Dill companion plants can help improve the yield, health, and pest resistance of your vegetable garden crops! Learn how dill can help you achieve your best garden harvest yet.
Dill is an annual herb in the Apiaceae family, easily recognized by its delicate, feathery leaves and bright yellow umbel flowers. The plants grow to between 2- 3" tall - the perfect huggable height ;), prefer full sun with well-drained soil, and will self-sow easily from season to season.
Dill is an aromatic plant, with a distinctive flavor that is often described as a sweet taste similar to licorice and aniseed. The tasty fronds can be used fresh or dried for later use. Seeds that develop in dill's umbrella-shaped flowers are often used as a spice or in pickling brine. Culinarily, dill is very popular for flavoring pickles, salad dressings, and sauces.
Dill is a generous herb garden citizen often offering more benefits to its fellow constituents than it reaps in return, but don't let that fool you, dill rocks.
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What Is Companion Planting?
Companion planting is the gardening practice of growing two or more plants together for mutual benefit. There are a number of benefits to thoughtfully planting your vegetable garden.
Some plants act as natural pesticides, repelling pests from their companions. Companion plants can also attract beneficial insects and predators that prey on harmful pests. Other plants produce nutrients that their neighbors can absorb, making efficient use of limited garden space. Further benefits include increased disease control and resistance, improved soil health, increased diversity in a vegetable garden or crop system, improved plant vigor, higher yield, and improved nutrient availability.
By strategically combining plants that have beneficial relationships, it’s possible to take advantage of all of these benefits and optimize yields from your homestead garden. Not all companion plants need to be directly interplanted with dill to offer the same effectiveness. Many of these plants can be planted along the edge of the garden plot or placed in the garden in containers without diminishing their pest control superpowers.
Best Dill Companion Plants
Like parsley, dill attracts lacewings and ladybugs to help eliminate pesky aphids that enjoy snacking on your spears. Lacewing and ladybugs are two of the best natural predators of aphids and can help control the population without the use of pesticides.
As an aside, asparagus is a lazy perennial that only produces crops for a short period of time in the growing season, so interplanting dill is a great way to maximize that space. Dill's shallow annual roots won't compete with the deeper perennial roots of your asparagus, and if left to flower, the dill will self-seed for next season!
Cauliflower, Broccoli + Other Brassicas:
The strong, irresistible scent of dill not only tastes delicious when paired with these cole crops on your plate, but it also helps to improve the health of your brassicas.
Dill, for all its fern-like fronds, looks like an imposing bushy plant, but it can fit easily between brussels sprouts, kale, and other large brassica plants for a space-saving bonus.
Related: Cauliflower companion plants
Everyone loves sweet corn, even destructive pests like cutworms and corn earworms. Although earlier plantings of corn are less likely to suffer than later season plantings due to the natural population cycles of these pests, it never hurts to add a little natural deterrent to the mix.
Like fennel, dill's strong fragrance is as intoxicating to lacewings, ladybugs, and hoverflies as it is to us. These natural predators are happy to be enlisted in the fight to protect your precious corn.
Fully mature and flowering dill offers the best protection, so it's important to allow at least a couple of dill plants to mature.
Cucumbers and dill are a match made in pickle heaven. Not only do they taste delicious together but the dill also attracts beneficial insects and parasitic wasps like the braconid wasp that help to control the population of dreaded cucumber beetles.
I've always been taught to sow my cucumbers and plant dill at the same time so they mature together and are ready for half-sour pickles. This also comes in handy for other tasty recipes too, like my creamy cucumber dill salad.
Combining a useful herb like dill with other deterrent herbs makes for a powerful pairing.
Dill and chervil both offer the same benefits to the vegetable garden and combining them together amplifies the effect of each!
Basil and dill can live harmoniously as they both have similar growing requirements and benefit from the same type of soil. Both will also help to attract beneficial insects while repelling harmful ones, making them a perfect pest-fighting duo!
** Note: Not all herbs are a good mix for dill - avoid growing dill with cilantro and caraway.
Onions, much like dill, carry a strong fragrance that when combined with dill acts as a force multiplier to deter pests like aphids and Japanese beetles.
As an added bonus, onions and dill are a flavor powerhouse in so many recipes, like my sister's amazing dill pickle soup. Planting them close together makes harvesting for dinner a breeze.
Worst Dill Companion Plants
Carrots and dill are two of the most common members of the Umbelliferae family, which also includes caraway, angelica, and fennel. Dill can easily cross-pollinate with these other crops leading to unwanted or unexpected flavors and outcomes if you plan on seed saving.
Dill and carrots, especially, have similar fronds and attract carrot flies - which can seriously impede your carrot harvest. It's best to space these siblings out in the garden.
Peppers + Other Nightshades:
Hot peppers, bell peppers, and even eggplants are nightshades that do not like to be planted near dill.
Although dill can help control the aphid population around your pepper plants, it can also hinder their growth. It's best to avoid planting your prized peppers alongside dill!
This one is tricky!
Dill can both benefit and harm your tomato plants depending on the dill's maturity.
Young or juvenile dill attracts tons of pollinators and predatory insects to the yard, and anecdotally deter tomato hornworms, but dill that's allowed to fully mature and flower can hinder the growth of your tomatoes.
If you're thinking of planting dill and tomatoes together, harvest the dill plants as soon as you see any signs of maturity or flowering. Either pull them, roots and all, or cut them down to the root. Then check out my post on how to dry dill so those plants can be preserved for later enjoyment!
More Companion Planting Guides!
Dill can be a powerful ally in the garden and is a valuable companion plant for many vegetables, herbs, and even onions, often bringing more to the table than it takes. Fully mature and flowering dill is the best protection you can get!
Its strong fragrance can act as a deterrent to pests while also attracting beneficial insects. However, it's important to understand that there are some plants that may not do as dill companions, including carrots, peppers, other nightshades, and tomatoes. With a proper understanding of the dos and don'ts of companion planting with dill, gardeners can reap the many rewards this herb has to offer.