Growing Dill From Seed: A Comprehensive Guide

Bouquet Dill Adventures in Gardening Pohnpei, Micronesia
Bouquet Dill Adventures in Gardening Pohnpei, Micronesia from

When it comes to culinary herbs, dill is a popular choice for both its distinct flavor and its versatility in various dishes. Whether you want to add a fresh touch to your salads or enhance the taste of your pickles, growing dill from seed is a rewarding and cost-effective way to have a constant supply of this aromatic herb. In this article, we will walk you through the step-by-step process of growing dill from seed, from choosing the right variety to harvesting your own homegrown dill.

Choosing the Right Variety of Dill

Before you start growing dill from seed, it is important to choose the right variety that suits your needs. There are several types of dill available, each with its own unique characteristics:

  • Bouquet Dill: This variety is commonly used for pickling due to its high oil content and robust flavor.
  • Fernleaf Dill: If you have limited space, this compact variety is ideal for container gardening or small gardens.
  • Mammoth Dill: As the name suggests, this variety grows to be quite tall and is often used for its leaves rather than the seeds.

Planting Dill Seeds

Once you have selected the right variety, it’s time to plant your dill seeds. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you:

  1. Choose the Right Time: Dill is a cool-season herb, so it’s best to plant the seeds in early spring or late summer. Avoid planting in the hottest months of the year.
  2. Prepare the Soil: Dill prefers well-drained soil with a pH level between 5.5 and 6.5. Before planting, loosen the soil and remove any weeds or debris.
  3. Sow the Seeds: Plant the seeds ΒΌ inch deep and space them about 12 inches apart. If you are planting in rows, keep a distance of 18 inches between each row.
  4. Water the Seeds: After planting, water the seeds gently to keep the soil moist. Avoid overwatering as it can lead to rotting.
  5. Provide Adequate Sunlight: Dill thrives in full sun, so make sure your plants receive at least 6-8 hours of sunlight per day.

Caring for Dill Plants

Once your dill seeds have germinated, it’s important to provide proper care to ensure healthy growth. Here are some essential tips:

  • Water Regularly: Dill plants need consistent moisture, so water them regularly. However, be careful not to overwater, as it can cause root rot.
  • Thin the Seedlings: When the seedlings are about 2-3 inches tall, thin them out to provide enough space for each plant to grow properly. Keep a spacing of 12-18 inches between each plant.
  • Support Tall Varieties: If you are growing tall varieties like Mammoth Dill, provide support with stakes or a trellis to prevent them from toppling over.
  • Remove Weeds: Regularly remove any weeds that may compete with your dill plants for nutrients and water.
  • Fertilize Sparingly: Dill does not require heavy fertilization. Apply a balanced fertilizer once during the growing season to provide essential nutrients.

Harvesting Dill

Once your dill plants have reached maturity, it’s time to harvest them. Here’s how:

  1. Wait for the Right Time: Dill leaves can be harvested as soon as the plant reaches a height of 8-10 inches. For seeds, wait until the flower heads turn brown and start to dry out.
  2. Harvest the Leaves: To harvest the leaves, simply snip them off with a pair of scissors or pinch them off with your fingers. Be sure to leave some leaves on the plant for continued growth.
  3. Collect the Seeds: To collect the seeds, cut the flower heads when they are fully dry and place them in a paper bag. Shake the bag to release the seeds, and store them in an airtight container.


Growing dill from seed is a simple and rewarding process. By selecting the right variety, planting the seeds at the right time, and providing proper care, you can enjoy a constant supply of this versatile herb. Remember to harvest the leaves and seeds at the right time to maximize flavor and freshness. Whether you use dill in your cooking or for its medicinal properties, there’s no doubt that having your own homegrown dill adds a unique touch to your culinary creations.

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