first time dill

novice_2009(zone 6b)May 1, 2010

I'm going to grow dill in my garden for the first time this year.

Any tips? Is direct seeding ok? Really hard to start indoors for me, not enough space or light! (Except for tomato plants- always start them indoors)

Which veggies do you grow your dill next to?

When's the best time to harvest it....etc.

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marlingardener

Dill is one of the easiest and most satisfying herbs to grow. Direct seed where you want it to grow when the soil is warm, and chances of frost are past.
We have dill mixed in with tomatoes, potatoes, green bush beans, and chard. It grows where it will in our vegetable gardens!
We harvest fronds that are 3" or longer to use in cooking, and the more mature fronds and seed heads (when they are pale green and haven't really set seeds yet) to make dill vinegars. We let several of our dill plants go to seed and mature (the seeds turn brown) and it self-seeds for next year, which explains why we have it all over the place!
There are several types of dill--fern leaf, giant, etc.-- but in our experience they are pretty much all the same as to taste.
Try some chopped fresh dill on potatoes baked in the oven with butter. Heaven!

    Bookmark   May 1, 2010 at 3:39PM
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novice_2009(zone 6b)

Thanks marlingardener! I will sow some seeds close to my bush beans, or perhaps in a little spot on the north side of my garden since you say it self seeds. LOVE dill in cooking, wanted some fresh- but not a whole garden of it.
Thanks for letting me know when to harvest. How do you make your dill vinegar? Bet that's good!

    Bookmark   May 1, 2010 at 4:34PM
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cyrus_gardner(8)

Dill is a semi-cool crop. It can tolerater frost and light freezing temperatures.
Therefore direct sowing is the best so there will be no need to acclimate and no worries about frost.

There are basically two kinds of dills grown for different uses, I think;
GIANT dills grown as ornamental and for seeds.
SHORT type for using fresh, when abour 10" tall or for drying for future use.
I have both varieties growing now. The mamoth type is growing voluntarily from seeds of last years plants.

Dill makes good yougurt dips, goes well with fish. Its aroma can overwhelm the fishy smell.
The seeds are even better.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2010 at 2:12AM
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fatamorgana2121(Zone 5/6)

Let a few of the best dill plants set seed. After the seed has dried on the plant, you can harvest the seeds and save for next season or replant right away. Also if left to its own devices, dill does a fine job of reseeding itself.

FataMorgana

    Bookmark   May 2, 2010 at 9:38AM
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marlingardener

Novice,
Send me an e-mail that I can respond to, and I'll give you the "recipe" for herbal vinegars and some dill recipes you might enjoy. Don't want to hijack your post with recipes!

    Bookmark   May 2, 2010 at 11:25AM
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MGPinSavannah

Even though everyone says dills are a "cool season" plant they do well for me down here in Savannah in a fair amount of sun. Well, until the swallowtail butterfly caterpillars arrive. They're actually one of the main reasons I plant dill and curly parsley (their second choice). I don't think my garden is big enough to grow enough dill for both the swallowtails and us, and I enjoy watching the "caterpiggers" get bigger and bigger and bigger as my dill gets smaller and smaller and smaller.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2010 at 11:19PM
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cyrus_gardner(8)

mgpaquin,
Dills are, lets say, semi-cool crop because:
-They will germinate real early, by direct sowing, like parsley and cilantro.
-They can even tolerate light freezing. Frost is no problem.
- They will bolt soon aftr it warms up. So you cannot grow them in the summer, in Savana nor in atlanta.
I do spring and fall planting.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2010 at 11:41PM
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