How to Harvest Dill - Backyard Boss
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How to Harvest Dill

Growing herbs can add plenty of flavor to your food. They are simple to grow, whether you want to plant them in a garden or containers. Among plenty of herbs to choose from, dill is one of the loveliest ones, and you can use it in numerous dishes, from fresh salads to homemade pickles. 

The great thing about harvesting dill is that you can cut as much or as little as you need, leaving the rest to grow rather than harvesting all of your fresh dills at once.

Even though harvesting dill isn’t a complicated task, we created this guide, so you can be sure you are doing it right!

What Is Dill?

Bunch of dill
Image credits: Melody Zimmerman via Unsplash

Before moving on to how to harvest dill, it is worth explaining what it really is.

Dill is a perennial herb native to Europe and Asia, but it is commonly used in all cuisines around the world. It is categorized as a cool season herb, meaning it thrives best in chillier months of the year.

It is so popular due to its delicious flavor that can improve the taste of any dish from steak to fish. Not only that, its leaves are responsible for flavor enhancement but, the brown and flat seeds contribute significantly with their slightly citrus taste.

Materials Needed

harvest of fresh dill
Image credits: dianazh via Canva

In order to start harvesting dill, gather your materials first.

  • A pair of sharp scissors
  • Paper bag
  • Water
  • Kitchen towel
  • Sealed bag
  • Plastic bag
  • Ice cube trays
  • String
  • Air-tight container

What is The Best Time To Harvest Dill?

Fresh harvesting dill
Image credits: rusak via Canva

Even though you can harvest dill at any moment to get the most out of its taste, do this before it starts to flower. The reason behind this is that, at this point, its leaves contain the most potent oil, significantly enriching their flavor.

Just as with other herbs, you should harvest dill during a dry day. Do this early in the morning after the evaporation of the night’s dew from the dill and before the heat begins.

Dill grows very fast, so it is usually ready to be harvested after six to eight weeks from planting it. However, the moment it has four to five leaves, you can get a jump start harvesting it.

Remember to allow the plant to fully mature and do not pick more than a third of the plant.

Harvesting Dill

Farm Worker Harvesting Dill
Image credits: JMichl via Canva

Step One: Water Before Harvesting

If you want your dill to grow new leaves straight after you harvested it, it is crucial to water it in advance. Since it’s best to collect your dill in the morning, water it well the night before so it can stay hydrated.

Step Two: Trim The Leaves

You can harvest the leaves using your hands, but to make sure you don’t harm the plant, it’s best to use a pair of sharp scissors/shears. Cut the leaves stems from the main plant, being careful not to accidentally damage it.

Step Three: Collect The Seeds

Don’t let any of this plant go to waste. Just like the leaves can be harvested and used for cooking, the seeds can too!

To collect the seeds from the plant, you have to wait a little bit longer until the flowers fade. The best sign that they are ready to be picked is when they start to turn brown.

As not to lose the falling seeds, put a paper bag over the dill’s heads and bend the stem. After that, simply cut the stem and allow the seeds to drop into your bag.

Ways To Store Dill

dill
Image credits: nata_vkusidey via Canva

There are many ways to enjoy your dill long after you harvested it. Let’s take a look at the most popular methods:

Storing In The Refrigerator

It is probably one of the most used ways of storing freshly harvested dills due to its simplicity and efficiency. Just wash your dill, wrap it in a kitchen towel, and place it in a sealed bag before putting it into the refrigerator.

Keeping In the Water

When storing this way, cut the full stems, put them in the container filled with water, and cover them with a plastic bag. However, change the water every day to make your dill stay fresh for a longer period.

Freezing

If you don’t want to use your whole dill right away, but you save some for later, it’s best to freeze it. All you have to do is chop it and place it in ice-cube trays with a little bit of water. Thanks to that, your dill will be good to use for a minimum of four months!

Drying

This is another great method to make your dill ready to be used for a long time. Unfortunately, dried dill won’t have so much flavor as freshly cut ones.

To start, tie a few dill leaves with a string and hang them upside down in an area with proper ventilation. When they are dried, store them in an air-tight container.

Dill With It

You can grow dill homegrown just for the pleasing height and color offered by this tall stem and yellow blossom plant. However, the flavor it brings when freshly harvested is the number one reason to do it.

The other advantage to growing dill is that you can harvest whatever quantity is needed. Some recipes call for as little as a single sprig, and being able to harvest your own will save you money and wasted herbs.

You can use a few storage techniques once you harvest your dill, but remember that timing of harvest is a key to the final quality of the herb. Understanding how to best harvest the dill you’ve grown will help you to get the most from the plant – and not to mention transfer all that fresh flavor to your food.

Let us know what you think about growing and harvesting dill, and as always, please share!

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