Garden Fuck-Up: What's the Dill?

Sorry, couldn”t help myself with that title. But seriously—what the hell is going on with my dill? Last year, I totally killed it. And I don”t mean “killed it” like hipsters mean it, as in, holy crap I just kicked ass and I”m amazing. I mean I literally. Totally. Killed it. After just two weeks.

This year I decided to plant it again, because of course I would do better. With one more year of gardening under my belt, my thumb one brighter shade of green, I planted my dill with full confidence that I would grow that sucker tall and strong. I”d have so much of the stuff I”d be mixing casino pa natet it in with carrots, pickling my cucumbers with it, and making “dill onion bread.” In just a few short weeks I might literally turn Greek from all the batches of yogurt I”d mix it with. By hipster definition, I”d kill it. But shortly after:

I killed it. Every other herb in my herb garden is flourishing, but this guy sent up brown, stiff, ugly little middle fingers sprouting from the dirt. What”s up with my dill? What am I doing wrong? Because I”m kind of salivating over that onion dill bread that I”ve yet to make, and the stubborn little garden gnome that lives inside my head won”t allow me to purchase dill from the grocery store. Any ideas?

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  • Courtney August 17, 2012  

    This same thing happened to me. The thyme and chives I planted next to my dill are flourishing while it, as you said, “sent up brown, stiff, ugly little middle fingers sprouting from the dirt”. Someone who knows something: help!

  • Ali Macaluso August 17, 2012  

    Yes, please! Glad I’m not the only one, Courtney!

  • Roslee Orndorff August 17, 2012  

    I really, really wish I knew what my Mom did…it grew like a wild weed for her (at least in my memory) I remember seeing huge plants in her garden when I was little. I hope you find out what will work. I can’t keep any culinary herb alive that I’ve tried raising on the “window sill” in my various apartments. I kill off every last one of them, though I follow the directions for their care. I am fortunate that I live in the largest city in New Mexico…here I can find lots of “fresh” herbs….perhaps not always the ones I want at the moment, but I can always substitute….it being New Mexico, I never have trouble finding good cilantro or chiles…ever!!

  • Ali Macaluso August 17, 2012  

    Roslee, I need the secrets of your mom’s dill!!! 🙂 Thanks, I hope so too. Yeah, window boxes are tough – I’ve never had much luck either. I’m jealous of your over-abundance of cilantro and chili peppers – two of my favorites!

  • Ellicia August 20, 2012  

    I was so hoping someone would come up with the answer. It isn’t called dill weed for nothing. How hard can it be to grow a weed for goodness sake? I have had trouble transplanting tap root plants such as parsley and cilantro and dill so I started growing them from seed. But even growing dill from seed eludes me.

  • MonkeyBoy August 20, 2012  

    Have you seen any caterpillars on the dill? Black Swallowtail ‘pillers eat up dill, parsley, and carrots. With my dill they will eventually eat it to what yours looks like. Parsley has so many leaves that they don’t destroy it as much.
    They are pretty unmistakeable, yellow and green zebra stripes and about the size of your pinky right before they cocoon.

  • Lauren August 22, 2012  

    My mom always told me that dill likes to be alone – it needs to be in a pot on its own, not close to other plants. Also, if you want to grow a lot of dill, better to raise several smaller plants than one large one. *shrug* I don’t garden, so I do not speak from experience – might be worth a try!

  • Ali Macaluso August 23, 2012  

    @Ellicia, me too – I feel like a total dill weed. @MonkeyBoy, I haven’t noticed any, but who knows – they very well may be the culprits when I am not looking…although my parsley seems to be okay…@Lauren, so Dill is an anti-social biatch like Rosemary?!? Sheesh, these herbs are high maintenance….thanks for the recommendation – I will give her her own space next season! 😉

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