How to Grow Growing Dill

Gardening - How to Grow Growing Dill

Dill‘s fragrant foliage adds flavor to vegetables such as cucumbers, tomatoes and lettuce while simultaneously protecting them against common brassica pests such as aphids and cabbage worms.

To grow dill successfully, select a sunny area and prepare the soil. Seeds can either be directly planted into your garden soil or containers for easy germination. Dill thrives best in well-drained, rich soil.


Dill (Anethum graveolens) is an annual herb that produces both leafy fronds and seeds, both of which can be used in numerous dishes including pickles and soup. Furthermore, their leaves add texture and visual interest to garden beds and borders.

When growing dill, select an area that receives 6 to 8 hours of full sunlight each day and protect it from strong winds as its tall foliage can easily blow over.

Dill is notoriously difficult to transplant due to its deep taproot. Instead, sow seeds directly into your garden once all threats of frost have passed (usually early spring in cooler climates or late fall for those growing in warmer regions), thin out seedlings regularly to prevent overcrowding, and mulch to retain moisture and suppress weeds. Dill plants benefit greatly from companion planting with cucumbers or cabbage as this helps deter pests while helping them mature more quickly.

Soil Preparation

Dill thrives in rich, well-draining soil that has been amended with compost or manure. Because its taproot can become compacted under hard conditions, loosening the bed before planting will promote vigorous root development. While it tolerates various climate conditions well, cool to moderate climate zones tend to provide optimal conditions.

Dil is easy to grow once the risk of frost has passed and the ground temperature reaches 60-70degF; direct sowing or indoor planting with seed starting flats/blocks using a germination tray are two methods. Container growing may also be utilized, and transferred as needed into your garden space.

To minimize transplant shock, gently lift and place your dill plant from its starter container or potting soil into its garden hole so that its root ball sits flush with the soil’s surface. Thin seedlings as necessary to allow enough room for growth and airflow.


Dill is an annual that can only survive for one season in warm climates, so planting the seeds early spring can give your dill plants the best start possible before summer arrives and temperatures soar.

Select a location where full sun shines throughout the day for best results. Dill can still flourish under partial shade conditions, though its growth won’t be as bushy. Protect it from afternoon sunlight with shields or shade cloth to further extend its lifespan and prolong foliage’s lifecycle.

If you are growing dill in pots, fill the container with high quality potting mix. Use compost or aged manure to enrich the soil before planting seeds, and thin out seedlings as they emerge to avoid overcrowding and reduce disease risks. Water regularly and remove any damaged or diseased leaves as needed.


Dill is an aromatic herb with numerous uses. Not only does it bring lively flavors to a variety of dishes, but its aromatic properties attract beneficial insects while repelling potential pests.

Create dill in either your garden or containers by aiming for plants to reach about 3 feet tall, selecting varieties with light colors and small seed heads such as Fernleaf, Bouquet or Dukat; Fernleaf may be less susceptible to bolting (flowering and going to seed quickly) which makes them suitable for container growing.

When planting, direct sow the seeds 1/4 inch deep and 8 to 12 inches apart in rows 8-12. Thin out successful seedlings after 10-14 days. Avoid placing dill near carrots; its presence can compete for nutrients and cross-pollinate, stunting their development. Dill may also compete for sunlight with tomatoes, impeding tomato production. Plant in spring after the last frost date has passed for optimal results.


Dill plants are adaptable to most soil conditions, although they prefer loamy soil that drains well and contains organic matter such as compost or aged manure to enrich it before planting. When growing dill in containers, use premium quality potting mixes such as Miracle-Gro(r) Performance Organics All Purpose Container Mix to achieve success.

Sow seeds in early spring when frost danger has passed and the ground has warmed sufficiently, leaving 12-15″ spacing between seeds in your garden and 3-6″ between potted ones.

Dill attracts beneficial insects such as hoverflies, green lacewings and ladybugs that prey upon common brassica pests like cabbage worms and loopers. Black swallowtail butterflies love feasting upon its seed heads and leaves! Unfortunately it also attracts aphids which must be treated by appropriate insecticides or sprays with Bacillus thuringiensis kurstaki to stay at bay.


Dill is best grown in full sun (6 to 8 hours of direct sunlight each day) with soil rich in organic matter and well-draining conditions, although it is adaptable enough for many types of soil types.

Addition of mature humus or compost to a planting bed can improve drainage and promote healthy plant growth, particularly for dill. Dill may also benefit from adding a nutrient blend with nitrogen and potassium content for enhanced performance.

Be mindful when transplanting seedlings of dill. Their long taproot can easily become stressed under pressure, leading to early bolting of their plants.

As soon as flower heads appear, cut them before opening them up and transfer the seeds to a paper bag with several small holes for ventilation. Hang it up somewhere cool and dark where it can dry for two weeks – this process should ensure maximum harvest success!


As your dill plants mature, it’s essential that any new flower stalks that appear be pruned away before they bloom into umbels – according to UC Master Gardeners this helps ensure it keeps producing foliage and doesn’t force your herb to bolt. Avoid overpruning as this could damage its growth.

When trimming dill plants, just above the leaves should be cut back in order to maintain health and keep compactness of the herb while also helping preserve flavor. This step also serves to prolong its shelf life.

Dill is an annual herb that adds flavorful scents and textures to vegetables such as cucumbers and tomatoes, while protecting against common vegetable pests like aphids and cucumber beetles. Furthermore, its tall feathery foliage enhances their flavors as well as detersting common garden pests like aphids and cucumber beetles from entering gardens. Furthermore, its shade provides shade from windy environments as well as acting as a windbreak against seedlings; when properly cared for it will self-seed year after year – adding charm to perennial or cottage gardens alike!


Dill plants thrive when exposed to at least 6 to 8 hours of direct sunlight each day, as this exposure promotes vigorous growth, enhances aroma and flavor enhancement and lowers leaf-burn risk.

To prevent stressing out dill plants, only harvest what you require throughout the season. Cutting too much at one time could cause it to bolt (go to seed) and reduce future productivity and flavor. When harvesting, always cut at the base of stem with shears or sharp scissors in order to minimize plant damage.

Once your seeds begin to turn tan in color, they are ready for harvesting. Cut off their heads and hang them upside-down in a warm, dark location for drying – their seeds should eventually fall from their stems into paper bags as they dry.


Dill quickly loses its potency after harvest, so it is ideal to preserve it for later use. Dill can be air-dried, frozen, or dehydrated to extend its shelf life. To do this effectively, rinse its leaves under cool running water to rid any dirt or insects before pat drying on a towel before hanging upside down for maximum air circulation storage.

Dill is not typically subject to disease, though powdery mildew and rot can occasionally wreak havoc on its leaves. Thinner plants and better air circulation are effective methods for mitigating this fungal threat as is proper watering; soil testing should also be conducted prior to adding any fertilizers; Dill thrives best in full sun so ensure it receives adequate amounts of sunlight daily – this will encourage leaf growth and flower production as well as repel cabbage worms/broccoli loopers while drawing in beneficial pollinators! When planting near other cruciferous vegetables it helps repel cabbage/broccoli loopers while drawing in pollinators beneficial insects who help pollinate plants like cabbage/broccoli loopers/loopers while simultaneously drawing in beneficial insect pollinators pollinators pollinators pollinators!

Pests and Diseases

Dill grows quickly, so regular harvests must take place to ensure optimal production. While it tolerates moderate heat conditions and soggy soil conditions, extreme cold and moisture isn’t its ideal environment.

Plants prefer a full sun environment but will tolerate shade as well. Rich, well-draining soil with an acidic pH between 5.5 and 6.5 is ideal.

Powdery mildew and rot are potential threats to herbs, but this issue usually stems from overwatering and humidity issues. Organic fungicides are effective tools in protecting them against disease.

Dill is home to numerous beneficial insects, including parasitic wasps, green lacewings and hoverflies that provide vital ecosystem services. Dill also serves as host plant for black swallowtail caterpillars that morph into stunning butterflies. Aphids may infest your dill so be sure to inspect plants regularly before spraying with an insecticide spray; root-knot nematodes can attack too so solarizing soil before planting is recommended in order to kill these off. Otherwise dill should remain relatively trouble-free!

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