Dill heads

Discussion in 'Gardening & Plant Propagation' started by Phoebesmum, Jul 1, 2010.

  1. Phoebesmum

    Phoebesmum Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    933
    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2009
    Location:
    Southern Indiana
    I have never grown dill before and would like to use my own dill for pickling this year...but at what point do you cut the dill seed heads off?? Mine are just starting to flower at this point.
     
  2. jwal10

    jwal10 Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    10,367
    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2010
    Location:
    W. Oregon
    Wait until the seeds have swelled but still green. If let to go brown they begin to fall. The flavor is best when still green. You can use the heads when they are in flower but they have less flavor....James
     

  3. Marcia in MT

    Marcia in MT Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    2,648
    Joined:
    May 11, 2002
    Location:
    northcentral Montana
    My extension agent says when the flowers are full but before they go to seed. I'll have to experiment this year, as this conflicts with what James said.
     
  4. Paquebot

    Paquebot Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    14,801
    Joined:
    May 9, 2002
    Location:
    South Central Wisconsin
    The major differences in when to harvest depend upon the degree of dill taste that one wants. Thus any stage between full flower and mature brown seed is fair game. I prefer the green seed stage. If the dill is done before the cucumbers are, and that's usually the case when relying upon volunteer dill, the heads are cut and stored in a bag in the freezer. Then they are always at the stage where I want them. That's the case right now. I've got dill blooming like crazy and not a single cuke in sight.

    Martin
     
  5. amwitched

    amwitched Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,176
    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2004
    Location:
    Texas
    I have a vinegar mixture that I keep in a canning jar (in my fridge). When I pick the dill heads and/or leaves, I just add them to the jar. The vinegar preserves the dill until I am ready to use it. I can also grab out a bit all throughout the year to add to any other dish that I want to add it to.
     
  6. Phoebesmum

    Phoebesmum Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    933
    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2009
    Location:
    Southern Indiana
    Thanks all! Lots of great advice!
     
  7. Allen W

    Allen W Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,844
    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2008
    Location:
    NW OK
    Always picked them when the seed heads started turning and hung them upside down to dry and then keep them in a paper sack until needed. That's how grandma always done it.
     
  8. o&itw

    o&itw aka avdpas77 Supporter

    Messages:
    3,432
    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2008
    Location:
    central Missouri
    In almost every other place but North America it is the foliage of the Dill plant that is used, not the flowers/seeds. As the flower head matures, the taste it imparts does indeed change, I sort of like the flavor the more mature seed heads give (for dill pickles). For dip, of seasoning meats or stews, the foliage seems better.
     
  9. Merit

    Merit Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    317
    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2009
    Location:
    Central Ohio
    I never knew to do anything with the flower/seeds, just the leaves!! I freeze the leaves in the freezer and add them to soups, rice/whatever throughout the year. But putting in a vinegar jar preserves them?? With the taste be negatively impacted? They are remarkably preserved frozen.
     
  10. Paquebot

    Paquebot Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    14,801
    Joined:
    May 9, 2002
    Location:
    South Central Wisconsin
    Here, we're talking about using dill in making dill pickles. Then it's not the leaves which are used but the flower and seeds, usually the seed cluster intact . When using the leaves for cooking, then it's called dill weed and that's best fresh or frozen. Preserving the dill seed in vinegar does not affect the taste since the pickling process is also done with vinegar. The dill is used to impart the dill seed taste to the pickles and is discarded after the pickles are consumed.

    Martin
     
  11. MELOC

    MELOC Master Of My Domain

    Messages:
    7,220
    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2005
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    i would need a really big jar to put a whole cluster of my mammoth dill into. those plants are huge! some of my volunteer plants are 5'8" with 10"+ clusters.
     
  12. Paquebot

    Paquebot Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    14,801
    Joined:
    May 9, 2002
    Location:
    South Central Wisconsin
    In which case, one only uses a portion of the head rather than having the taste of dill be too overwhelming.

    Martin
     
  13. MELOC

    MELOC Master Of My Domain

    Messages:
    7,220
    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2005
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    that is indeed what one does! :)

    not arguing, just bragging!
     
  14. swollen tongue

    swollen tongue Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    260
    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2006
    Location:
    Colorado to Nevada
    I planted dill in my garden three years ago and I am still getting volunteers coming up, almost like a weed........plant spareling........
     
  15. SquashNut

    SquashNut Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    11,431
    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2005
    Location:
    Idaho
    and do not let them go to seed.
    I never planted any in my garden, the previous owner did over 20 years ago.
    we make our salad dressing with the weed in it. and the bunny's think it is the best.
     
  16. Paquebot

    Paquebot Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    14,801
    Joined:
    May 9, 2002
    Location:
    South Central Wisconsin
    Mine are probably the longest continuous non-planted dill on this board. Date from somewhere between 1965 and 1968. Not the worse weed to have in a garden but don't really need nearly as much as it thinks we need!

    Martin