Dill (Anethum graveolens) is native to the East and is part of the herbs with strong scent. Its name comes from the Greek "anethon" which means "of unknown origin" and "grabeolens" in Latin means "strong smell". It is an aromatic plant used since Antiquity: Egyptians and Romans used it a lot to throw headaches out.
Dill is an annual herbaceous plant similar to fennel but is easier to grow than this one. Very popular for its delicate taste, it is often called the "bastard fennel" or "false anise" because of its anise scent.
The only ways to propagate dill are by direct sowing or by spontaneous sowing (if nature is allowed to do so) because this prolific plant does not like to be transplanted. Furrows about 1 cm deep must be traced every 30 cm. Then, when first leaves appear, seedlings needs to be thinned out to 20-30 cm apart. It is not recommended to transplant thinned plants because dill has a taproot and is therefore very delicate. Dill can be planted in greenhouse or inside any time of the year, but outdoor sowing should be done in spring or early summer. Staggering planting times is a great way to spread out harvest time.
Location / Exposure
Dill needs a lot of light and heat, but must be sheltered from the wind because its stems are very delicate. Dill can grow fairly well in an ordinary soil, but always light and well drained. So if the land is too compact, sand and soil must be added. It is good to know that dill should not be sown next to fennel, otherwise they risk to make a cross pollination.
It is really easy to take care of this aromatic herb because it's an undemanding plant. It is only necessary to water only when the ground is dry, but it is important to pay attention to the drought because the lack of water accelerates bolting. It is mostly young plants which are sensitive to drought. Although care is minimal, it is always good to enrich the soil with a good organic amendment such as compost, manure or algae.
Harvesting is possible throughout the growing season, so late into the year. But it is better to harvest the leaves just before flowering (which takes place between July and September) and the seeds during the autumn, when they are ripe.
We can say that dill is a hardy plant because it can support small frosts.