How to Harvest Dill Without Killing the Plant

Dill is a very well-known herb used in several areas, besides the culinary one, since it is also used in the cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries. Dill is very easy to grow and has a fast growth rate. In this article, we will explain how to harvest dill without killing the plant.

When to Harvest Dill

When to Harvest Dill? Dill should be harvested 6 to 8 weeks after planting. It is also important that the dill be at least 8″ (20 cm) tall and have 4 to 5 leaves per stem.

Dill leaves should be harvested or picked in two periods of the dill plant’s cultivation. The first will be between July and August (Northern Hemisphere), while the second will be ready between September and October (Northern Hemisphere), depending on the time of planting.

If the objective is to harvest the dill to elaborate essential oil, of its parts, the harvesting of the plant should be done when the time in which its flowers are open is ending.

It is advisable to water the dill plant the day before and after harvesting. The best time to harvest dill is in the morning when temperatures are cooler. Learn more about How to Grow Dill.

when to harvest dill
When to Harvest Dill? After sowing, dill should be collected six to eight weeks later. The dill must also have four to five leaves per stem and grow at least 8″ (20 cm) tall.

How to Harvest Dill Without Killing the Plant

How to Harvest Dill Without Killing the Plant? Harvesting dill without killing the plant is very easy if you follow the following tips:

First, you must give the dill time to grow, as mentioned above you should wait for 6 to 8 weeks after planting the dill to start harvesting it. Make sure the dill is 8″ (20 cm) tall and has at least 4 leaves per stem.

Water the dill plants the day before and the day after harvesting, this will allow them to recover faster after harvesting.

Use sharp, disinfected scissors to harvest dill without killing the plant, this is very important to avoid damaging the plant. Cut the dill stems to be harvested at the juncture (see image below). Cutting the dill at the juncture will allow it to recover and regrow.

During the first dill, harvest does not harvest more than 1/3 of the plant and gives it time to recover. Then you should harvest more dill but never harvest more than 2/3 of the plant. I recommend always harvesting with sharp scissors and not pulling the stems so as not to damage the dill plant.

Always harvest the oldest leaves of the dill, these will be the outer leaves. Start harvesting the outer stems of the dill so that it continues to grow properly.

how to harvest dill without killing the plant juncture
How to Harvest Dill Without Killing the Plant? To harvest dill without killing the plant, always make cuts at the juncture (as shown in the image above). It is very important to make the cut at the juncture so that the dill recovers quickly and grows back strongly.

How to Harvest Dill Seeds

How to Harvest Dill Seeds? Dill seeds should be harvested when the flowers are ripe between September and October (Northern Hemisphere).

The seeds, that should be used as a culinary ingredient or in healing recipes, should wait until the flowers have a dark shade, which is the appropriate time to be harvested.

Once the dill flowers are dry, cut them with sharp scissors and place them in a paper bag. Then let them dry in a cool, dry place to remove any remaining moisture. If you are going to use the seeds for sowing again, do not store them for more than 1 to 2 years, this will ensure a high germination rate.

How to Store Dill

How to Store Dill? Now that you know how to harvest dill without killing the plant, we will explain how to store dill correctly.

You should be able to keep fresh dill in the refrigerator for a week, it may even last a few days longer.  Once the dill is harvested, wash it with cold water and dry it as best you can, then wrap it in paper napkins and place it in a hermetic plastic bag. Then place it in the vegetable drawer of the refrigerator.

Another way to store dill is to freeze dill. Wash the dill and remove excess moisture. You should then freeze the dill whole or chopped, and store it in a plastic bag in the freezer. Do not keep it in the freezer for more than 3 to 4 months.

The last method of storing dill is one of my favorites for storing almost all herbs, this is drying. To dry dill, you should use a food dehydrator, but if you do not have a dehydrator, you should dry dill in the following way:

  • Hang the dill upside down in a well-ventilated place.
  • Let the dill dry for at least 2 weeks.
  • When you touch the dill and notice that it crumbles to the touch, that is when the dill is dry.
  • Store dried dill in a hermetic jar for up to 1 year. Store the jar in a cool, dry place.

These are the best methods for storing dill at home. We hope this article on how to harvest dill without killing the plant will be of great use and that you will have an excellent dill harvest all season long.

how to store dill
How to Store Dill? There are several methods to store dill, but my favorite is to dehydrate it, it allows me to always have dill in my kitchen.
About Julia Morgan

We are the Morgans, Henry, and Julia, both agronomists from the University of Michigan, where we met. We are experts in putting our hands in the soil and developing organic foods and improving production processes for decades. Likewise, we have worked for companies such as Mondelez International, BASF, Monsanto, etc. currently in our role as science writers for as well as advisors in promoting large scale food growing in urbanized areas. In this website, we share what we are most passionate about, gardening and farming. Enjoy and see real photos on our website. We hope that all our advice will be useful to you and that you will become an expert gardener.