Dill (Anethum graveolens) is an annual herb in the celery family Apiaceae. Like chamomile, mint, and rosemary, dill has been an important aromatic herb since ancient times.
Dill is a bushy plant with feathery foliage that grows 60 to 120cm tall and half as wide. Each plant grows a single hollow stem with umbrella-shaped flower heads.
Dill has small greenish-yellow flowers that bloom on flat-topped clusters or umbels about 15cm across. Seeds ripen in early autumn.
Companion Planting And Pest Control
Dill attracts predatory insects that like to feast on bugs that irritate asparagus, corn, cucumbers, lettuce and basil, making it a good choice for pest control alongside these plants.
Dill also attracts hoverflies, ladybugs, praying mantises, bees, butterflies, and parasitic wasps which can have great benefits for the plants and flowers growing in your garden.
Plants in the brassicas group, like brussel sprouts, cabbage, broccoli and collards attract pests such as cabbage worm and cabbage looper. These pests are repelled by dill, making it a good choice to plant near vegetables in that group
Immature dill can be used to repel the dreaded pest, tomato hornworm and is said to improve the growth of tomatoes. However, prevent the dill from becoming too mature as this begins to impede on the growth of tomatoes.
On the one hand, immature dill repels the dreaded tomato hornworm, and is said to improve the growth of tomatoes. On the other hand, however, once the herb matures, it can actually impede the growth of tomato plants. Be sure to remove the plant before it reaches full maturity. Keep in mind - dill does not transplant well.
Spider mites are repelled by dill, making it a great companion plant for cucumbers who are particularly plagued by this pest.
How To Use
When To Plant Dill:
- Dill seeds should be sown directly into the garden (dill puts down a taproot, so like carrots, it doesn’t transplant well).
- Dill is best planted in spring, after winter frost has passed.
- The soil temperature should be between 15 and 21°C for the best germination results. Seedlings should appear in 10 to 14 days.
- Plant dill every couple of weeks until mid summer to ensure a constant supply into autumn.
Ideal Growing Environment:
- Dill prefers full sunlight in a warm location
- Dill prefers a well-draining soil that is rich in organic matter. The pH of the soil should ideally be between slightly acidic and neutral.
- Make sure to plant dill in a sheltered part of your garden to protect it from strong winds, as it is delicate can be blown over easily.
- Dill leaves can be cut and used at any time. Avoid trimming off more than half of the leaves at one time, as this will stunt the plants growth.