Long Island Mammoth Dill
Dill is well known for the pickles it flavors and as a lovely flavor added to salads, cold soups and fish. The seeds and the foliage are both flavorful, and the seeds are reputed to be a cure for flatulence.
How to Sow
- Sow outdoors in spring after danger of frost. In frost-free areas, sow from fall to early spring.
- Sow in average soil in full sun.
- Sow seeds thinly and cover with ¼ inch of fine soil. Seed needs light to germinate.
- Firm lightly and keep evenly moist.
- Seedlings emerge 10-21 days.
- Thin to 12 inches apart when seedlings are 1-2 inches tall.
Planting Potted Plants in the Garden:
- Select a location in full sun with good rich moist organic soil.
- Prepare the bed by turning the soil under to a depth of 8 inches. Level with a rake to remove clumps of grass and stones.
- Dig a hole for each plant large enough to amply accommodate the root ball.
- Carefully remove the plant from its pot and gently loosen the root ball with your hands to encourage good root development. Be careful with the roots as dill roots are easily damaged.
- Place the top of the root ball even with the level of the surrounding soil. Fill with soil to the top of the root ball. Press soil down firmly with your hand.
- Use the plant tag as a location marker.
- Thoroughly water and apply a light mulch layer on top of the soil (1-2 inches) to conserve water and reduce weeds.
How to Grow
- Keep weeds under control during the growing season. Weeds compete with plants for water, space and nutrients, so control them by either cultivating often or use a mulch to prevent their seeds from germinating.
- Mulches also help retain soil moisture and maintain even soil temperatures. For herbs, an organic mulch of aged bark or shredded leaves lends a natural look to the bed and will improve the soil as it breaks down in time. Always keep mulches off a plant's stems to prevent possible rot.
- Keep plants well-watered during the growing season, especially during dry spells. Plants need about 1 inch of rain per week during the growing season. It's best to water with a drip or trickle system that delivers water at low pressure at the soil level. If you water with overhead sprinklers, water early in the day so the foliage has time to dry off before evening, to minimize disease problems. Keep the soil moist but not saturated.
- Fertilize as needed with an organic fertilizer.
- Remove flowers as they appear to help prolong leaf production for a short time.
- Pinch off spent flowers to help prevent prolific self-sowing.
- At the end of the season, let some go to seed to provide a crop for next year.
- Monitor for pests and diseases. Check with your local Cooperative Extension Service for pest controls recommended for your area.
Harvest and Preserving Tips
- Harvest leaves fresh as needed.
- Leaves may be dried but they lose much of their pungency when used dried rather than fresh. Dill leaves may be frozen.
- Harvest seeds when the flowers are fully developed but not brown. Cut the whole stem and tie in small bundles. Hang in a warm, dry, airy place out of the sun. Seeds can be stripped from the flowers by rubbing the flowers between the palms of your hands. Seeds are great for pickling.
- Store seeds in a tightly closed container in a dark closet or cupboard.