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Dill

Where to plant:

Plant dill in an area where the soil won’t be disturbed much and your dill will re-seed itself year after year. Plant near cabbage and onions but AWAY from carrots. If you grow fennel, keep it away from dill as well, as they can cross pollinate and seeds will produce oddly-flavored hybrid seeds.

When to plant: 

Dill can be planted when soil temperatures are between 60 and 70ºF. Because dill doesn’t like to be transplanted, it’s best to start it in place. If you’re going to keep it in a container, use a larger pot (10-20 gallon) so that it can grow.

How to plant:

Dill can be considered a weed, as it grows very easily and a single plant can take quite a lot of space. However, once dill grows, it’s useful and is a great attractor for pollinators. 

Dill can be free sown (scattered around), or you can space dill seeds 12-18” apart. Dill can sit at the surface, but to avoid birds taking your seeds, lightly cover with dirt. Germination takes between 10 and 14 days. Once the plants appear, wait another 2 weeks to thin plants to 18” apart.

When to harvest: Dill produces 2 separate crops: leaves and seeds.

Dill leaves can be harvested once the plant has 4-5 leaves. Cut or pinch leaves as needed! If you need a larger portion of dill weed, such as for pickling, be sure not to harvest more than 1/3 of the plant. To prolong leaf harvest, you will deadhead (remove) any flowers.

For dill seeds, you need to let the plant fully flower. Allow the flowers to stay in place and for the seed heads to ripen. This usually occurs during the summer. You will cut the heads into a large paper bag and allow to dry out completely. Then you can give the paper bag a few good shakes to separate the seeds from the rest of the plant.

How to use dill:

Dill seeds can be used in pickling, or to infuse oil or vinegar. Young dill leaves can also be used for pickles, or as herbs in soups, sauces, or salads. Use the leaves fresh or dried!

How to make dill pickles fresh from your garden:

2 wide mouth pint jars with lids

1.5 lbs pickles

4 cloves garlic - peeled and smashed

2 tsp dill seed

1 cup cider vinegar

1 cup water

1.5 tbsp pickling or kosher salt

Make sure that your cucumbers are small enough to fit in your desired jar if pickling whole, or cut your cucumber into appropriate lengths or slices - choose firm, ripe cucumbers and avoid limp or wrinkled fruit.

Wash your cucumbers and cut away any bruises/blemishes

Make sure that your jar is very clean and add dill seed, garlic, peppercorns, or any other spices to flavor your pickles - experiment to find what you like best!

To make your pickling liquid, mix equal parts cider vinegar and water mixed with salt - also try substituting other vinegar types for varying flavors

Put spices in the bottom of the jar, then your cucumbers, then your brine - you can eat the pickles right away, but if you let them sit and soak for awhile, they will taste even better

If you want to keep your pickles for more than a few weeks, you’ll need to process them in a hot water bath to seal them - we recommend a weight or leaving 1/2” of space below the jar top to cover the cucumbers fully with brine (to prevent botulism) - however, processing will cook the cucumbers and make them softer (less crunchy) - if you put the pickles into the fridge, they will be much crunchier and keep for a few weeks.

Original recipe: https://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-make-dill-pickles-cooking-lessons-from-the-kitchn-193350