Welcome to Directorate of Arecanut and Spices Development
Climate and Soil: Dill is grown as a rabi or winter season crop for commercial seed production in India. It can resist frost to limited scale during vegetative stage. A dry climate with relatively high temperature is desirable during seed production. Humid environment favours incidence of diseases and pests, specially aphid and powdery mildew. Dill or sowa can be successfully cultivated in all types of soils except sandy soil. For good harvest, black loam and sandy loam soil with proper drainage is most suitable for this crop.
Improved varieties: AD-1 and AD-2

Field preparation: The land is ploughed 2-3 times with a  harroe or cultivator and soil is pulverized and leveled before sowing for better germination. Moisture is conserved by ploughing and planking after each rain for the un irrigated crop. The soil should be prepared well into better tilth. The field should be well leveled and divided into convenient size of beds.At last ploughing apply quinolphos 1.5 % @ 20-25 kg/ha for control of termite and general insect.

Manures and fertilizers: Dill crop is not generally manured by farmers though it requires few nutrients. About 10-15 tonnes well decomposed FYM should be mixed in the soil with the first ploughing for land preparation. In addition, 60 kg N and 30 kg P2O5 should be applied through fertilizers. Total quantity of phosphorus and 1/3rd dose of nitrogen should be applied as basal dose while rest of the nitrogen should be applied in two split doses at 30 days after sowing and at flowering as topdressing . If initial crop is poor 1% solution of urea can be sprayed after 3 week of sowing.

Sowing time and method:  Sowing time of dill varies with the climatic conditions of area; however crop sown during 15-30th October gives maximum yield and high volatile oil content in seeds.  Delayed sowing after 30th October results in to low seed yield as well volatile oil content. Under unirrigated conditions, sowing is done just after end of rainy season i.e. second week of September. Generally it is sown by broadcasting the seeds evenly in the field. However for facilitating intercultural operations, line sowing is preferred. The seeds should be sown 1.5-2.0 cm deep at  30-45 cm row to row spacing for Indian dill and 60 cm for European dill varieties and maintaining plant-to-plant spacing of 20cm.

Seed rate: The seed rate varies with condition of the seed, variety and type of the crop grown. The seed rate required is 3kg/ha for irrigated and 5 kg/ha for rain fed conditions. A seed rate of 6-8 kg/ha is sufficient for good crop. Higher seed rate is required for broadcasting and in unirrigated situation. To check the incidence of soil born diseases, seed should be treated with Bavistin @ 2.5g/kg seed.

Irrigation: The crop is sown under irrigated as well as unirrigated condition. It  is grown as an irrigated crop in North India while in South India as a rainfed crop in black cotton soils and as an irrigated crop in the light soil. If soil moisture is not sufficient at the time of sowing a light irrigation can be given just after sowing for proper germination. At the time of flower initiation and seed development stage sufficient soil moisture should be made available to the crop. In all 3-4 irrigations are sufficient to raise the crop.

Intercultural operations: The germination of dill takes place within 8-10 days after sowing. Thinning should be done 3 weeks after sowing and plant to plant distance of 8-10 cm should be maintained. The field should be kept clean by proper weeding and hoeing. First weeding and hoeing should be done in about 3-4 weeks after sowing. Next weeding is done whenever desired. Chemically weed can also be controlled by pre-emergence application of  Oxadiragil @75 g a.i. or Pendimethalin @ 0.75 to 1.0 kg a.i/ha. There should be sufficient moisture in the field for ensuring better weed control by the chemical.

Diseases and Pests: Fortunately the dill plant is not affected by any serious pests probably due to its acrid odour. However this crops is sometimes attacked by powdery mildew, aphid and leaf eating cater pillars.

Powdery mildew: Powdery mildew in dill is caused by fungus Erysiphe polygoni. Incidence of powdery mildew is seen on all green parts and later on extending other parts of plants including grains, affecting yield as well as quality of seeds. The disease can be effectively controlled by sulphur dusting @ 20-25 kg/ha on appearance of diseases. It can also be controlled by spraying 400-500 liter/ha solution of 0.1% Karathane or 0.2 % wettable Sulphar. First spray should be done on the appearances of  disease and repeat the same after 15 days if required.  

Root rot: It is cause by Fusarium oxysporum and symptoms appear in the form of brown spots on the collar region and plant dies. Phytosanitary measures and seed treatment are important for controlling the disease. The treatment with Trichoderma @ 6 g/kg seed effectively controls the disease.

Aphid: It sucks tender part of the plant and flowers resulting in yellowing of crop and shriveled grains. It can be controlled by spraying @ 500-600 liters/ha solution of 0.005 % Imidachlorpid or 0.03 % Dimethoate which is considered a relatively safer insecticide and should be used in evening when insect population is least.

Leaf eating caterpillar: - They damage the leaves and can be controlled by spraying 0.01% percent of monocrotophos once or twice depending on caterpillar population.

Harvesting and yield: The harvesting time of dill depends upon the purpose for  which it is grown. When it is grown for vegetable purpose it can be harvested at 4-5 leaves stage. The crop matures in 130-150 days and can be harvested in April-May. Harvesting is done by cutting the plants with sickle 40 cm above ground level when seeds of main umbel turn brown. Delayed harvesting results in shattering of grains. Put harvested bundles under shade for drying and seed are separated by beating with stick. On an average the seed yield of dill 10-15 q/ha under irrigated conditions and 6-7 q/ha  under rainfed condition can be obtained.