees F will fetch no result as the plant cannot withstand such low soil temperature. Once the spring season sets, the dill weed seeds should go to the soil when the soil temperature ranges between 60-70 degrees F.
It takes about 10-14 days for dill seedlings to appear from the earth. For people, cultivating Dill for pickling should plant every week once the midsummer months begin to get a constant supply of dill leaves.
Cultivators looking to achieve a permanent patch of dill herbs should let some plants flower and seed every year. An established dill plant reseeds itself every year.
Where to Plant Dill:
The dill plant prefers an area in the garden that receives ample sunlight for at least 6-8 hours every day during its growth phase. The soil designated for growing Dill should have a sound drainage structure and remain rich in organic matters.
The plant prefers soil with a slightly acidic or alkaline pH, and they are not the best companion crop of carrots. People looking to grow multiple grow in one garden area can plant cabbage and onions along with Dill.
The dill leaves cannot withstand strong wind, and a means of protection should get provided to the plant to protect them from strong winds.
How to Plant Dill:
As mentioned earlier, the taproot of dill plants prevents it from transplanting from one place to another; sowing dill seeds involve digging a ¼ inch hole in the ground and place each seed with a spacing of about 18 inches. It takes about 10-14 days for the dill seedlings to emerge from the soil, and after another 14 days, the cultivator should start pruning the dill plant properly.
If cultivators forget to maintain the spacing during sowing, the pruning at 28 days gives the cultivator another opportunity to keep the spacing. The plant takes about 40-67 days to start flowering once germinated. However, climatic conditions not ideal for dill plants can delay the flowering initiation.
The feathery distinctive dill leaves start emerging once the long and tapped leaves emerge. High-temperature conditions may prove to become a detrimental factor when it comes to germination, so the cultivator should sow the seeds when the surrounding temperature ranges within 70 degrees F.
Dill Plant Care:
Watering plays a significant role in dill plant care, and the plant should get watered generously during the growing seasons, keeping the soil as moist as possible. A routine of sowing dill seeds every week helps the cultivator to achieve a year-round dry Dill. Preventing the flowers from growing on the plant helps the plant to fetch a better harvest.
Harvesting and Storing Dill:
The ideal time to harvest dill weed begins in the early morning when the moisture content in the plant remains high. Dill weed harvested with high moisture content possesses better flavor and aroma along with a minimized chance of dill seeds shattering.
The best time to reap dill weeds begins just before the plants mature and the opening of the flowering buds. Dill freshly cut can get stored in the refrigerator for two-three days, or placing the dill stem in a cup of water keeps the leaves fresh and aromatic.
Most global chefs prefer a fresh one instead of dried Dill due to its superior flavor and aroma. When it comes to long-term storage, drying dill can become the best bet. There are several methods to achieve that.
Harvesters should lay the freshly harvested dill weeds on wax paper and place the entire setup in a warm, dark spot with proper air ventilation. The process of drying weed can become possible in a food dehydrator.
Types of Dill:
Various types of Dill get cultivated across the globe for their aroma, and they are as follows:
- Long Island Mammoth: This particular variant of Dill gets cultivated for pickling purposes. They are a few variants that can become a reliable source fetch dill weeds and dill seeds.
- Vierling: This tall variant takes longer to flower, making it ideal for dill weed cultivation. They are one of the high yield variants and often preferred when the cultivated for pickling.
- Tetra: They are a slow bolting variant of the dill plant. They grow up more bushy and compact when mature.
- Mammoth: They can reach about 3-5 feet tall due to their vigorous growth nature. They tend to bolt and are one of the ideal variants for pickling.
- Fernleaf: they belong to the dwarf category and can reach a height of about 12-18 inches. The flowers bloom in the mid-summer and are one of the best varieties for growing in containers.
Diseases and Pests of Dill plant:
- Carrot Motley dwarf Disease: The two viruses called carrot Redleaf virus and carrot mottle virus can get held responsible for the disease to occur. Both the virus should infect the plant of the illness to take place. They cause yellow and red discoloration of leaves and eventually stunting growth. Using insecticidal soaps can help tackle the disease.
- Cercospora leaf Blight Fungus: The disease caused by this fungus causes necrotic areas on the plant. Using disease-free seeds helps the cultivator to keep the condition out of the cultivation.
Dill Seeds Recipes:
- Dill seed braids.
- Herb bread with dill seeds.