Dill seeds are among the easiest of all seeds to plant. They can quite literally be scattered over the soil and be expected to germinate.
Dill is a great indoor plant. The seeds can be started in seed trays with a good soil containing a high level of garden compost.
Step 1: Prepare the Soil
The soil has to be well drained and rich. A mixture of potting soil, garden compost and lawn sand will be ideal. The soil should be a uniform color and crumbly.
Step 2: Sow the Seeds
The seeds can be simply sprinkled over the soil and misted with water to settle them. A shallow covering of soil will do no harm and probably help keep the seeds from drying out. Put the trays about 6 inches under a fluorescent tube and give the seeds 12 to 14 hours of light a day. A protective plastic cover will help to keep the soil moist. The seeds will germinate within 3 weeks. Remove the plastic cover and water the seedlings when the soild starts to dry.
Step 3: Transplant the Seedlings
When the seedlings are big enough you should transplant them into pots. Dill has a long tap root so any seedlings need to have a deep pot for this tap root to grow in. Once the decision to grow in pots has been made, stick to it. Dill does not transplant very well. The pots should contain the same rich soil mixture as the germination trays. When transplanting the seedlings be careful not to damage the tap roots.
Step 4: Prolong Growth
By pinching out the tops of the stems you can delay or even prevent the flowers from developing.
Step 5: Location
Dill needs an area with direct sunlight though it will cope with afternoon shade. The stems can be weak so an area sheltered from the wind would be useful.
Step 6: Early Planting
Dill does well when planted in cool weather. If you can predict your last frost, you can plant the dill 2 weeks before that. Once you start the planting you can set in another batch of seeds every 10 to 12 days to maintain a constant fresh supply of dill through the season. If you have to pull out some young plants to thin them slightly, use them in your cooking, they are delicious.
Step 7: Spread the Seed Towards the Back of the Herb Garden
Dill can grow to 3 or 4 feet tall so it is a good plant to use at the back of a herb garden. Although the seeds should be 6 to 9 inches apart, dill will tolerate some crowding. The crowding will protect many weak stems from wind damage.
Step 8: Problems
Dill is quite a robust plant and doesn’t suffer from many diseases. Unfortunately, it is a favorite food for caterpillars. Unless the caterpillars become a major problem, they can be picked off by hand.
The ease with which dill grows makes it a favorite with new gardeners and children as a starter plant.