Dill, Anethum graveolens is an important spice, especially if you are canning pickles. This herb is easy to grow and even if you don't use it for pickles, you can grow it for other reasons. Dill attracts beneficial insects such as bees, parasitic wasps, tachinid flies. If you have fruit trees growing arund your property, plant some dill nearby to help control codling moths and tent caterpillars. Dill also attracts butterflies and is deer and rabbit resistant.
Preparing Your Dill Site
Choose a site that has well-drained soil that receives 6 to 8 hours of sunlight per day. Also, when looking for the perfect place to grow your dill, the spot you choose needs to have some protection from the wind. The stems of the dill plant are tall and hollow. When the wind blows, they can easily fall over.
The best way to plant dill is to sow the seed directly into the ground. You can sow the seed indoors, but dill does not like to be transplanted or disturbed once growing.
Prepare the Ground
Prepare the ground before you sow the seeds. Remove the weeds from the area. Once you have the ground cleared, you can dig or till the soil until it is fine. Remove any rocks, hard clumps or sticks from the soil. Incorporate some compost into the soil. The compost will add nutrients into the soil and also helps to lighten the soil. Leave the soil to rest for several days or a week. You can plant the seeds in rows or you can scatter the seed over the ground.
Make your rows a fourth to a half inch deep with your hoe, a stick or you can use your finger. Water the section well. The seeds are really small, so it helps to mix the seeds with sand before you sow them in rows. This helps to ensure that the seeds are distributed evenly.
Sow the seeds in rows that are two feet apart when all danger of frost is past. Cover the seeds with a fourth inch of soil. Gently water the soil with the misting nozzle of your water hose, or you can use a watering can. You don't want to wash away the seeds. Keep the soil moist until the seeds germinate which can take about 10 days. Thin the dill plants when they reach two inches in height. Leave a space of 10 to 12 inches between each plant.
Dill grows well in dry sunny places, so once the seeds germinate, you can cut back on the watering. For a continuous supply of fresh dill, plant consecutive plantings of dill every two or three weeks through the
Late in the spring, you can give your dill plants a light feeding of 5-10-5 fertilizer.