Dill (Anethum graveolens) is an annual herb that grows to be about 2 feet tall. The leaves are feathery, and the flowers are small and yellow. Dill is a popular herb for flavoring food, and the seeds are also used in cooking. In this blog post, we will discuss how to harvest dill seeds, how to prepare them for storage, and the best conditions for storing them.
When to Harvest Dill Seeds?
Dill seeds should be harvested when the seed heads are fully developed and the seeds have turned from green to brown. Depending on your climate, this may happen in late summer or early autumn. It is important to harvest the seeds before they drop from the head since once they fall, it will be more difficult to collect them.
How to Harvest Dill Seeds?
To harvest dill seeds, use scissors or pruning shears to cut off the seed heads from the plant. Place the seed heads in a paper bag and let them dry for a few days before you collect the seeds. Once they are completely dried out, gently shake the seed heads to remove the seeds. Store the harvested dill seeds in an airtight container.
Things You Will Need
- Scissors or pruning shears
- Paper bag
- Airtight container
Preparing Dill Seeds for Storage
Once you have collected the seeds, it is important to ensure that they are properly prepared before storage. When cleaning seeds, first you need to take large sieves and separate large debris. Then separate dust and small debris on a fine sieve. Next, the seeds with the remaining debris are placed in small portions on a plate and divided into fractions by small, rapid shaking movements.
Some gardeners recommend drying the seeds in a microwave or oven at 100°C. Of course, the seeds in this case will dry out but will become unsuitable for sowing. It can only be used for food or for making decoctions.
Saving Dill Seeds
Dill seeds can be stored for up to two years if they are kept in the right conditions. Seeds should be placed in an airtight container and stored in a dry, dark place with temperatures between 46-50°F (8-10°C) and humidity should be at the level of 50-60%. The cold temperature will help keep the seeds viable for longer periods of time. Make sure to check the container regularly to ensure that there is no moisture present. You can also add some desiccant packs to help absorb any extra moisture.
It is important to label the storage containers with the date of harvest and the type of seed you are storing, as well as other relevant information such as variety name or seed source. This will help you keep track of when the seeds were harvested and when they should be used.
Seed Shelf Life
The shelf life of dill seeds depends on several factors such as the quality of the seed, storage temperature and humidity levels, and how well it was prepared for storage. Generally, dill seeds can last between 2-3 years in proper conditions.
The data below explains how the percentage of seed germination changes with time.
- 1 year – 46%
- 2 years – 23%
- 3 years – 23%