Dill-Fernleaf

  • Plant Type: Warm-season annual
  • Sun: Full Sun/Part Shade
  • Plant Size: 18 to 24 inches tall
  • Culinary Use: Leaves and seed for seasoning

Dill brightens the garden with feathery green foliage and yellow summer blooms that turn to dill seed. An improved variety, Fernleaf dill packs lots of dense foliage into a more compact plant, plus it’s slower to set seed and provides a longer harvest period. Fernleaf is a 1992 All America Selections Winner. Good for containers.

Plant in spring after the last frost. In warmest climates, you can also grow dill in fall, but an unexpected frost will kill the plant. Though a warm-season herb, dill prefers mild weather—not too hot or too cold.

Plant Spacing: 12-15 inches. Plants Per Person: 1 to 2.

Secrets to Success »

Dill likes direct sun. Choose a sunny spot in the garden where the plant can reseed, and keep it well watered, especially in dry times. The plants may need staking while in bloom. If you have the luxury of space, avoid planting dill near fennel since possible cross-pollination of these two can produce variable results when you're letting plants reseed. In a small garden, don't sweat it; it's not always the case.

Harvest and Use »

Harvest leafy stems any time they are big enough to suit you. Regular cutting will delay the tall bloom stalks. Chop the fresh leaves for salads and dressings. To preserve only the foliage, harvest the whole plant as it begins to bloom and freeze in a freezer bag. Flavor is better frozen than dried. To collect dill seeds for pickles, sauerkraut, and other uses, let the lovely flowers bloom, then snip the flower head, dry it, and collect the seeds.

Try these garden companions »

  • Boston Pickling cucumber for dill pickles.
  • Cabbage for sauerkraut.
  • Onions grown for young spring onions.
  • Parsley and cilantro.
  • Lettuce for salads containing dill.

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