when to plant dill

telow(7a)February 17, 2011

Researching dill this morning. Some sites say it germinates in 1 to3 weeks and one site said it could take up to 35 days to germinate. Very confusing. Since cukes generally pop up in about a week, when do you plant the dill to be ready for pickling?

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I did sow dill seeds last week, I can some already sprouted. I think its magic of ProMix? By the way our home heated @72 constant.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2011 at 10:31AM
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Okiedawn OK Zone 7


The variation in germnation dates is wide because dill germinates quickly in warm soil but much more slowly in cold soil.

I usually scatter sow some dill seeds in the garden around March 1st and sometimes I start some inside as backup plants in case a late freeze gets the early ones. You can succession sow dill seed every couple of weeks.

I often sow Mammoth dill along the north garden fence so it can get as big and tall as it wants without shading anything else.

I put shorter versions here and there around the garden, and often put fernleaf dill in the mixed flower/herb border that is on three sides of the garden.

If you succession sow dill every two or three weeks, you'll have dill weed and dill seed throughout the growing season so that you'll always have dill weed or dill seed (whichever one your pickle recipe calls for) when needed. You also can dry dill and either freeze it or vacuum-seal it and it will maintain its flavor for a long time.

In some parts of the country, it is really hard to get dill and cucumbers to be at the right stage for pickling at the right time because often the dill is early and the cukes are later. Here, though, since we can plant cukes fairly early, it is easier to get the timing to work out, although I still succession plant because in hot years the dill wants to go to seed more quickly.

Dill prefers to be direct-seeded and can stall after being transplanted, so if growing it inside, it is best to grow it in some sort of plantable container (peat pellets, soil blocks, peat pots, cardboard tubes from toilet paper or paper towels-cut down to 2 or 3" in height, or paper cups with the bottoms cut out) and transplant while it is still pretty small to avoid transplant shock. Often, dill that is transplanted will just sit there a couple of weeks without showing much obvious growth, but eventually it takes off.

Chandra, It likely is the magic of warm temperatures although the ProMix certainly doesn't hurt!


    Bookmark   February 17, 2011 at 11:04AM
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Are you planning to use dill foliage or seeds, Telow? Dill prefers cooler weather, and will really struggle when it gets hot, assuming it doesn't die out.

Another note on dill is that it (along with fennel) dislikes transplanting. While it is not recommended, it can be done, just use caution to disturb the roots as little as possible. Or, you can use peat pots, newspaper pots, toilet paper rolls, etc., that can be planted directly into the soil. I've also heard you shouldn't plant fennel or dill near tomatos and carrots. But a good companion for dill is cucumbers. How poetic, huh?

Don't expect to harvest all of your Dill. Black Swallowtail butterflies lay eggs on both Dill and Fennel, and the caterpillars will consume a lot of foliage. The payoff is that you get those huge, beautiful black, blue and orange butterflies pollinating your garden. Just plant lots of Dill. Or you can plant lots of fennel and move the cats to the fennel, or parsley, or Rue.

Just remember that these herbs don't like wet feet, but they do like good, organic soil.

Tom Clothier's database says Dill germinates in 14-21 days at 60 degrees. There are differing opinions on length of time it takes to germinate, so I wouldn't worry about it. Some suggest succession sowing so you have a longer period of time to harvest.

Cukes mature in 55-65 days according to what I've read. Don't know for sure since this will be my first year growing them. Dill matures in about 48-60 days. These figures are from date of transplant, not date of sowing seed.

I found the attached article on growing and harvesting Dill that might interest you.


Here is a link that might be useful: Growing and Harvesting Dill

    Bookmark   February 17, 2011 at 11:37AM
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You guy's are better than my Wymans encyclopedia. Thanks

    Bookmark   February 17, 2011 at 1:50PM
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What's a Wyman's Encyclopedia, Telow, lol!


    Bookmark   February 17, 2011 at 2:36PM
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