One of the tallest herbs
Dill is one of the most versatile herbs, used in stews, casseroles, pickles, fish dishes and many more. Because it will taste best when used fresh it’s ideal to grow dill indoors.
You can grow it using:
- Soil (ideally in full sunlight)
- Hydroponics (as above – ideally on a balcony or terrace)
- Aquaponic (as above, and keep it well trimmed)
In this article we will cover:
- How to use dill in recipes
- How to grow dill indoors
- How to harvest dill
How to use dill in recipes
There are 3 main ways you can use dill
- North African Dishes – usually with meat
- Russian Dishes (often on soups & potato dishes)
- Scandinavian Dishes (often with salmon & crayfish)
In addition there are also a few other uses (Sorry, a bit of a ‘catch-all’ – see below)
If you want to use dill then the video below shows the most common way to chop dill.
North African Dill Dishes
Dill is a very popular ingredient in North African dishes – and adds a unique flavour to recipes.
Once you’ve grown dill at home, why not try recipes like
- Moroccan Vegetable Pot and Couscous with Pine Nuts and Dill
- Chebtiya – A traditional Tunisian meatball recipe
- Couscous with Touches of Orange, Dill, and Pistachio
Dill in Russian & East European Dishes (often on soups & potato dishes)
A key advantage for dill is that it can be used in both hot and cold soups (i.e. in the winter or summer). Or mixed with dairy products (like cottage cheese or sour cream) for delicious sauses.
For example in Russia it’s used in both hot red borsht as well as cold borsht (called okroshka)
So, why not try:
- Russian hot red borsht or cold borsht (called okroshka)
- Romanian borş (meatball soup)
- Polish zupa koperkowa (dill soup)
- Czech koprova (creamy sauce) and potatoes
Scandinavian Dishes (often with salmon & crayfish)
The unique flavour & taste of dill makes it ideal to use with fish or fish recipes.
For example in Sweden it’s used when cooking crayfish
- Swedish Crayfish with dill (Kräftor med dill)
- Swedish Smoked Salmon with Gravlax
- UK Fish pie with smoked salmon, prawns and dill
Many, more dill recipes
The above are just a few examples. But dill is used in salads, sandwiches, wine (in Greece), pickles, in Iran it’s eaten with Rice, in India it’s used in curries, In Thailand it’s used in dishes like mok pa (steamed fish in banana leaf) and in China it’s extensively used in stir-fries.
How to Grow Dill Indoors
As shown above, there are lots and lots of different ways to use Dill as an ingredient in cooking.
If you want to grow dill indoors then you need to bear 3 key items in mind:
- Sunshine – dill with thrive on warm to hot summers with high sunshine levels; even partial shade will reduce the yield substantially.
- Height – dill is a tall herb and can grow up to 40–60 cm in height.
- Moisture – it will prefer rich, well drained soil – which is why it’s such a great plant for hydroponic systems.
Which is why it’s ideal for something like the balcony hydroponic kit
If you want to grow it in soil
You can grow dill indoors in pots any time of the year, but ideally in a sunny position.
If you want to grow dill outdoors or on the balcony you will need to sow it between early spring and the start of summer; in well-drained soil in a sunny position.
If you are using pots then sow the seeds thinly directly into finely raked, moist, warm soil at a depth of 13mm.
- It will germinate between 7 and 14 days.
- Then thin the seedlings to 20cm between plants.
Aquaponic or Hydroponics Dill
Dill is ideal for hydroponic or aquaponic growing.
Starting aquaponic or hydroponic dill
The most difficult element will be propagation from seed.
Propogation from seed will take 7 to 14 days, and you can either use the option of growing parsley in pots (as above) or an easier option could be to use organic moistened propagation cubes like to ones available from Amazon (shown right).
Aquaponics or not ?
Dill is one of the herbs most often recommended for an aquaponic system. But beware !!!
Yes, it can grow incredibly fast, but can also get very big and ‘hog’ your system. Either prune it or replace it frequently.
Transplanting Dill plants
No matter if you are planting in soil or in a hydroponic garden then the placement of the dill should be very similar. Dill is one of the taller full grown herbs and can reach up to three feet in height. By placing it behind the other plants you will allow access to all of the herbs while allowing the smaller plants to have sun and shade as needed.
But, but, but….
When you plant it next to other herbs or plans be very carefull.
Especially outside dill can attract many (often beneficial) insects when the flower heads go to seed. Which is why it makes a good companion plant for cucumbers and broccoli. However it is not recommended to plant it near either carrots or tomatoes.
How to harvest dill
Dill will grow rapidly with slender stems and soft delicate leaves.
If you are using the dill fresh, simply cut of the required quantity and prepare as per the video further up the pgae.
If you want to dry the herbs (for use at a later stage) then collect in sunshine when flowers are just opening. Bunch, and hang the stems upside-down indoors.
Please note that dill is at it’s best when used fresh as it loses its flavor rapidly if dried.
Once you’ve moved them it will take about 20 to 30 days before you start using the parsley ingredients.
How to start
Hopefully our guide showing how to grow dill indoors has helped.