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.
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.
Cooking With Dill
This Sunday, I made two entrée dishes with dill. The first, a fast and simple Tilapia with Lemon Dill Sauce.
Directions for the Tilapia with Lemon Dill Sauce
Heat oven to 425°F.
- Juice 1/2 a fresh lemon and save the other half to slice. Set aside.
- 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.
- 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.
- Garnish with fresh dill sprigs.
To make the Dill 2 Potato, Potato Salad Sauce
- 3/4 cup Mayonnaise
- 1 Tbs. chopped fresh dill
- 1/4 cup chopped sweet onion
- 1/4 cup sliced celery
- 1/2 lemon juiced
- 1 Tbs. Dijon mustard
- 1 tsp. sugar
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Mix all ingredients, pour over cooked potatoes, refrigerate.
Flower Arranging With Dill
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.
I added statice now in flower in the garden, delphinium, and cosmos. Fernleaf dill is best.
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…