A step by step guide for growing Dill plants
Today, we learn techniques of growing Dill plants from seeds, planting of Dill, Dill plant care, and the harvesting procedure of Dill plants. Dill is a herb which is biennial. This is frequently used in pickles along with dips, stews, soups, and salads. Dill is not only delicious but also very easy to grow both in the indoor locations and also a garden. This makes it a fantastic addition to any gardens where vegetables or herbs are grown. For growing dill, you will need to have a site which is sunny and also acidic in a slight manner. The soil in the site has to be well-drained and by this, you will enjoy this herb within very less time.
Requirements for the plantation of Dill seeds:
- Select a location which gets at least 6 to 8 hours of sunlight on a daily basis. For growing dill sunlight is very important. If you are not that aware of the climatic conditions in your garden, then it would be better for you to have some time in the garden on a sunny day to watch the shadows falling on the trees all across the day. By doing this, you will have clarity on picking the right sunniest spot in your garden for growing dill.
- Dill is a herb which self-sows. It will lead to the production of seeds which will give rise to new plants. So make sure that you are selecting a spot where you wish to grow dill for coming up years.
- If you do not have that place in your garden where your dill can receive sunlight for at least 6 to 8 hours, then you can go ahead and plant it in the next available sunniest spot in your garden. Dill has the capability to tolerate some amount of shade but it will not be bushy.
- You can make use of pH strips for the determination of the acidity present in the soil in your garden. The pH strip has to be placed into the soil and then you will need to start comparing it to a color chart for the determination of the level of pH of the soil present in your garden. Dill is the one which grows at its best in the soil which is acidic in a slight manner, so make sure that you are looking for a pH which is in between 6 to 6.5. The pH of the soil has to be adjusted if you are required to.
- If you find that the soil in your garden is too acidic, then you can increase the pH by the addition of limestone which is powdered.
- If you find that the soil in your garden is too alkaline, then you can go with the addition of aluminum sulfate to the soil in your garden where you are growing dill.
- Also, ensure that you are adding compost which is aged to the soil in your garden where you are planting dill. Dill will grow at its best when the soil is well-drained and by adding some amount of compost to your garden will help in the prevention of standing water. If you find that the soil in your garden does not have the best quality, not to worry, dill always prefers the conditions which are a bit poor and sandy.
- You can also prepare your own compost from the scraps of the food your family consumes on a daily basis or you can even buy compost from any of the garden stores present in your locality.
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Sowing the Dill seeds:
- It is always best to sow the seeds of sill in your garden after the frost days have passed. The seeds have to be planted in such a way that they are at a depth of a¼th inch and at a distance of 20 inches from each other, then you will have to start raking the soil on to the seeds.
- When you are planting your dill, it may have to get adjusted depending on the climatic conditions of your locality and the time of the last frost dates which occur at the time of spring.
- As dill does not undergo transplantation well. Transplanting dill is difficult and hence, it would be better if you go with the plantation of seeds directly into the soil in your garden wherever you wish to grow them.
- If you do not have much amount of space in your garden, then you can also prefer growing dill in the indoor locations. You can sow the seeds of dill directly in a container which is at least 12 inches in terms of size. The container has to be placed at a location where the seeds of dill would get at least 6 hours of direct sunlight on a daily basis.
- You will be required to sow extra crops for every 20 to 30 days in order to get a continuous harvest of dill which is fresh. If you wish to continue enjoying the dill which is fresh all across the summer and autumn, you can continue the plantation of new dill for every few weeks until about three months before you get the first frost.
- If you are sure that you will not be using all of the dills at one, you can prefer planting only a few amounts of seeds at the starting, then a few more amounts of seeds after few weeks and it continues this way. This will help you to make sure that you are not ending up with a huge amount of dill at once.
Care and maintenance of your Dill:
- The soil has to be allowed to get dried in a complete manner before you are watering. Dill is the one which will not like too much quantity of water. Anyways, you should not allow the soil to get dried in a complete manner. This will make your plant die. The soil has to be checked on a daily basis. This check can be done by touching the soil by making use of your fingers and then you can go with the addition of water when you feel that the soil is dry.
- If you are over-watering the dill plant, there are chances that it turns yellow in color.
- The seedlings have to be thinned about 15 days after you see them in the soil. After the plantation of dill, you will see the seedlings after 15 days. Another 15 days after that. You can check all the rows of dill and start thinning out the seedlings and make sure that you are having only one dill plant for every 18 to 20 inches of space. You will have to choose the seedlings which are looking at the strongest ones to keep and you can pull any of the seedlings which seem to be damaged or unhealthy.
- Making the seedlings of dill thin will help you to make sure that the plants have an adequate amount of space for growth.
- The seedlings can be pulled in an easy way by making use of your hand.
- The top of the dill plant has to be snipped off as soon as it reaches the length of 8 inches. You can make use of a pair of garden shears which are sharp for cutting the top 3 inches of the dill plant. This will help in directing the nutrients of the plant to the outwards, instead of upwards, which will motivate the dill to turn more bushier and also for the development of more amount of leaves.
- The top of the plant when trimmed will help in keeping the dill from becoming heavy at the top which will make the dill incapable to support its weight.
- The plants have to be fertilized on time at the end of the spring. The best fertilizer which can be used for dill is with an N-P-K ratio of 15-5-10. You can use 1.5 kilograms for every 100 square feet of the soil which is present in your garden.
- This N-P-K fertilizer which as the ratio of 15-5-10 can be bought from any of the garden supply stores present in your locality.
- The flowers which have come up in the early stages of growth have to be pinched-off so that the leaves will have a prolonged life for growth. Dill is the one which has the best flavors before it starts flowering. The use of the dill plants can be extended by taking off the first set of flowers which you see.
- It would be very easy for you to pinch off the flowers which are delicate by making use of the hand. You can even make use of small scissors if you wish to.
- You will have to pick the pests from your dill plant by making use of your hands. Dill is very much resistant to many diseases, but there are chances that it gets attacked by the tomato hornworms and parsley caterpillars which are the most common pests in any garden. If you see any of these on your plants, you will have to remove them manually using your hand as soon as possible.
- These are the pests which will not bite, but if you are hesitant to touch any insect with your hands, you can even take into consideration wearing a pair of gloves which are used for gardening.
- Parsley caterpillars are the ones which will be in the colors of white, black and yellow and a mixture of stripes and spots. They also have horns which are orange or yellow in color.
- Tomato hornworms are the ones which are also called as green caterpillars. These have bodies which are segmented and their feet appear to be like suction cups.
- The weeds which sprout up have to be removed on an immediate basis. Weeds are the ones which would take up all the nutrients which are available in the soil which your dill requires for the purpose of survival. Whenever you water the plants, you will need to check for any of the new weeds which have come up. If you find any of them coming up, you can pull them by using your hands or any weeding tools for removing them.
- The plants have to be staked if they are starting to lean or you will have to stake them at the time of heavy winds. The plants of dill will have stems which are tall and also thin and are very much susceptible to snapping if perfect support is not provided. You can make use of twine for tying the stems to a stake if they do not look like they are sturdy or if you are expecting harsh climatic conditions.
- If you do not have any sort of garden stakes with you, you can even consider tying the dill to a small stick or twig.
- There are chances that you may be required to add extra ties to the plant’s top as it is growing.
- Because of fewer amounts of light, the dill plants which are grown in a container will be taller and spindly than the ones which are grown in the outdoor locations, so you may be required to support them by making use of a stake.
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Harvesting procedure of Dill:
- The dill leaves which are fresh have to be snipped as required at the time of the growing season. The leaves of dill have to be harvested no less than 90 days after the plantation for getting the best flavor, but you can make use of them as soon as they start appearing. Whenever you want to have a little amount of dill in your dish, you can just make use of garden shears for snipping the leaves from the plant as nearer to the stem as possible.
- Dill which is grown in the indoor locations is generally ready for harvesting in about 2 months from the day of the plantation.
- The seed heads have to be cut after 15 to 20 days they started to bloom for collecting the seeds. If you are interested to harvest the seeds from your dill plant, let the plant to flower and then wait for some weeks to provide the seed head with some amount of time for development. After you cut the seed heads, the cuttings have to be placed in plastic or paper bags and let them fry for some more weeks. The seeds of the dill will fall off whenever they are ready for usage.
- The dill seeds which are dried are mostly used in the preparation of pickled as well as soups and stews for flavoring.
- The fresh leaves of dill have to be placed in the refrigerator for about a week. For the preservation of flavor of the dill leaves which have been cut freshly, you will have to fold them in a paper towel which is damp. Then the paper towel has to be placed in a plastic bag. In order to get the best results, the bag has to be placed in your refrigerator that too in a vegetable crisper.
- You can also go ahead and keep the fresh leaves in a container which is resealable and then place it in a freezer. They would be able to stay healthy and good for about a year if they are stored in this way.
- The dill leaves which are dried and the seeds of dill have to be placed in a container which has an airtight lid. The herbs which are dried along with the seeds will stay in a good condition for sure. But, the flavor will start fading out over time.
- The best choices for the storage of dried dill are like plastic bags which are resealable or the containers or jars which consist of air-tight lids.
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Facts about growing Dill:
- Dill is a herb which is biennial. This herb prefers to grow in warm climatic conditions and is extremely sensitive to even a light frost. Technically, dill is not a perennial plant, because one plant of dill will be alive for only two years. It is skilled at self-seeding if you let it. If you are allowing it to grow in a natural way, then the dill plant will be able to grow back within a year.
- Dill will not only give you seeds and foliage which are aromatic, but it will also brighten up your garden with its flowers which are yellow in color at the time of spring and autumn.
- The dill plants will sometimes become yellow in color and the main reason behind this would be lacking in terms of care. The dill will need sunlight for a minimum of 6 to 8 hours on a daily basis. If the sunlight is not provided for that specific time, then it will cause the dill leaves to become dull. If you are using an excess amount of fertilizer, it will lead to the building up of salt in the soil in which you are growing dill and this will, in turn, lead to the dill leaves to turn yellow in terms of color.
- There is no requirement to water the dill which is grown in the garden too much. But you will have to give much amount of care and attention when you are growing dill in pots. They have to be watered at least one time in a week and you will have to provide it with a little amount of fertilizer at the start of the growing season.
- You can plant dill with the following companion plants; Asparagus, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, Cucumber, Corn, Lettuce and Onion. Additionally, if you plant beans closer to dill, it would be very advantageous for the growth of your dill plants.
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