HomeGrowing TipsContainer Gardening7 Easy Tips for Growing Dill in Containers

7 Easy Tips for Growing Dill in Containers

Dill is an aromatic and flavorful herb that can be easily grown in containers right on your patio or balcony. The feathery green leaves of dill add flavor to many dishes, while the seeds are used as a spice. Dill also has many medicinal uses and can be made into a tea, tincture, or infused oil.

Growing Dill in Containers
Image Credit: Wallpaper Flare

Growing dill in containers allows you to have a fresh supply of this tasty herb right at your fingertips. Containers keep the long taproot of dill contained and make it easier to move the plant around to give it the sunlight it craves. With just a bit of care and planning, you can have success growing dill in pots.

Why Choose Dill?

Dill has been used for centuries both for cooking and medicine. The leaves and seeds have a tangy, anise-like flavor that enhances seafood, salads, potatoes, soups, and more. Dill helps relax muscles and aids digestion. It also contains many essential vitamins and minerals like calcium, manganese, and iron. If you’re new to herb gardening, dill is one of the easiest herbs to grow.

Branches of growing fresh dill close-up | Growing Dill
Branches of growing fresh dill close-up

Having your own dill plants means you can use more of this flavorful herb to add taste to everyday meals. And you’ll be able to harvest it fresh—dried dill lacks the nuances of just-picked sprigs.

The Importance of Growing Dill in Containers

Dill has a long taproot that searches deep for water and nutrients. Growing dill in containers helps constrain the roots while still allowing the plant to thrive. Pots can be moved to follow the sunlight. And keeping the plants in containers prevents dill from taking over garden beds.

Tip 1: Choosing the Right Container for Growing Dill

Select a container at least 12 inches wide and deep to allow ample room for dill roots. Plastic, ceramic, and wood containers all work well, as long as they have drainage holes. Avoid metal containers, as they transfer heat too well. Dill grows best in a container with drainage holes to prevent soggy soil. Add a layer of gravel in the bottom of the container to improve drainage.

Tip 2: The Best Soil for Growing Dill

Dill thrives in loose, well-draining soil. Use a quality potting mix, or make your own by combining compost with perlite or vermiculite to lighten the texture. The ideal pH range is 6.0 to 7.0. Test kits are available to check soil pH.

Tip 3: When and How to Sow Dill Seeds

Growing dill greens in a pot. Closeup view.
Growing dill greens in a pot.

Sow dill seeds directly in containers outdoors 2-3 weeks before the last spring frost date. Or start seeds indoors 4-6 weeks earlier. Plant seeds 1⁄4 to 1⁄2 inch deep and 6 inches apart. Gently water after sowing, and keep the soil consistently moist for best germination.

Dill can be succession planted every few weeks to ensure a constant supply. Make additional sowings through midsummer.

Tip 4: Proper Watering Techniques for Growing Dill

Dill needs consistently moist soil during the germination period. Water whenever the top inch of soil is dry. Be sure containers have drainage holes, and empty excess water from saucers to prevent soggy soil.

Established plants are fairly drought tolerant, but growth will be best with regular watering. Drip irrigation systems or soaker hoses work well. Allow the soil to partially dry out between waterings.

Tip 5: Sunlight and Temperature Requirements for Growing Dill

Dill flourishes in full sun. Place containers in a spot receiving at least 6 hours of direct sun daily. Dill can tolerate partial shade but may get spindly and flop over without enough sunlight.

Dill grows best with temperatures between 60-70°F. It can withstand a light frost. But prolonged exposure to temperatures below 50°F or above 80°F will cause the plants to bolt and flower pre-maturely. Add mulch around containers to help moderate soil temperatures.

Tip 6: Companion Plants for Growing Dill

Dill attracts beneficial insects with its small flowers. It’s a great companion for vegetables like lettuce, kale, broccoli, onions, and cucumbers. Plant dill near these crops to help control pests.

Herbs like parsley, basil, chamomile, and cilantro also pair well with dill. Just avoid planting dill near carrots or tomatoes.

Tip 7: Harvesting and Storing Your Dill

Harvesting and Storing Dill

Harvest dill leaves once the plant is about a foot tall. Snip leaves as needed, taking care not to remove more than one-third of the plant at once. Harvest leaves in the morning after the dew has dried.

Let dill plants flower and go to seed if you want to collect dill seeds for cooking. Seeds turn brown as they mature. Cut off the flower heads and place them in paper bags to finish drying indoors.

Store freshly cut dill sprigs in the refrigerator wrapped loosely in plastic for up to one week. Dried dill leaves and seeds will be kept for months and stored in airtight containers in a cool, dark place.

Common Problems While Growing Dill in Containers

Dill is prone to aphids and spider mites. Check plants regularly and spray off pests with water. Yellowing leaves caused by soggy soil can be prevented by not overwatering. Bolting, where the plant prematurely goes to seed, happens when the dill gets too warm. Keep plants cool to avoid bolting.

Growing your own dill is easy and rewarding. With proper care, and following these 7 tips, you’ll be harvesting heaps of fresh dill from your containers all season long.

Conclusion

Growing dill in containers is a simple and rewarding way to have a supply of this flavorful herb right at your fingertips. Follow these easy tips for the best results. With the proper soil, sunlight, watering routine, and container, you’ll be harvesting mounds of fragrant, fresh dill leaves to elevate your cooking all season long. The anise-like tang of homegrown dill is a taste that can’t be matched by store-bought herbs. Get ready to enjoy this versatile plant by planting some dill in pots on your patio or windowsill this year.

FAQs

Can dill be grown indoors?

Dill can be grown indoors if placed in a sunny window or under a grow light. Use potting mix, and water regularly, and provide at least six hours of sunlight per day.

How often should I water dill?

Water dill whenever the top inch of soil becomes dry. Check soil moisture daily. Avoid overwatering, which can cause root rot.

What pests commonly affect dill?

Aphids and spider mites are attracted to dill. Check the undersides of leaves for small insects, spraying them off with water or insecticidal soap as needed.

Is winter dill cultivation possible?

Dill is a cool-season plant that will not thrive indoors over winter. You can sow another crop in late winter to early spring to restart your dill supply.

How to prevent dill from bolting?

To prevent bolting, make sure dill gets adequate sunlight and does not experience prolonged exposure to temperatures above 80°F. Harvesting regularly and succession planting also help minimize bolting.

Is dill safe for pets?

Yes, dill is safe for pets like dogs and cats. But introduce new foods like dill gradually and in small amounts to avoid upsetting their digestive system.

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