Dill-icious

Tiny-Fly-2

Do you grow dill? Dill in and from the garden is so useful.

First and Foremost

Dill attracts beneficial insects to your garden like native bees, hoverflies, smaller syrphid flies, lady beetles, and Ichneumonid wasps. Black Swallowtail butterfly caterpillars particularly enjoy dill. I have seen Monarchs, Black Swallowtail, Tiger Swallowtail and Mourning Cloak in the garden to name a few. No eggs yet though. The flies and the wasps have been on the dill constantly.

Dill is supposed to be an effective natural insect repellent against aphids, cabbage looper, spider mites and squash bugs.

delphinium-Cosmos

Butterflies find common kitchen herbs irresistible. As different herbs bloom throughout the growing season, butterflies seeking nectar visit the herb garden. They in turn lay eggs on familiar herbs such as anise, parsley, dill, rue, fennel, and mallow. My parsley is starting to flower too.

I grow dill in a tufa container using the herb in cooking. I don’t let that dill flower, keeping the leaves small and tender. Cilantro, dill, carrots and fennel can cross-pollinate and lose their own specific flavor, so don’t plant them near each other if you use them for cooking.

Dill is planted outdoors for insects which is allowed to grow tall and flower. Parsley, another herb coveted by insects, excels at discouraging harmful insects and attracts beneficial ones. If let flower and go to seed, it attracts beneficial wasps and hoverflies that kill caterpillars. The thing with herb gardening, you attract a lot of bees and insects, and some of them predate on the others. Somehow, it all works out though.

Dill-Dinner

Cooking With Dill

This Sunday, I made two entrée dishes with dill. The first, a fast and simple Tilapia with Lemon Dill Sauce.

Tilapia-Dinner

Directions for the Tilapia with Lemon Dill Sauce

Heat oven to 425°F.

  1. Juice 1/2 a fresh lemon and save the other half to slice. Set aside.
  2. Melt 1/4 stick butter in a saucepan and add fresh dill then lemon juice as butter cools a bit. Salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
  3. Lightly coat an oven-safe fish pan with 1/2 the herb/lemon/butter mixture. Arrange tilapia fillets in fish pan. Top with remaining butter mixture. Arrange the lemon slices on top and bake 10-15 minutes until fish is flaky tender.
  4. Garnish with fresh dill sprigs.

Potato-Salad-with-Dill

To make the Dill 2 Potato, Potato Salad Sauce

  1. 3/4 cup Mayonnaise
  2. 1 Tbs. chopped fresh dill
  3. 1/4 cup chopped sweet onion
  4. 1/4 cup sliced celery
  5. 1/2 lemon juiced
  6. 1 Tbs. Dijon mustard
  7. 1 tsp. sugar
  8. Salt and pepper to taste
  9. Mix all ingredients, pour over cooked potatoes, refrigerate.

Dill-Potato-salad

Flower Arranging With Dill

Dill-Arrangement

What is dinner without flowers? Dill is an excellent filler and lasts well in a vase for a few days. The delicate, yellow umbrella-like flowers are pretty by themselves or with other flowers as I did.

Dill-arrangement-Up-close

I added statice now in flower in the garden, delphinium, and cosmos. Fernleaf dill is best.

Cosmos-Statice

If you liked Create Stellar Curb Appeal, I have some great gardens in which to grab ideas coming up. Later, what’s in bloom in my garden. Quite a bit…

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About Garden Walk Garden Talk

I love to photograph, paint, draw, design, garden, travel the world, and pass on a few tips and ideas that I learned through experience as a Master Gardener and architect. I am highly trained in my field and enjoy my work each and every day. I garden in Niagara Falls, NY in zone 6-B. Find me at: http://gardenwalkgardentalk.com
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41 Responses to Dill-icious

  1. aussiebirder says:

    Beautiful flowers, I did not realise how lovely dill is as a vase flower Donna.

  2. lucindalines says:

    Wow, my dill is like a weed all over the place, which is usually what happens in our area and we all love it. I used some dill in vegetable soup yesterday. I like your plan of putting it in with the flowers. I love the smell of dill, and always touch it when I pass it in the garden. Great post, as usual.

    • Thank you. I know it can reseed. Mine is in a huge container, not planted directly in the garden. I just read your post on making vegetable soup. I am going to make that for dinner tonight. I have so many fresh vegetables from the farm to use. And spice it up with dill of course…

  3. I use the flower stems for cut flower as well! 🙂

  4. Loretta says:

    Such a beautiful arrangement in your crystal goblet. Great informative post too, thanks.

    • Ha, not crystal, just glass. I have the better vases saved for my bigger arrangements – coming up in a post in four days. We had a big wind storm that knocked many of the flowers to the ground, so I have lots of them indoors now. Had to make a post on that!!!! Those glasses I use often for small nosegay like flower arrangements.

  5. alesiablogs says:

    I am hungry after reading your post. I actually have some tilapia that I can cook with your recipe. Great new pictures too and I love the softer photo on the top.

  6. Maria F. says:

    Thanks so much for this info!

  7. Dill looks wonderful in that arrangement. Great idea!

  8. Indie says:

    Oh, I didn’t realize that dill was effective against certain garden pests! I’d try it in my veggie garden, but it might be too close to my carrots. I think dill flowers are so pretty. I don’t usually grow dill, though, since my husband doesn’t care for it in food. I, on the other hand, think the recipes look delicious!

    • Just watch because a lot of herbs will self-seed. When I do herb gardens for clients, i usually keep them separate from the vegetables, mainly because of the carrots and other related plants that the dill will cross-pollinate. But also because the herbs get frisky. Plus, herb gardens can be so beautiful too. Thanks indie. The dill can be barely tasted in both recipes because of the lemon.

  9. I never thought to use dill in a centerpiece! I don’t grow it because it can be so wild but I do love cooking with it.

    • The small arrangement is more like a place setting arrangement. I do have them as a centerpiece size in an upcoming post. I love the flavor of dill and use it a lot in cooking like you do I bet.

  10. Lot of new information about the dill! Great! That was extremely interesting to me!
    I stopped planting dill outside a while ago as I always had problems with blackflies and couldn’t use it in the kitchen. But I loved the smell and rather specific flavor very much.
    I didn’t know about the cross-pollination with cilantro, carrots and fennel and I also didn’t know that dill can prevent or at least help against certain guest which are not welcome like the aphids, cabbage looper, spider mites and squash bugs you mentioned.
    Perhaps I should give it a new try. Recently I learnt that I have to change the place more often as umbelliferas obviously don’t like it to be seeded at the old place again.

    Your recipe is gorgeous! Really dill-icious! ^^ I really can smell it!
    Did I mention that I like your photographs? They are fantastic! Those with dill and flowers as well as those of the meal.

    Best wishes to you, Donna!
    Michèle

    • Thank you. I like taking food photos, but never take my time with them because my dinner would get cold. I snap and go eat! I have not had the blackflies yet. Lots of other flies though. The dill I use in cooking is in a container near my kitchen. That keeps it away from marauding flies. I think aphids don’t like the taste of dill since they are a sucking insect.

  11. You’ve convinced me to add dill (and parsley) to my potager. Yum, that food looks delicious. (Lunch time!)

  12. Denise says:

    Now that’s a coincidence; I was just planning to eat herring and potato salad with dill next saturday. I like the idea of letting kitchen herbs flower to attract beneficial insects. I will try that on my balcony. Thank you for the tip.

  13. I also find that the dill is one of the favorites of the beneficial insects and butterflies, even more than the yarrow, alyssum, or catmint. I just wish dill froze a little better or there was a better way to preserve its peak flavor. We dry some and use it throughout the winter, but there’s nothing quite like fresh dill for flavor.

  14. I do grow dill, parsley, and bronze fennel. This year for the first time I also planted borage. They all attract lots of pollinators, though I’ve been frustrated by the absence of caterpillars. Gorgeous bouquet,

  15. Couldn’t agree more about dill and I need to grow it in all of my veg beds as it seeds then every year in the veg beds. Great recipes and it makes a fabulous bouquet….I love dill especially for the butterflies.

    • Dill is a wonderful herb in every way. Mine is in a huge pot (likely will be there next year too), so as not to self-seed in the garden. I have enough self-seeding plants now. It gets hard to keep up with weeding then.

  16. helensadornmentsblog says:

    Who knew dill was so pretty? So glad to see you are still taking gorgeous photos.

  17. Lovely photos. That meal looks so delicious.

  18. Wow! So much great information. My dill has always bolted before I even had a chance to think about picking any to use. Do the tufa containers help slow the process? Like other commenters, I never knew about the cross-pollination problem. The dill flowers–especially in your arrangement–are really beautiful. That first photo of the flowers really knocked me out. The lighting is perfect. Speaking of lighting, your food photos are SO powerful! You really just snap and eat? Do you live in perfect lighting? I mean, I wanted to pull up a chair and dive right into those dishes. Thanks for the recipes too!

  19. Brian Comeau says:

    Another talent…. Cooking 🙂

  20. Right, I have made a note to self to plant dill in the garden in two places; one to eat, and one for wildlife! Thank you for the tips! 🙂 Dana

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