How to harvest dill seed

The scent of dill is powerful and can be smelled as I walk past the plant outdoors or in the house while drying the seeds. I dry dill seeds for planting the next year. Some cooks like to use dill seeds to flavor pickles, meat, bread or in place of caraway seeds such as in sauerkraut.

How to dry dill seed

Dill seed is generated from the flowers that eventually turn brown. A common method to dry the flowers is to clip the flowers when in full bloom, push the flower heads into a paper bag that has holes cut into it for ventilation, and then hang the flowers upside-down. The flowers will dry in about three weeks and release the seeds into the paper bag.

I prefer leaving the stems on the plant to dry naturally with the aid of sunlight. Still, because of rain and humidity, I need to finish the drying process indoors. I snip the almost-dried blooms, leaving only a short stem (about 1/2 inch). I place the blooms on a plate that I set on top of the refrigerator to finish drying. It is summertime now so with the air conditioning on, it takes only days for the seeds to finish drying.

Collecting the seeds

If the dill seeds do not voluntarily fall off, roll the seeds between your thumb and fingers to encourage them to drop. The seeds are about a 1/4-inch oblong shape and dark brown to black. Because I only use the seeds to plant next year's dill weed plants, I am not bothered by the fine part of dead flower mixed in with the dried dill seeds. If you are using the seeds for recipes, gently blow the dead flower pieces from the collected seeds.

Storing dried dill seed

Place the dried dill seed into an air-tight container or zip-type sandwich bag. Store is a cool, dry location. I store my dill seeds in the refrigerator. Use the seeds within one year of harvest. TIP: if you notice moisture forming on the inside of the container or bag of dill seeds, take the seeds out and lay them on a plate or paper towel to dry.

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