The annual, herbaceous plant grows to a height of 75 cm in summer. The smooth plant smells extremely aromatic and has an appetizing effect with its light green color. The stems of the dill grow upright and only fork in the upper section. There the plant branches out into 15 to 30-rayed double umbels and can be seen from afar because of this optics. Dill was already used as a medicinal and aromatic plant in ancient Egypt and was also known and loved in ancient Greece and Rome. Even today, dill should not be missing in any well-run kitchen, because as a spice it gives numerous dishes an inimitable tart and spicy aroma. So it is not surprising that committed hobby gardeners like to grow this plant themselves.

The most popular types of dill

Dill has been grown around the world for thousands of years. Therefore there are hundreds of different types of dill, with four types having proven to be particularly popular in Germany:

Tetra-Dill gives a higher yield because this variety produces larger foliage. This gives the plant a stronger aroma. In addition, Tetra-Dill is extremely robust and withstands many pests. The Tetra-Dill Mammut variety grows just as well in the open air as it does in the greenhouse and also impresses with its distinctive aroma because it does not bloom until late. In Germany, a new breed has been successful with the name Herkules, which is very popular because it provides many leaves with a pleasant aroma. The dill four-of-a-kind variety is particularly popular with gardeners because, thanks to its long stems and good stability, it is an excellent green for a beautiful bouquet of flowers.

Extension on the balcony or terrace possible

If there is no greenhouse available, the hobby gardener has the choice of planting dill either in the ground or in pots with growing media. Of course, it is also no problem to grow dill in a pot on the balcony at home. Then the yield is manageable, but it is always enough for one or the other delicious fish dish, a spicy herb butter or a fresh cucumber salad. Direct proximity to fennel, which is also often grown on terraces or balconies, should be avoided because these two varieties do not go well with each other. Whichever place of planting you choose, it should definitely be sunny. Dill may also be able to cope with light partial shade, but then does not thrive as well as in full sunshine. Cucumber herb is deep-rooted and therefore requires a correspondingly tall planter. Flower boxes are therefore less of an option than a tub. It is important that the pot has a drainage hole so that no waterlogging can build up. Ideally, a pottery shard is placed over it so that the substrate cannot clog the drainage hole. Anyone who decides to grow dill in a pot should observe the following care instructions:

  • Cultivation takes place from March in the house by the window;
  • Homemade potting soil promises more success;
  • Potting soil at 200 ° in the oven kills spores, germs and fungi;
  • sifted balcony soil is best;
  • the pot should be in a bright place;
  • always water well;
  • Avoid waterlogging at all costs;
  • It goes out into the open only after the Ice Saints;
  • Harvesting is possible from the end of May, depending on the sowing;
  • Fertilizing is not required;
  • the young shoots and tips are suitable for seasoning;

If the seeds turn brown, the umbels can also be harvested. The seeds are now also suitable for seasoning dishes. On the other hand, if you keep them dry and in a dark place, you will have all the ingredients for a new seed at hand for next spring.

Cultivation of dill in the field

If the cucumber herb is to be grown in the garden bed, the hobby gardener chooses a loose and calcareous soil. A sunny to partially shaded location will ensure little effort in caring for the dill. Ideally, the bed should also be placed sheltered from the wind, which also promotes a rich harvest later. The best sowing results are achieved when dill is planted in rows with a distance of 20 cm to 30 cm. Since the plant gets along well with other garden plants – with the exception of fennel, basil and garden cress – it makes sense to plant dill between vegetables, lettuce or onions. The seeds get 1 to 2 cm underground and usually germinate within 10 to 17 days. The optimal germination temperature is between 10 ° and 30 ° Celsius. The germination capacity is improved, if the seeds are briefly showered with cold water. If you take heed of the following care instructions, you will enjoy the mildly spicy plant right from the start:

  • first sowing between March and June;
  • weed weeds regularly between the young plants;
  • the soil must not dry out;
  • Do not grow dill in preculture;
  • young dill can only rarely tolerate repotting and pricking;
  • until August, subsequent sowing is possible every 3 to 4 weeks;
  • in autumn, dill also sows itself;
  • alternatively, collect and sow seeds in September;
  • in the following spring only cut plants from a height of 20 cm.

By the way, dill is not only suitable for use in the kitchen. Thanks to its lush appearance, more and more hobby gardeners are planting the cucumber herb in their flower beds. Dill also cuts a fine figure as part of a bouquet in the vase.

Greenhouse cultivation provides fresh dill all year round

There are now greenhouses on the market in many different sizes that are also of interest to the hobby gardener. If watering and soil care are right here, dill can be planted and harvested in the greenhouse all year round. There is never bad weather here and the temperature is set individually with the help of a suitable heating device. Windows should be able to be tilted or opened to ensure adequate ventilation. During the lower-light months, it is important to clean the glass panes regularly. The hobby gardener now has the choice between a ground planting and a pot planting with dill. With regard to the importance of crop rotation explained later, there are important arguments in favor of growing dill in pots,

Of course, there is nothing against creating mixed cultures in the greenhouse, for example from dill, zucchini, tomatoes, leeks, lamb’s lettuce and spinach. Regular irrigation understandably plays an even greater role in the greenhouse than in the open area. In addition, the addition of compost to enrich the soil should not be dispensed with. In any case, however small, a greenhouse provides the family with home-grown vegetables and spicy dill for a healthy diet all year round.

Diseases and pests

Dill is mostly afflicted by the diseases and pests typical of umbellifers. The cucumber mosaic virus or the parsley Y virus can make dill plants difficult to create. The clinical picture is mostly associated with wilting symptoms. Since these viruses are mostly transmitted by aphids, controlling them should be a priority. With a solution of 100 g wormwood, diluted in 1 liter of water, there is a good chance of driving the aphids away so that the viruses cannot establish themselves in the first place. Infested plants should be removed immediately in any case. The dreaded umbel blight occurs preferentially on dill plants. Initially, dark spots develop in nests that only affect individual flowers or umbels. If the infestation is recognized in good time, the only thing that helps is to generously remove the diseased plants, avoid overhead irrigation immediately and thoroughly disinfect all tools. During germination, emergence disease poses the greatest danger to the young plants. It occurs when the plants are planted too closely together because dill is incompatible with itself. The fungi that develop in this way can be combated with a solution of onion peel, which is soaked in water for several days and then regularly sprayed over the dill plants. Basically, if the emergence disease occurs, a crop rotation is required for the next sowing, which means that a garden bed is chosen on which no dill has yet been planted. Should the dreaded aphids attack the cucumber herb plants, Here too – as in numerous other cases – spraying nettle stock can help to save the situation. Lavender in the immediate vicinity of the dill also keeps the annoying pests away.

Dill is used for pest control

Dill is not only popular as a herb and an attractive addition to a bouquet; the plant itself is also a valuable biological weapon in the fight against pests. In addition, dill promotes the germination of other plant seeds such as cucumber, lettuce, beetroot, onions or carrots. The smell, which is pleasant for the human nose, keeps root pests such as the carrot and onion fly in nature and also drives away the harmful cabbage white butterfly. The experienced hobby gardener therefore prefers to grow dill in mixed cultures, because in this way he benefits twice from this versatile plant. Also suitable as neighboring plants are savory, peas, strawberries, kohlrabi, beans and many more. However, you should definitely avoid being in the immediate vicinity of basil, fennel, caraway and garden cress.

Fertilization and harvest

In principle, the dill plant does not need any additional fertilization. Nevertheless, an economical distribution of compost should be conducive to a richer growth. Since the dill is besieged by weeds, especially in the early growth phase, a layer of mulch about 2 to 3 cm thick could significantly reduce the annoyance of weeding, as the weeds hardly receive any oxygen. Otherwise it is important to regularly check the moisture of the soil. A soil that is too dry is just as harmful as an environment that is too humid, in which waterlogging occurs. The dill is harvested from the end of May until October, depending on the time of sowing. The tips are cut off about 15 cm to 20 cm long and processed as freshly as possible. Dried dill quickly loses its flavor.

Crop rotation plays an important role in dill plantings

Since dill is incompatible with itself and is therefore particularly susceptible to emergence disease and Fusarium wilt, a targeted crop rotation also plays an important role for the hobby gardener. A well thought-out and effective crop rotation is also possible in smaller garden areas. The basic principle works in such a way that annually changing types of plants are grown on each bed. The Romans were already familiar with the Doubt economy and planted the beds alternately with a different plant every year. The advantages of alternating cultivation lie in the differentiated build-up and breakdown of nutrients, which ultimately leads to an increase in yield and more resistance to pests. Weeds, diseases and animal pests do not have the time to really spread sustainably. This does not only apply to the cultivation of dill and the mixed crops associated with it, but basically applies to the entire agricultural cultivation, even if it is only pursued as a hobby. Experts therefore advise cultivating dill to keep a crop rotation of four years.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *