How do I grow dill?

This annual herb has been used since biblical times, no doubt because it is so easy to grow and has a number of uses, both medicinal and culinary. It is most commonly used to add aromatic qualities when cooking fish by adding the chopped leaves. It has liquorice and parsley tastes. It also goes well with egg dishes, vegetables and cheese. A preparation of dill infused water is also reputedly good for calming the digestive system and reducing flatulence.

Dill is easily grown from seed or alternatively seedlings can be purchased in punnets. The plants have attractive feathery foliage and lacy yellow flowers and grow to around a metre in height and would not be out of place in a bed of ornamental plants. Spring is the ideal time to plant dill in a sunny well drained corner of the garden.

Plant dill seeds approx. half a centimetre deep, into rich, well-drained soil. Sow dill directly where it will grow, as it does not adapt well to transplanting, and ensure it has a site protected from wind. Keep soil moist and the seeds should sprout within two weeks. Thin seedlings out  to about 30cm apart to allow the plants to thrive. You can continue sowing seed every fortnight or so to provide a steady supply of dill throughout the season, and dill will also self-seed if left to its own devices. Pick the flowers off as they appear to encourage more leaf growth.