How To Grow Dill Indoors | Urban Cultivator
How to Grow Dill Indoors
Dill is an annual leafy herb which can be added to many savory dishes—especially soups and stews—for extra flavor. Like many herbs, dill can be grown indoors relatively easily. Dill can thrive in potting containers or pots, as long as it’s grown in the proper conditions and not overheated. Plant dill seeds in spring, so that the plants can grow in warm, sunny weather. Prior to planting your dill, purchase dill seeds, a deep pot or planter, well-draining soil, and multi-purpose compost from your local plant nursery or home and garden store.
Planting Dill Seeds
Fill a pot or planter with well-draining soil.Dill thrives in nutrient-rich soil that drains well and will not form puddles. Select a pot or planter with holes in the bottom (so the soil can drain well), and fill it at least ¾ full with soil. The pot or planter should be deep, at least 10 inches (25 cm), to give the dill’s deep roots enough room to expand.
- You can purchase planting soil at a local plant nursery or hardware store.
- When grown in the outdoors, dill can stand fairly poor soil.
Mix a multi-purpose potting compost into the soil.Compost will give the sprouting dill seeds much-needed nutrition, and help them grow well and produce plenty of leaves. Use a trowel or your hands to mix the compost and soil together in the pot or planter before adding the seeds.
- You can purchase potting compost at a local plant nursery.
Plant dill seeds from –1 in (1.9–2.5 cm) deep.Dill seeds should not be planted deeply. Use your finger to press each individual dill seed into the soil in your pot. Then run your fingers or a small hand-held rake through the soil, so that the dill seeds are lightly covered with soil.
Plant multiple seeds 12–15 inches (30–38 cm) from one another.If you’re planning to plant multiple dill seeds, give each one plenty of space so that the stalks and branches of the full-grown plants don’t become entangled. Due to this large distance, you’ll need a large planter if you’d like to grow several dill plants.
- Dill should sprout in 10-14 days. Once the seeds have started to sprout, do not replant the dill plants.
Maintaining the Growing Dill
Keep the dill plants around 70 °F (21 °C).When grown indoors, dill plants prefer temperatures on the cool side. So, adjust your indoor thermostat so that the temperatures hover around the low 70s.
- Dill plants may wilt and die if left in high temperatures for too long.
Locate the pot so the dill receives 5-6 hours of direct sun each day.Dill thrives in full sunlight. Place the plant in a south-facing window, or on a porch or patio that receives full sun for several hours a day.
- If left for weeks without enough sunlight, the dill will wither.
Insert a wooden stake near the base of the dill plant.As the dill grows, its stalk may not be strong enough to support the plants own weight. Help the plant by placing a stake in the soil near its base once the plant is about 1 foot (0.30 m) tall. Over time, the dill will grow around the stake.Purchase a stake at a local hardware store or plant nursery.
- The stake doesn’t have to be made from any special material. A dowel would suffice, as would any firm piece of wood at least 2 feet (0.61 m) tall.
Water the dill plants at the soil level twice per week.If the soil feels dry, water the plant until water runs into the dish beneath the pot or planter. Water by pouring the water directly onto the soil from a height of 2–3 inches (5.1–7.6 cm). This becomes important once the dill stalk reaches 2 feet (0.61 m), because the leaves could mildew if watered from overhead.
- To see if the dill needs watering, press your finger into the soil: it should be damp, but not muddy or soaking wet.
Harvest the dill when a plant has 4 or 5 leaves.Once the dill plants are mature, you can harvest the herb at any time.Or, check the calendar (assuming that you marked down when you planted the seeds). Dill will be mature about 8 weeks after the seeds were planted.
Snip the dill weed leaves off of the plant.Use a pair of sharp household scissors to cut the leafy, edible part off of the stem.The edible part of the dill plant is the feathery, light leaves. You can harvest as much of the dill at once as you like, since taking a large harvest won’t damage the plant. Once the leaves are harvested, use the scissors to cut the dill leaves up as finely as you like.
- If you don’t have sharp scissors, you can use your thumb and index finger to pinch the leafy parts of the dill off of the stems.
- While dill seeds are edible, they’re used for different culinary purposes than the leaves.
Eat the dill or store it in an airtight container.Unlike many other herbs, fresh dill and dried dill have markedly different tastes.If you prefer the taste of fresh dill, only harvest as much as you’ll eat over the span of a few days. If you plan to store some dill, keep it in an airtight container like a plastic bag. This will maintain the herb’s fresh flavor. Fresh dill will keep for a period of 2 weeks.
- Dried dill is also commonly stored in a small glass jar and kept in the household spice drawer or spice rack.
- Disinfect cutting tools with isopropyl alcohol or diluted bleach before and after harvesting dill.
- Rinse dill completely with warm water before you eat it.
- When mature, the dill plants can reach up to 2–4 feet (0.61–1.22 m) in height. Dill grown in small containers, though, may not reach this height.
- Dill plants grown in indoor containers will not regrow. So, if you’d like to harvest dill year after year, you’ll need to re-sow annually.
- Dill plants grown indoors do not usually produce enough seeds to make seed harvesting worth your while.
Video: How to Grow and Harvest Dill
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