Tips on growing dill weed

Dill is a wispy herb that grows 2 to 3 feet tall. I chose 'Fernleaf' dill (Anethum graveolens), which grows 18 to 24 inches tall. One plant is sufficient for my cooking needs for the year. I prefer to plant dill in a pot rather than in the garden as the seeds tend to over volunteer.

Planting

Dill does not transplant well, so plant the seeds indoors into peat pots six to eight weeks before the last frost. Another option is to wait until after the last frost and then plant the seeds directly in the ground and lightly cover them. Purchasing starter plants is also an option. Choose a sunny location and plant dill about 12 inches apart.

You can also plant dill in a deep pot to grow indoors. Place the pot in a bay window for the most sunshine or about 6 inches under of a grow light. Potted, its growth will be restricted to perhaps 1 to 2 foot tall.

Though dill is an annual plant, it does self-seed. So if you do not want the dill plant in the same location next year, be sure to cut or pinch off the blooms before they produce seed.

Care

Dill requires no soil enhancement. Pinch off the tops to encourage branching. You can pinch off buds for a longer growing period of the foliage. Water during dry spells.

Harvesting dill for meal preparation

Once the foliage appears, you can snip some for cooking. Dill weed can be frozen and stored in a plastic resealable bag or sealed plastic container.

Uses for dill weed

Use dill to flavor foods like:

·         Cauliflower
·         Cucumber dishes
·         Dips made with sour cream
·         Fish (salmon)
·         Meat (lamb, beef, pork)
·         Potato dishes
·         Soups and stews
·         Salads
·         Vinaigrette
·         Zucchini