Microgreens are a simple way to add extra nutrients and interest to your food. They add a delightful crunch and unique flavor. If you’re looking for something different to liven up your lunch, try dill microgreens. They’re zesty, have the dill flavor that’s reminiscent of pickles, and taste great with a variety of foods.
Dill microgreens can benefit your health, too. They contain vitamins A, B, C, E, and K, amino acids, iron, calcium, potassium, zinc, and many more other nutrients that we probably don’t eat enough of. Since you can grow microgreens indoors in a small space, you can easily have year-round access to these nutritional benefits.
Growing dill microgreens is simple and rewards you with a harvest in just a couple of weeks. Let’s take a look at how you can start growing these greens in your home.
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Dill Microgreens Quick Info
|Flavor:||Aromatic, grassy, zesty|
|Soak:||4 hours in cold water (optional)|
|Ideal Harvest:||12-15 days|
Growing Dill Microgreens
The process of growing dill microgreens is similar to other types of microgreens. You put the seeds in a tray, water them, and in a couple of weeks, you’ll have greens that are ready to eat. Let’s jump into the growing instructions and take a closer look.
These are the materials you’ll need to get started.
- Seeds: We love the dill microgreen seeds from True Leaf Market.
- Containers: You’ll need 2-3 shallow containers. One tray should have several holes in the bottom, and the others should not.
- Growing medium: Espoma’s seed starting mix or our Urban Worm coconut coir are excellent choices to start your dill seeds in.
- Light: A T5 grow light is highly recommended.
- Bonus: Heating mats and a spray bottle are recommended but aren’t required.
Some of our favorite dill varieties from True Leaf Market are the following:
You can grow microgreens in almost any container, but we recommend shallow growing containers because it will help the soil stay consistently moist. As the roots don’t take up much room, it will save you space and money if you opt for something shallow. We suggest you use three trays, but you can get by with just two since not all growers use the blackout method, which we’ll talk about in more detail in a moment.
Your dill microgreens will need light, and a T5 grow light will work best because they’re long-lasting and efficient. But feel free to use whatever you have available. If you’re going to grow your microgreens all year long, you may also want a heating mat to regulate the soil temperature if you know the growing area will get cold in the winter.
You can use a soilless medium like the ones we suggested to grow microgreens, or you can use a seed starting soil of your choice. Whichever medium you choose should be light and airy, so the roots and sprouts will easily be able to push through it. It will also prevent clumping, which will help you grow even more dill microgreens in just one tray.
Soaking seeds in water before planting them helps speed up germination by locking in moisture. It’s generally recommended to do this for seeds with hard coatings such as sunflower seeds since the moisture makes the coating softer.
Dill seeds are small and do have a hard coating that will benefit from soaking. They can take up to two weeks to germinate without soaking them, or up to one week if you do soak them. Since they’re small, you’ll only need to soak them for about four hours. The drawback is that as they’re small, they may be difficult to spread evenly across the growing medium once they’ve been soaked.
If the dill seeds are planted with the right soil and are provided enough light and moisture, they’ll germinate regardless of whether or not you soaked them. The choice is yours.
Before you plant the dill microgreens, you need to prepare the seed trays.
Take the growing tray with holes and fill it just below the brim with the growing medium. Doing so will make it easier to harvest the dill microgreens later. Water the medium thoroughly to make it moist but not soggy. Allow it to sit for a bit to drain in case you accidentally added too much water. Then, spread out the soil, so the surface is flat and doesn’t have any clumps.
Once the soil is adequately moist, it’s time to add the dill microgreen seeds. Add about one ounce of seeds per 10” x 20” inch tray. Sprinkle the seeds across the top of the medium, making sure that the seeds don’t clump in one area. Make sure you don’t overseed. If too many seeds are touching, the young sprouts will become stunted or die. The layer should be thin and not have piled seed once planted.
Since the seeds are so small, there’s no need to cover them up with more medium as long as they have direct contact with what’s underneath them.
Now it’s time to set the planted seeds aside to give them time to grow. Not every grower uses the same sprouting process, so you can experiment with this next part to see what works the best for your setup.
The blackout method lets the seeds sprout in darkness for 4-5 days. For this method, place one of the trays that don’t have holes upside down over the seeds, creating a dome. Water the dill microgreens 2-3 times each day to keep the seeds and media moist but not wet. A spray bottle is recommended to make watering them easier. Using a fine mist will prevent you from overwatering.
The sprouting plants will look pale in color, but this is normal since they haven’t received any light yet. Once they have access to sunlight or grow lamps, they’ll develop green leaves in a few days.
Some growers skip the blackout method and allow the seeds to germinate with natural light or under grow lights from the beginning. One of the perks of plants is that there’s never one correct way to make the plants grow, so you can choose whichever one you prefer. If you didn’t get good results the first time you grow dill microgreens, try it a different way the second time.
Once your dill microgreen seeds have sprouted and are a few inches tall, it’s time to give them some light. Place them under a grow light so that they’re getting even exposure. Putting the light directly overhead will allow them to grow straight up and not bend over. You can give your plants direct sunlight on a window sill instead if you have enough available to you.
The plants should get about twelve hours of light each day. It may be challenging to get that much direct sunlight each day, which is why we highly recommend using grow lights.
Continue to water the sprouts every day so they stay moist. To make watering easier, place the tray into another tray that doesn’t have holes. Add water to the bottom tray to create a continual watering system. Using a bigger tray to hold the water will be easier since you’ll have room to pour water on the sides. If you find that this method makes the medium soggy, pour out the excess water once it’s sufficiently moistened.
The dill should take 12-15 days from the initial sprout to be ready to harvest. While you’re waiting, continue to keep an eye on their growing conditions to make sure their moisture and light levels are where they need to be.
Your dill microgreens will be perfect for harvesting between 3-5 inches tall, although a little taller or shorter won’t hurt. However, the taste will change as the microgreens continue to grow.
Harvest them in the morning or evening so the greens won’t be wilted from warm conditions. You may find seed coatings stuck to the leaves, but you can easily pick them off or run your hand over them.
Use a sharp knife, scissors, or garden shears to harvest the microgreens. Cut just above the soil line to prevent picking up any soil while you harvest. If you filled the tray up to just below the top, you can line your knife or scissors up at the rim and use that as a guide of where to cut.
Dill greens won’t grow back, so you can throw out the soil and roots or add them to your compost pile. It’s possible to reuse the same media for more than one batch, or to work it into other potting mixes if you’d prefer; the remaining roots will decompose over time.
You can wash your dill microgreens before you eat them if you’d like, but it isn’t necessary if you didn’t use any kind of chemicals on them.
Once harvested, you don’t have to wash the dill microgreens before you store them. Too much moisture in storage can cause wilting or mold to grow.
If you aren’t going to eat them right away, store dill microgreens when fresh in a sealed container or plastic bag with a paper towel. The paper towel will soak up moisture and keep them fresh longer. The microgreens should last for about a week in the refrigerator.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What do dill microgreens taste like?
A: Dill microgreens are aromatic and have a zesty flavor that’s slightly grassy. They’re quite similar to the taste of mature dill.
Q: How do you use dill microgreens?
A: Dill microgreens can be used similarly to mature dill. Their flavor goes great on sandwiches, salads, fish, and mixed with other herbs. Dill microgreens are packed with nutrients that provide many benefits, so play around until you find your favorite way to use them.
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