Fresh Dill Recommendation
Answered by: Conrad Richter
Question from: Nancy Roberts
Posted on: March 13, 1999

Can you tell me which variety of dill is best suited to field production. We will be drilling several 4-ft wide by 100ft long beds. On a smaller scale, we have used two methods of harvesting: Cutting off the dill weed about 4" above the ground for re-growth; and stripping off the lowest leaves progressively until the dill goes to flower. What would you recommend. I should mention that the best quality dill leaf is what we are after, as we sell to chefs by weight.

We recommend the Hercules variety as the best for fresh cut field production. It gives excellent yields of leaf matter and has good flavour and oil content.

When we think about harvesting, topmost on our minds is the cost of labour. If your goal is to produce the absolute best quality product where price is no object, then the hand labour of selectively picking off lower leaves as the plants grow is perhaps justified. However, for most situations, the best approach is to cut off the tops of young plants when 12-24 inches high. Once cut, the plants do not regrow; if there is any regrowth, it is not worth the bother. It is better always to seed more and cut new plants as needed rather than trying to harvest any regrowth on previously cut plants.

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