Dill is a popular herb that can be used for medicinal or culinary uses. If you’re growing dill, you may be wondering when you should harvest dill.
You can virtually harvest dill at any time of the year. However, you will want to harvest them right before the plant starts to flower. This is when the oil in the leaves of the dill is most potent.
Can You Harvest Dills Too Early?
You can harvest dills early, but I recommend that you don’t. If you do harvest them, you will notice the leaves will not be as flavorful.
If you’re going to use dills in soup or other food that require mixing, you won’t notice it. However, if you’re going to garnish your salad with fresh dills, it’s best to not harvest them too early. You’ll want to enjoy the flavor that dills have to offer.
How to Harvest Dills
Harvesting dill is a bit more challenging than other herbs because it can be harvested at two different times: before the seeds form or at maturity. To harvest dill for use in cooking, you’ll want to remove just the stems from the plant — either by cutting them off with scissors or pulling up the entire plant. If you choose to pull up your dill, you can dry it like any other herb and then store it whole until ready for use.
When harvesting dill for seed production (which we recommend), wait until after flowering has occurred and all of the flower heads turn brown. At this point, simply cut off all of your stems and hang them upside down in paper bags to dry out further before removing them from their pods and storing them in an airtight container where they will keep fresh indefinitely!
Storing Dills After Harvesting
Here are some methods for storing dills after harvesting:
Pickle the Leaves
Pickling dill after harvesting is easy and quick. Just follow these simple steps to pickle dills in your own kitchen.
Step 1. Rinse the dill with cold water, then shake off excess moisture.
Step 2. Place the dill in a heat-resistant bowl or jar. Fill the container with vinegar and water (equal parts) and bring it to a boil over medium-high heat.
Step 3. Pour the hot liquid over the dill leaves and let them steep for 1 hour at room temperature before refrigerating them overnight.
Step 4. Store your pickled dill in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks or freeze it for later use.
The easiest method to freeze dill is to wash it and place it in freezer bags. You can use any size bag, but I recommend using quart-sized bags for the best results.
To freeze the dill, simply wash it thoroughly and let it dry completely. Then place the dill into a freezer bag and squeeze out as much air as possible.
Place the bagged dill onto a cookie sheet or other flat surface in your freezer until frozen solid. This will take about two hours for 1/4 pound (113 grams) of fresh dill. Once frozen solid, you can remove from the cookie sheet and place into a freezer-safe container or bag for long-term storage.
Dills is a great herb to plant and use in the kitchen, but if you don’t know when or how to harvest them, they can go bad before you have a chance to enjoy their delicious flavor. The best time to harvest dill is as soon as it reaches maturity (around 6 inches tall) and begins blooming with white flowers. Harvesting dills too early or too late will affect their taste so it’s important that they stay on the plant until the right time comes around!