Dill flowers form a loose, umbrella-like head.

How to Prune Dill

by Lynn Doxon

Dill (Anethum graveolens), a multipurpose annual herb, grows easily from seed. The leaves, called dill weed, go well with fish, vegetables, eggs and other dishes. Florists sometimes use fernlike dill leaves for filler and the flowers for bouquets. The entire seed head with leaves attached or just the seeds are used to make dill pickles. Seeds are also used in pastries, bread, soup and dressing.

1 Remove the entire dill leaf by cutting the stalk where it meets the stem. Harvest leaves at any time during the growing season. Early morning is the best harvest time and flavor is strongest just before the flowers open.

2 Cut the flower stalk for a bouquet when it has turned completely yellow. Leave enough stem attached for the arrangement you plan to make. Cutting the flower head sacrifices seed production but you can continue harvesting leaves as long as they are green.

3 Cut the seed head when the seeds are light tan and firmly attached. Place the seed heads in a paper bag; tie the bag around the stems and hang it upside-down. The seeds will drop to the bottom of the bag as they ripen.

Items you will need

  • Scissors

Tips

  • Dill leaves are best used fresh but can also be frozen or dried
  • Seeds do not have to be mature to use for pickles. Immature seed heads with leaves attached are often used.
  • Store ripe seed in an airtight container.

About the Author

Lynn Doxon has a Ph.D. in horticulture, is a retired cooperative extension specialist and teaches courses in urban farming. She is the author of three books: "The Alcohol Fuel Handbook," "High Desert Yards and Gardens" and "Rainbows from Heaven." Doxon wrote the Yard and Garden column for the "Albuquerque Journal" and numerous magazine and newspaper articles and cooperative extension service guides.

Photo Credits

  • PhotoObjects.net/PhotoObjects.net/Getty Images