How To Grow Dill Successfully

Question From: P. Romanik - Warren, Michigan, United States
Q: Dear Nancy: Trying to grow some dill for pickling. I have a very hard time getting it to grow. I have planted it in my garden in a spot where it gets all day sun, have tried it in planter pots, and also, spewed it among my roses in the fall. It does come up, looks like grass, doesn't grow anymore that 3-4" and does not have the flower head on it. The price of it at the farmers markets is a lot and I thought since I make a lot of pickles, it would be easy to grow. Help me grow some dill please. There has to be an easy way to grow it and save me some money... Oh, read your column on great gardening gifts, and I know you will enjoy the last item-the Khurpa flat trowels. I ordered them in the spring, and have not gone back to the regular trowels. They are great and you will like them. Can get into any spot! Thanks

A: Pam, Dill likes full sun - at least 6 hours, and moderately fertile but well drained soil. Plants should be thinned when they are 3 to 4 inches high to a foot apart. Over watering may be an issue for you. Allow the surface of the soil to dry in between waterings. When you stick your finger in the soil it should be moist when you hit the fist knuckle on your finger. Transplanting is a no no as dill has a long tap root. Plant seeds 1/4 inch deep in soil two weeks before the last frost. It may flower and bolt in high heat, so successive plantings should be made. Overfertilizing may also be an issue. Feed it once at about 6 weeks with a fish fertilizer, such as Neptune's harvest with Kelp. You may want to work some compost into the top two inches of soil before planting. I recommend Organimax - you can get it online and at English Gardens. A little goes a long way. An inch on the surface of the soil will do. Best And Happy Yardening, Nancy.