How to Grow and Use Dill Weed
Dill is one of the most common and much loved herbs you can grow. They are hardy, drought tolerant, and you can find everything from dwarf types that grow in pots, to giant types that reach the roof of your greenhouse. They are what is called a self seeding annual, meaning they grow from seed each spring, and sprinkle seeds liberally later in in the season for the following year.
Dill is a great beginner’s plant, simply because it grows so easily, is so very tough in so many climates. It just makes one feel like a great gardener because of its quick and hardy growing habits. Here is how to grow your own consistent crop of dill weed.
How to Grow Dill
How to grow dill? Throw the seeds into your garden and let them do their thing. I’m not kidding. In our garden, we never plant dill. It grows, thrives, seeds, and dies on its own. We harvest what we need for fresh and dried usage, much of the rest goes to neighbors and friends, and there is still enough to reseed itself in the fall. Simply shake the seed heads, let the seeds fly, and wait for spring. When the spring comes, till your soil, as usual, enough seeds will still find their way to the top that you will not likely ever be wanting more.
I do suggest not weeding too soon in the spring so that any seeds starting aren’t gotten rid of before they are identified!
Of course, if you are much more fastidious than I, you can plant a row of it and keep it all contained. I like the ‘natural’ look, at least in my garden. Now, having said that, there is a reason it’s called dill weed, and that’s because its prolific seeding habits can quickly have it coming up all over your garden. However, as it is easy to pull out, it is not difficult to bring your garden back under control. And I should add that pulling the entire plant out does not disturb much ground because of the way the root systems grow (very shallow), so it doesn’t usually disturb other plants that are close by when you do.
Cooking With Dill
Dill is famously used as a cooking herb, giving flavor to dips, soups, salads, and bread. You can use the seeds, leaves, and even the stems. The last are best for flavoring in stews and soups as they are very woody and chewy.
Or a thick greek yogurt dip seasoned with freshly chopped dill leaves. Add a pinch of sea salt, and some fresh ground pepper.
You can liven up salads with a handful of freshly chopped dill.
Halibut or salmon cooked with dill, mayo and slices of lemon is an old standby.
Recipe for Refrigerator Pickles
This is for easy pickles when you have some extra cucumbers handy in the summer without going to the effort of actually doing a full scale pickling.
- Jar with a lid
- Handful of dill leaves and/or seed heads
- Garlic clove (or two or three)
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 1 teaspoon of pickling spices
- White vinegar
- Put dill, garlic, salt and pickling spices in the jar.
- Add cucumbers.
- Cover with white vinegar, or your vinegar of choice.
- Put on lid and put in the fridge for a few days for all the seasonings to work together.
- Then whenever you feel like a crispy, cold pickle, you have one!
Dill is very easy to keep. When the seed heads are forming and there’s a lot of that fine, leafy foliage, pull the plant up by the roots. Snip off the root, and hang it to dry. An airy, warm location without direct sunlight is ideal. When the foliage is dry, I like to crumple it into a ziploc bag or mason jar and keep it in a cool dark cupboard to use for winter.
What is your favorite way to use dill? And please share this with any of your friends and acquaintances who need new flavoring in their diets!