Have you tried making potato salad added with freshly cut dill leaves or baking fresh salmon topped with dill. How about making a delicious dill sauce to top a chicken or beef dish? Even if the above don’t appeal to you dill is still a fantastic herb with tons of uses both in and out of the kitchen. Today, we’ll learn how you can start Growing Dill Indoors; this is a fairly easy herb to grow so let’s jump right in.
The first step to growing dill is to make sure you choose a container that is large enough to hold the plant. Like carrots, dill has a long taproot that requires adequate space to grow correctly.
Look to choose a container that is at least 12 inches deep and about 8 inches wide. This will give your more than enough room to grow dill, and give the plant’s roots the room they need to grow.
Also, make sure your chosen container has proper drainage. If it doesn’t have drainage holes make some before planting the dill. You can also add a few inches of small pebbles to the bottom of the container to help with drainage and airflow.
Dills can be grown in any commercial potting soil, but it preferred soil that is slightly acidic. Soil with a pH balance of 5.8 to 6.5 is ideal. Getting this right isn’t that essential though. Dill is quite hardy, so as long as it receives proper nutrients it won’t have a problem growing.
Planting and Varieties
You usually have the option of growing from seed or transplanting a seedling. Both are good options, and you should pick the one you prefer. Be mindful that there are different varieties to choose from, such as Bouquet, Fernleaf, and Dukat. These have slightly different growing characteristics, and some do better in smaller spaces than others.
The Bouquet variety has bright yellow flowers making it ornamental and edible at the same time. This variety is also used for making pickles and teas. Compatto is another variety that can be grown in containers. With this variety, in about two to three months, you are ready to harvest. Dukat variety gives off some strong flavor which is perfect for cooking. Elephants are milder in flavor as compared to Dukat, while Fernleaf gives off some distinct scent. This variety is set for harvest after 40 days. Dwarf Teddy is ideal if you want a faster growing dill variety.
There’s a lot to take in with the different varieties, we’ll be going in depth into them in future articles.
When starting with seeds, lightly moisten the soil before adding the seeds.each other. Give about 4 inches of space between each seed, but don’t worry if they’re a little close as you can always prune later. Then, gently push the seeds in about ¼ of an inch and cover with soil. Keep the soil moist by misting it as required until it germinates. Germination should take about 1-2 weeks.
Dill plants love sunlight, you’ll want to put them in a location that gets about 6-8 hours of sunlight per day. Place your container in a space facing the sun and move it around as necessary if you see your dill start to “bend” towards a certain direction.
You can also use a grow light to supplement, especially during the winter months where sunlight can be less intense. Look to get up the time in light if solely using grow lights, usually around 10.
If you notice that your plant is starting to grow too tall you can use stakes to help support it. In these cases you can also look to move the direction the plant receives light from to help encourage even growth.
Keep your Dill plant in an environment above 60 Fahrenheit temperature but no more than 75 F. Dill is typically known as a cold season plant, so it doesn’t want to get too warm. As with all plants, keep it away from drafty areas or sudden temperature swings as this can be harmful to the plant.
Watering and Feeding
You should aim to keep the soil moist. Once the top inch of soil is dry you can water the plant. Wait until you start to see water leak from the drainage holes to be sure that the soil is thoroughly saturated, and then let the plant sit until soil begins to dry out before watering again.
For feeding look to use a diluted water soluble fertilizer once per month or a slow-release fertilizer. This is usually done only during the summer. Once the winter comes the plant may go dormant and won’t require as much water or feedings. This is region dependent though, and generally only applies to places that get cold winter.
Depending on the variety of your plant and whether you started with seeds your dill should be ready to harvest in about 2-3 months. You can simply snip off the leaves of dill at the stem, it’s that easy. Take care to not harvest more than ⅓ of the plant at any time if you wish for the plant to keep growing. Anymore than that can potentially damage the plant and prevent continued growth.
Pests are generally not much of a concern when growing indoors. That said, aphids are usually the biggest problem faced by dill growers. Check out our article for aphid removal tips.
Growing Dill Indoors
Dill is not just a beautiful herb but has lots of culinary uses as well. It’s great for a variety of dishes and sauces, but is also used in many drinks and teas. The next time you visit a garden shop you might want to consider grabbing some dill seeds to plant.