Drying dill from your home garden can’t be beat for fragrance and flavor. Home grown dill is so much stronger it puts store bought dill out of the running. Once you try dill from the garden you will not go back to the status quo.
I wanted to make some dill pickles and was frustrated when I could not find dried dill when my cumbers were ready. That year I settled for the little bottles of dill weed and seeds in the spice section.
I was greatly disappointed when 6 weeks later my pickles were weak on dill flavor. The next season I vowed to fix the problem. I planted dill in the spring. With the cool wet spring my dill quickly germinated and grew to 3 feet in height.
I had more dill than I could use, so what to do with all that dill? Why not dry it? You never know when the harvest will fail from year to year so drying dill keeps a supply on hand.
I have dill when ever I want to make dill pickles, cucumber sauce or potato salad.
Dill plants are ready to harvest for dill weed and using in pickles when the flowers are just about to open.
1. Pull the dill out of the ground by the stems. The stems will be ½ inch to ¼ inch in diameter (leave some dill plants to harvest dill seed later).
2. Bundle the stems together to form a bundle about 2 inches around.
3. Hold the bundle upside down and cut off the roots. Secure the end of the bundle with a rubber band or tie with twine.
4. Hang the bundles upside down and hang in a warm dry spot in a shed or a garage.
5. The dill will dry in 1 to 2 weeks depending on the temperature. When the dill is thoroughly dry it will crumble when touched. 6. To store dried dill, break stems leaves and all into 6 to 10 inch pieces and store in a plastic bag. Label the bags with the date and store in cool dark place until needed.
To harvest dill seed you will want to wait for the flowers to open.
1. After the flower heads have opened and the heads begin to turn a yellow brown color, the seeds heads are ready to harvest.
2. With scissors, cut off the dill flower heads and place them in a plastic bag. I use a gallon size zip lock bag.
3. When the bag is full place in a warm dry shed or the garage to dry. Do not close the bag top. You want air flow to dry the dill heads.
4. As the dill heads dry the seeds will fall to the bottom of the bag. After the dill heads are thoroughly dry close the bag and store in a cool dry place.
The dill seeds can be separated from the heads and stored in a jar of left in the bag.
Drying dill is easy and economical; leave some dill plants in the garden to reseed for next season’s crop.