How to Grow Dill: A Toronto Master Gardeners Guide

Dill (Anethum graveolens). Dill is an annual herb grown for its fine thread-like leaves (dill-weed) and for its seeds. Both leaves and seeds are used commonly in Scandinavian cooking. Depending on the variety, dill may grow to 120 centimetres tall. With its attractive feathery foliage dill can make a striking addition to a mixed bed.

Cultivation: Dill does not transplant well, so sow the seeds where they are to grow, either in the ground or in pots. Seeds can be planted as soon as the ground reaches 8°C and can continue into late spring. Dill thrives in full sun, with well-drained soil that is kept moist but not wet. Leaves can be harvested within 30-55 days of planting. Dill is quick to bolt (flower prematurely) so unless it is being grown for seeds, trim off flower buds or make successive sowings to extend its season. Trimming the top leaves regularly will also extend its life.Harvest seeds once the flower head has dried, about 100-115 days after planting.

Dill plants are susceptible to wind damage and may need support. Dill is also susceptible to infestation by aphids and is a host to black swallowtail caterpillars, which may temporarily cause significant damage.

Disclaimer: Toronto Master Gardeners does not advise or recommend herbs for medicinal or health use. Any information in the recommended resources should be regarded as being for educational purposes only and should not be considered as a recommendation or an endorsement of any medical or health treatment.

 For more information:

RHS Herbs: Growing  https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/profile?PID=679

Herb Society of America Quick Facts: Dill https://www.herbsociety.org/file_download/inline/0057e7c3-ab18-4301-b46f-fff2ece06d1f

Herb Soc of America. Essential Guide to Dill https://www.herbsociety.org/file_download/inline/0191822e-0527-4cac-afb6-99d2caab6b78

OMAFRA http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/CropOp/en/herbs/culinary/dill.html

RHS Grow your own herbs https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/grow-your-own/herbs/dill

Date revised: December 2021

Prepared by the Toronto Master Gardeners, these Gardening Guides provide introductory information on a variety of gardening topics.  Toronto Master Gardeners are part of a large, international volunteer community committed to providing the public with horticultural information, education and inspiration.  Our goal is to help Toronto residents use safe, effective, proven and sustainable horticultural practices to create gardens, landscapes and communities that are both vibrant and healthy.

Statement on Invasive Plants: When choosing plants, avoid invasive plants, which can spread quickly and dominate gardens.  Invasive plants are sold by nurseries, big box stores or even at community plant sales.  Invasives may already be present in your garden.  They can invade gardens by spreading from under a neighbour’s fence or may be transported by wildlife.  For beautiful, sustainable options to invasive plants, see the Ontario Invasive Plant Council’s “Grow Me Instead – Beautiful Non-Invasive Plants for your Garden” at https://www.ontarioinvasiveplants.ca/resources/grow-me-instead/before purchasing or accepting “gifts” of plants.

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