When, and how, to harvest dill?

techiestarJune 28, 2009

Apparently, I've inherited dill. This my first garden in a new house, and for a while my husband and I were picking what we though were weeds like mad. The whole garden would have been dill if we hadn't. After realizing that it had a nice scent, we spoke to the daughter of the former owner who confirmed that her mother had grown lots of dill for pickles. So, we've allowed a few to grow. Is this dill universal in flavor, meaning can I use it for anything, or will it be best for pickles? Also, when do I harvest it, and how? What parts get kept? Does it flower quickly? I don't want it to go that far, as we'll already be finding dill plants for years to come. Obviously, I know nothing about this plant, but thanks for the help!

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fatamorgana2121(Zone 5/6)

You can use dill leaves in a whole host of recipes. Just google "dill recipe."

As for harvesting the leaf, whenever you wish. Dill does flower quickly - you can still harvest the leaves during and after flowering too.

The green seed heads can be used in pickles.

The mature dried seed can be used in recipes too. Let a few dill go to seed and either save the seed (collected from the dried seed heads) or allow the seed to drop for more dill next year.

I too have an unbroken line of dill each year from the previous owners of my house. Since the house is 150 years old and the house was always in the previous owner's family, who knows how long that dill has been burbling away in the various gardens here.


    Bookmark   June 28, 2009 at 4:09PM
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ksrogers(EasternMass Z6)

Dill weed (fine leaves) is great in salads and pickles. The seed heads are now forming on mine and start out as light green 'sprays' of tiny flowers, that swell, and turn into seeds. If they drop off they replant for the next year. If you harvest all of it at early green seed stage, rarely do you get any for next year.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2009 at 4:43PM
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Harvesting: Harvest the leaves in autumn or once the plants reach 15-30cm high. When flowerheads appear, harvest for seeds. Cut and dry the plants when seedheads begin to turn brown and before the seeds fall.

Culinary Uses: Use leaves or seeds in teas, butters, cakes, breads, vinegars, soups, with fish, in pickles, in salads.

Medicinal Uses: An excellent digestive which is suitable in tiny doses for babies with colic. Chewing the seeds will help clear bad breath. Dill stimulates the appetite. A decoction of the seed may be helpful for insomnia, as well as for pains caused by flatulence. (This is called Gripe Water.) Nursing mothers can use dill to promote the flow of milk.

Try serving cooked beetroot with a creamy white sauce to which you've added some chopped dill leaves. Broccoli is good this way, too.

Dill seeds go well with cabbage, in the same way as you'd use caraway seeds.

Lay dill leaves over fish before baking.

Sprinkle chopped dill leaves over some sliced cucumbers to serve as a side-salad or an accompaniment to curry dishes. Nice with sour cream added.

Dill Dressing
1/2 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons French dressing
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill

Combine all ingredients thoroughly. Serve with fish, especially salmon, tomatoes, cucumber or cold chicken.

Boil some new potatoes, and while still warm pour over some French dressing and sprinkle on some dill seeds. Serve warm or cold.

Dill goes well with avocados or beans.

Add chopped greens or seeds to white fish and salmon dishes, egg, cheese tomato, potato, and cucumber dishes. Use the seeds in hearty vegetable and legume based soups, cook whole with carrots or parsnips, and use in pickling, in vinegars. Goes well with lamb, veal and chicken.

Here is a link that might be useful: recipes using dill

    Bookmark   June 28, 2009 at 7:59PM
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Thanks for all of the info! I just got really excited about that "weed" in my garden :-)

    Bookmark   June 29, 2009 at 1:34AM
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There are different kinds of dills.
The short ones that have a lot of leave and tall ones that will have few leaves and can grow up to 5 feet tall and seed.
With the short ones, you harvest them whem they are about 8 inches tall. The tall ones are mostly ornamental and for seeds. My short ones gone but the tall ones have green seed umbrellas now. Dills are cold crops if you want to use their leaves, otherwise will bolt and leaves will turn yellow.

Dill leaves make good dip, in Greek yogurt(strained yogurt through cheese cloth).
Add some garlic(cooked and mashed) some hot pepper, to taste.
Also dill goes well with fish and seafood.
Add to rice (after starts boiling, stir few times), serve the rice with fish.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2009 at 2:06AM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Add to mayo (store bought or freshly made) for a great flavor. I will NOT make coleslaw without dill in the mayo, for example. Add sour cream to the mayo and dill for a salad dressing that's really nice over a grilled chicken and mixed green salad. (Add grapes and mandarin oranges, too).

    Bookmark   June 29, 2009 at 12:06PM
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What's the best method to store harvested dill?

    Bookmark   February 21, 2012 at 4:10PM
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fatamorgana2121(Zone 5/6)



    Bookmark   February 21, 2012 at 6:25PM
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When storing my dried Dill it Must be Completely Dry. I clip the leaf and seed head into a basket and leave it in a dry warm area until crumbly before transferring to a jar. Hopefully I've harvested enough for the year as it's so yummy on everything from pasta, salads, fish.... I just Love it....

    Bookmark   August 31, 2013 at 6:04AM
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seysonn(8a WA/HZ 1)

That kind of dill, shown in the above post, is used in floral arrangement. It is also perfect to flavor pickling. But if I was to dry it, I would only trim the seed pods and dry those, for flavoring, cooking.

You can also try to salvage as much leaves as yo can. I chop them and the freeze them, instead of air drying. Freezed dills maintain more flavor and aroma.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2013 at 7:53PM
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I harvest the dill leaves when they are nice and bushy. Wash thoroughly (aphids like dill), shake the water off or dry in a salad spinner and place directly into ziploc bags. Put them in the freezer and take out what you need. I find dried dill does not have as good a flavour as frozen.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2013 at 5:07PM
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