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Dill You Be Mine?

Once again, it’s confession time.  I’ve killed a lot of dill in my day.  You name it – transplants, from seed, little hopeful plugs – I’ve killed them all.  I was beginning to wonder if dill was just a houseplant in disguise (I can’t keep those alive either), but new hope has sprung from the garden this year. 

From everything I’ve read, dill grows best when directly seeded in the garden.  I’ve done that, but the little bugs have always come to devour the tiniest little sprig before it stands a chance of survival.  So I’ve purchased transplants.  Also a failure – the grasshoppers seem to find it delectable.  For some reason, this year, they are leaving me alone.  Maybe it’s because I planted it right next to my tomatoes, which put off that strong tomato smell. I don’t know, but here’s what I did to make it work:

I started with fresh seeds.  Dukat dill was my choice.  I started from seed under grow lights in trays and crossed my fingers.  About 15 days later (after the germination date had passed) a little sprout emerged from the soil.  A hopeful beginning in two cells of my growing tray.

Rather than transplanting them into bigger pots, I decided to transplant the starts into the garden, since dill apparently likes to be direct seeded.  I figured that I’d transplant them before the roots got any bigger and maybe they wouldn’t know the difference.  Apparently that worked… for one of the two sprouts.

One died from lack of water (my fault – I got busy, what can I say?!) The other hung on through a nibble here and there from some local night crawler.  Now it stands about 9 inches tall and I’m pleased to say that we will soon be enjoying a meal with dill.


Not to brag, but please note the Jaune Flamme tomato in the background

Now the big challenge will be to find a recipe to use fresh dill.  As a vegetarian, the usual use of dill in seafood is not appealing, but the idea of potato leek soup does make my mouth water.  My favorite use of dill to date is this great recipe I found on Epicurious:

Herbed Bean and Pasta Soup

It’s so flavorful, I almost ate the entire pot of it by myself.

Then, of course, there’s tzatziki:

Kalyn’s Kitchen: World’s Best Tzatziki

If you have a favorite way to use dill, please let me know.  Share it here!

This Post Has 8 Comments

  1. KalynsKitchen

    You’re not the only one who hasn’t had success growing dill. Back when I was gardening heavily, I rarely had a good year for it, even though I kept trying. Thanks for the shout-out for the Tzatziki recipe!

    1. Christy

      I hear you Kalyn! These days we find great luck with tossing dill seeds (as the plants go to seed in the garden) all over the place. They volunteer in the nooks and crannies and we seem to have dill all through fall, winter, and spring that way. Overseed for success!

  2. Shelley

    I think dill is about location, location, location. Here in the Bay Area it is literally a weed in my yard…I grew a little pot of it (minimal water), and now it’s all over the yard. I’d advise keeping it a little dry. You could add a pinch to egg salad or grow some cukes and make your own pickles!

  3. Darice

    I add fresh dill to my vinegarette salad dressing – gives it a nice fresh zing.

  4. Christy Wilhelmi

    Ooh, I like the idea of dill with cream cheese (or course just about anything with cream cheese makes  me happy).  Thanks for sharing!

  5. Linda

    I thought it was just me! I bought a dill plant from the Descanso Gardens plant show and it is just not happy even next to my tomatoes. I’m going to give your method a try. I like to use dill in egg dishes and it mixes nicely with cream cheese for a dip too.

  6. Rob

    Dill must be to you like brocolli is to me… can’t grow the damn stuff!

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