Companion planting with dill

Super high in vitamin A and various antioxidants, carrots are a great vegetable to have in abundance in your garden and fridge. Like other root vegetables or rhizomes, carrots utilize the underground space, giving your permaculture garden a 3 dimensional pattern that takes advantage of all the room available.

But like any crop, carrots like to grow with some plants and not others. Known as companion planting, permaculture gardeners practice the art of purposefully planting one crop next to another to enhance, support and/or protect each other.

With carrots, there are particular species that work to improve a carrot’s growing conditions, whereas some crops can be somewhat limiting. Knowing which is which can help you to prevent common carrot diseases, while boosting yield, flavor, and productivity.

How is Companion Planting Beneficial?

When we are companion planting in our permaculture gardens, we are looking to improve conditions that favor our plants and discourage conditions that don’t. When companion planting, we’re actively and purposefully choosing plants that benefit their neighbors in some way or another.

These benefits can come in various forms. In general, we’re looking to improve the soil conditions for our plants to increase productivity, yield, and flavor; while also reducing harmful bugs, attracting helpful insects, and providing the physical conditions that help support a plant (trellising for creepers, shade for shade-lovers etc).

In doing this, we not only find ourselves with stronger crops with more nuanced flavorings, we also increase diversity through intercropping, which reduces the chance that our whole crop will be wiped out by a pest.

This is because disease and pests tend to favor certain plants over others. By intercropping with companion plants, if a ravenous pest were to eat all the carrots from the ground up, you would still have a myriad of other foods to eat.

Equally, intercropping and companion planting stops pests from munching their way through everything. if you were to monocrop all carrots, you’re laying a buffet out for hungry carrot flies, who come and dine to their hearts’ content – reproducing like crazy due to the abundance of resources and tearing down the whole field.

By mixing it up a little, you can confuse the carrot flies into thinking you only have one or two plants, so they won’t reproduce at such a prolific rate, making them easier to control.

Equally, in the true spirit of permaculture intensive gardening, by planting companions, we can make better use of our space in a 3 dimensional way, using the forest gardening patterns. This allows us to grow many more crops in the same space.

You will also find that with more plants in the ground, the soil retains water better and doesn’t tend to erode so easily – instead building complex ecosystems below the surface over time. This helps to create more resilience and strength into the future.

Furthermore, the more plants covering the soil, there is less chance of weeds creeping their way in, as you form physical plant barriers that stop the weeds from getting a strong root in your soil.

Things to Consider When Companion Planting Carrots

Before companion planting carrots, it’s vital to consider the conditions in which carrots thrive. A rhizomatous crop, carrots develop underground with their green shoots poking out the top. Like most unground roots and tubers, carrots like loamy soil as this is easier for them to penetrate.

Hard, clay soils tend to block carrots from growing too large as they can’t push through. In this sense, finding crops that can open the soil up for carrots first will work as great companions to plant before your carrot seeds go into the ground – kind of like preparation work.

In terms of sunshine, carrots can grow in partial shade. While it is possible, it isn’t ideal. They like to have at least 4-6 hours of full sunshine at the very minimum. In this With this in mind, planting taller crops in front of your carrot’s sun path will limit their full capacity to grow. Try to grow taller crops to the north of carrots – to the south will block the sun completely, the east blocks morning sun, and the west blocks afternoon sun.

Lastly, as carrots come to their harvest, they pop their little orange tops out the soil. This lets you know they are ready to pick. However, if you are located in a particularly windy area, large gusts and gales can blow drier topsoil off the head of your carrots. If this happens, the exposed tops will turn green and bitter from the excessive sunlight.

While the rest of the carrot is still edible, you won’t want to eat the green. To avoid this, monitor the wind paths of your permaculture garden and place taller, wind-sheltering plants in places to block out the breeze. Bear in mind the sun’s direction – you may need to plant these wind-breaks a little further away to ensure they don’t obstruct the sunlight.

Companions for Carrots

Below you will find a list of companion plants for carrots that help to benefit them in different ways. While coms companions improve the productivity and flavor, others work as integrated pest management systems, and others as environment boosters.

Carrot Companions for Flavor and Yield

Bush and pole beans – As legumes, bush and pole beans sequester nitrogen from the air and put it into the soil. Nitrogen helps plants grow more quickly and stronger. This is because nitrogen is an important component of chlorophyll, which is involved in the plant’s food-making process, as well as helping to form necessary proteins for the plant’s structure.

By planting legumes, the nitrogen helps carrots grow. This is especially important in areas where you see green leaves yellowing as this indicates a nitrogen deficiency. However, carrots do not need lots of nitrogen, and if they receive too much, will start to fork and grow hairy. Go ahead – plant a few beans (and legumes), but don’t go nuts.

Peas – Peas are also legumes so they same rules apply as above. It’s also important that you trellis creeping legumes like peas and beans to the north of carrots as not to block the carrots’ sunlight.

Tomatoes – Tomatoes and carrots are good friends, but there are sacrifices. Growing tomatoes next to carrots enhances the flavor of the carrots quite dramatically, however, the tomatoes tend to stunt the growth of the carrots.

Chives – Chives improve both the flavor of carrots and the productivity. Carrots not only taste sweeter, but grow faster. Importantly though, chives and beans don’t mix so keep them away from each other in your plot.

Carrot Companions for Pest Control

Tomatoes – Tomatoes secrete solanine from their roots, which is a natural defence mechanism against certain insect herbivores, such as beetles. By planting tomatoes next to carrots, carrots can benefit from this.

Alliums – Alliums include crops like garlic, chives, onion, shallots, scallions, and leeks. These plants work well to deter common carrot pests such as the carrot rust fly and Japanese beetles. They also deter aphids. While willow-carrot aphids only feed on the green stems of carrots, they do spread harmful diseases, such as Motley Dwarf Virus, which stunts carrot growth considerably.

Parsley – Carrots love parsley as parsley attracts beneficial insects. If you let your parsley go to flower, it will attract hoverflies which are great pollinators for carrots, while the larvae of hoverflies eat many pests, such as aphids and mealybugs.

Rosemary – Rosemary deters carrot rust flies, among other pests. The smell is very overpowering to these flies. Be careful not to grow rosemary in front of the carrots’ sunlight, as bushes can grow quite large.

Brown Mustard and Buckwheat – Wireworms (the larvae of click-beetles) can be a nightmare. Planting brown mustard and buckwheat before you plant carrots can help to get rid of them.

Catnip, Peppermint, and Tobacco – All these plants deter flea beetles, whose larvae like to feast on carrots.

Sage – Sage also deters carrot rust flies with its scent, while not needing much water, leaving the moisture for the carrots.
Carrot Companions for an Improved Environment

Lettuce – Lettuce grows very well next to carrots and vice versa. You’ll find additionally, though, that by planting lettuce, the big leaves cool the soil and prevent weeds from invading.

Radish – If you plant radish seeds at the same time as carrot seeds, they grow more quickly than carrots and push open the soil. By the time carrots come to really get going, your radishes will be almost ready to harvest. This not only gives you a staggered crop, but helps you to prepare the soil for the carrots.

Do Not Plant Carrots With…

Carrots have companions but they also have enemies. Knowing what to avoid can prevent you from stunting the growth of your carrots or your other vegetables.

Potatoes – Planting carrots with potatoes not only forces them to compete for space, but also for nutrients. Both carrots and potatoes need a lot of phosphorus and planting these together means neither crop gets the amount it requires.

Parsnips – Parsnips also compete for phosphorus as well. Equally, parsnips and carrots can fall foul to the same diseases so planting them together makes them a hotbed for disease and pest explosion.

Umbellifarae – This family includes coriander, dill, and cumin. It’s the family that carrots belong to. Planting many of these plants will cross pollinate with carrots, especially dill, coriander, and fennel. Parsley is the only exception as it works well with carrots, however if you are seed-saving, you need to be careful.

To Sum Up…

Growing carrots it relatively simple. They like a lot of sun and loamy soil, and tend not to interrupt much around them.

That said, you shouldn’t be growing carrots with other rhizomes as you’ll end up with root competition, phosphorus competition, and an increased risk of disease. Equally, don’t grow them with other family members or you’ll get cross-pollination.

In terms of the beneficial partners, look for plants that get rid of beetle larvae, deter carrot rust flies, and eat up aphids. Strong smelling Mediterranean herbs are great deterrents for bugs, whereas plants that attract predatory wasps and hoverflies will increase pollination as well as working to munch up all those nasty pests.

Remember that while growing plants like tomatoes and rosemary can improve the flavor of carrots, they’re in danger of blocking the sun. Make sure you plant wisely when considering space and time, to ensure that each plant has the sunlight it needs without affecting your carrot’s daily dose.

Dill: How to Make & Health Benefits

The herb dill contains a number of nutrients and compounds that are thought to help aid digestion and reduce excess gas. It may also soothe menstrual disorders and boost the immune system. As it is also an anti-inflammatory substance, its compounds can help protect against arthritis and other inflammatory diseases.

What is Dill?

Dill (Anethum graveolens) has been used for culinary and medicinal purposes for hundreds of years. Apart from giving a strong, tangy, appetizing flavor and taste, it possesses plenty of medicinal properties. These properties come from certain compounds called monoterpenes, as well as flavonoids, minerals, and amino acids.

Dill can be a perennial or annual herb, depending on where in the world it is cultivated. It can be used as a flavoring and garnish for a number of meals, but it is also used as an ingredient in many meals. For herbalists who want to grow their own dill, it is important to cultivate this herb in warm to hot summers, with plenty of sunshine.

Dill Nutrition Facts

The health benefits of dill are derived from its organic compounds, vitamins, and minerals. These include powerful monoterpenes like limonene, carvone, and anethofuran, as well as flavonoids like vicenin and kaempferol. As for vitamins and minerals, as per the USDA National Nutrient Database, it has a significant amount of vitamins A and C, as well as trace amounts of folate, iron, and manganese.

Appetizing Dill Pickle Recipe

Give your taste buds a refreshing kick with this cool condiment of cucumber and dill! 0 from 0 votes Pin Course: Condiment Cuisine: American Keyword: Dill pickle Appliance: Cutting Board, Large Pot, Chef’s knife, 2 wide-mouth pint jars Prep Time: 15 minutes Cook Time: 5 minutes Total Time: 20 minutes Servings: 2 jars Author: Sakina Kheriwala

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 oz Kirby or Persian cucumbers
  • 4 cloves garlic peeled and smashed
  • 2 tsp dill seeds
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes optional
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 1/2 tbsp pickling salt or kosher salt

Instructions

  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil and sterilize 2 wide-mouth pint jars and their lids. If you plan to make frozen pickles, simply wash the jars and lids.
  • Wash and dry the cucumbers. Trim away the blossom or stem end of the cucumber and leave it whole. Cut them into spears, or slice into coins, as desired.
  • Divide the garlic, dill seed, red pepper flakes between the pint jars: 2 smashed cloves, 1 teaspoon dill seed, and 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes.
  • Pack the cucumbers into the jars. Trim the ends if they stand more than the actual height of the jar. Pack them as tightly as you can ensuring cucumbers are not getting smashed.
  • Place the vinegar, water, and salt in a small saucepan over high heat and bring it to a boil. Pour the brine over the pickles, fill each jar to within 1/2-inch of the top.
  • Gently tap the jars against the counter a few times to evaporate the air bubbles. Top it off with more pickling brine if necessary.
  • Place the lids over the jars and screw on the rings until they are tight.
  • Cool and refrigerate. The pickles will improve with flavor as they age. Give at least 48 hours before cracking them open.

Notes

Canned pickles keep for at least a year on the shelf and for several weeks in the refrigerator once opened.

Health Benefits of Dill

Let’s explore these potential health benefits of dill in detail below.

May Aid Insomnia

The essential oils found in herbs have peculiar and powerful properties. They are considered to have ancient medicinal properties, simultaneously stimulating, sedative, and hypnotic. The essential oils in dill are no exception. The flavonoids and vitamin-B complex present in its essential oils activate the secretion of certain enzymes and hormones which are considered to have calming and hypnotic effects, thereby helping some people get a good night’s sleep.

Loose bunch of fresh green dill leaves Photo Credit:

Maintains Bone Health

The calcium content of dill means that it contributes to adequate levels of calcium in the body, which in turn helps against the important element in protecting you from bone loss and the loss of bone mineral density. Osteoporosis affects millions of people each year, and calcium, along with other essential minerals, is a key component in the proper growth and development of bones and the repair of injured bones as well.

Manages Diabetes

Dill has long been associated with diabetes and the management of insulin levels. Despite the fact that research is somewhat limited in this area, particularly on human subjects, studies have indicated that it may help reduce the fluctuations of serum lipids and insulin levels in corticosteroid-induced diabetes. One study published in the journal Phytotherapy Research stated that laboratory rats that had corticosteroid-induced type 2 diabetes showed a decrease in serum glucose and insulin levels when they were given dill extract for 22 days.

Prevents Excess Gas

As a well-known carminative, dill helps prevent the embarrassing condition of excessive gas. It is not only an uncomfortable condition to experience in public, but if gas continues to build up, it can actually be a dangerous situation where it presses on the delicate organs of the chest cavity. A carminative forces gas downward through the digestive tract and allow it to leave the body in a safe way.

Boosts Immunity

Dill has long been associated with antimicrobial activity. Therefore, frequent use of this herb in meals may help reduce the incidence of a number of microbial infections throughout the body, as well as infections that may result in open wounds or small cuts on the skin.

Calms Hiccups

Hiccups occur for various reasons, but primarily due to trapped gas and its repeated upward movement through the food pipe. The second cause is due to certain allergies, hypersensitivity, hyperactivity, and nervous malfunctioning. Dill can help in these situations. As a carminative, it helps the expulsion of gases and also reduces gas formation; while as a sedative, dill is thought to help calm down hiccups due to allergies, hyperactivity, or nervous disorders.

Diminishes Diarrhea

Diarrhea is mainly caused by two things; indigestion and microbial action. In terms of indigestion, dill can be quite helpful, as it has very good digestive properties. Secondly, the herb can help due to the monoterpenes and flavonoids present in its essential oils, which are germicidal or bactericidal in nature. They can help relieve diarrhea by inhibiting microbial infections that try to attack the body.

Relieves Arthritis Pain

Dill has long been known as an anti-inflammatory herb, meaning that it helps reduce inflammation and the associated pain of diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and gout. Dill has been used since ancient times for precisely this reason.

Stimulates Menstruation

The flavonoids in the essential oil of dill are stimulating and have emmenagogue properties, which are thought in folk medicine to stimulate the secretion of certain hormones that help maintain proper menstrual cycles in women.

Treats Respiratory Disorders

Kaempferol and certain other components of flavonoids and monoterpenes in the essential oils of dill are anti-congestive and antihistaminic in nature. They are thought to help clear congestion in the respiratory system due to histamines, allergies or coughs.

Oral Care

Dill seeds and leaves act as good mouth and breath fresheners. Apart from that, the essential oils in it are germicidal, antioxidant, and disinfectant in nature. Due to these properties, they help to alleviate oral microbial infections and their antioxidants minimize the damage caused by free radicals to gums and teeth as well.

Other Benefits

Dill is a relaxant, and it increases strength and urination to help in the removal of toxins, excess salts, and water from the body. Furthermore, it is a carminative (helps remove excess gas), antispasmodic (prevents cramps), and an antiflatulent substance. It may have anti-cancer potential, as well, but further studies are needed to explore this claim.

Companion Plants For Dill: What To Plant With Dill In The Garden

Companion planting is a centuries-old technique that by locating various plants in close proximity, creates conditions that enhance growing conditions by repelling pests, attracting pollinators, and making the best use of available space. When it comes to companion plants for dill, most of the following suggestions have not been tested in scientific labs, but are highly recommended by experienced gardeners – often by trial and error.

Plants That Grow Near Dill

If you’re wondering what to plant with dill, experiment and see what works best in your garden. Here are some suggested dill companion plants – and a few things that AREN’T believed to be good dill plant companions.

Dill is a good neighbor and a useful plant, valued for its ability to draw beneficial insects to the garden such as:

  • Hoverflies
  • Parasitic wasps
  • Ladybugs
  • Praying mantis
  • Honeybees
  • Butterflies

Dill also does a good at discouraging various unwanted pests, including cabbage loopers, aphids and spider mites.

Gardener recommendations for dill plant companions include the following:

  • Asparagus
  • Corn
  • Cucumbers
  • Onion
  • Lettuce
  • Vegetables in the cabbage family (Brussels sprouts, kohlrabi, broccoli, etc.)
  • Basil

Combinations to Avoid

Experienced gardeners warn against planting dill next to carrots. Why? The two are actually members of the same plant family and can easily cross-pollinate. Dill may also stunt the growth of nearby carrots.

Other poor dill companion plants include:

  • Peppers
  • Potatoes
  • Eggplant
  • Cilantro
  • Lavender

Results are mixed when it comes to planting dill near tomatoes. Young dill plants attract pollinators, repel certain tomato enemies, and tend to benefit tomato health and growth. However, many gardeners have observed that when mature, dill plants stunt the growth of tomato plants.

The answer to this quandary is to prune dill every week so the plant doesn’t bloom. If you want dill to bloom, leave it in place while both plants are young, then relocate dill to another area of your garden before it flowers.

The distinctive flavor of dill, Anethum graveolens, is said to resemble a combination of fennel, anise, and celery.

The feathery leaves of this delicate and attractive herb are often used to season savory dishes, including fish, salads, and soups.

And the plant’s seeds are also put to culinary use, taking on a starring role in dill pickles, for example.

If you’re considering adding this useful herb to your garden, you may be wondering where exactly to fit it in, and which plants work well as companions for it.

First, we’ll take a quick look at what companion plants are and why they’re important, then we’ll offer some examples of what to group this herb with, and which ones to grow on the other side of the garden.

What You’ll Learn

  • Why Companion Plant?
  • What Goes With Dill?
  • What You Should Not Plant With Dill

Why Companion Plant?

One might pair, or group, particular plants in the garden for any number of reasons.

A particular plant, for example, might attract pollinators that are beneficial to another. Or a carefully chosen plant may repel pests that plague its neighbor.

One plant may tuck neatly under another one, maximizing space.

Sometimes plants are grouped based on their resource utilization, with each plant drawing differing nutrients from the soil, so as not to impinge on each other’s requirements.

Plants may be incompatible neighbors because they’re a little too closely related, as we’ll discover shortly.

And many times, of course, specimens are grouped based on aesthetics… what looks good together?

All of these are important considerations when you’re planning out your garden for the season.

What Goes With Dill?

When identifying plants that make sense to grow with it, let’s begin with cole crops.

Pests such as cabbage worm and cabbage looper that plague brassicas are repelled by dill, so it’s a good idea to put this herb near vegetables in that group, which includes brussels sprouts, cabbage, broccoli, collards, and kohlrabi.

Moving beyond the brassica family to the trickier relationship between dill and tomatoes, we encounter a conundrum.

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.

What to do? We’ll leave it up to you as to whether you want to plant dill near tomatoes and then pull it before it gets too grown up – but keep in mind that A. graveolens does not transplant well.

Onions and garlic repel aphids, which can pester dill, so gardeners might consider planting these members of the Amaryllidaceae family near the herb.

In turn, it repels spider mites, so crops including cucumbers, eggplant, and potatoes that are particularly plagued by this pest would make good companions.

Dill attracts predatory insects that feast on bugs that bug asparagus, corn, cucumbers, lettuce, and basil.

Dill also attracts hoverflies, ladybugs, praying mantises, bees, butterflies, and parasitic wasps, so plants that are in need of those beneficials would be good companions for A. graveolens.

As far as appearance goes, the feathery leaves offer a lovely contrast to many plants, so let your imagination run wild.

Bear in mind also that this herb can grow 2 to 4 feet tall.

What You Should Not Plant With Dill

While this herb makes a good companion for many plants, there are also those with which it should not be grown.

For example, it generally should not be grown near its Umbellifer family members, such as fennel, caraway, celery, and carrots. Fennel can potentially cross-pollinate with dill, producing a bitter-tasting hybrid. Mature dill can stunt the growth of nearby carrots.

There is an exception to this rule. It it often planted along side Umbellifers to act as a trap crop and attract pests that would otherwise feed on the other veggies.

Sometimes, these trap crops are burned after infestation to kill adults, eggs, and larvae of the pest insect. But one of the main feeders on Umbellifers are swallowtail butterfly catepillars which are pollinators as adults. Gardeners may just want to leave them be and plant extra.

It also should not be planted near peppers, eggplant, potatoes, or lavender.

Do Dill, and Do It Right

Dill is a savory and attractive addition to the landscape – not to mention the kitchen – but gardeners should give some thought and attention to where it is grown.

Combined with the right plants, it will thrive or enable others to thrive.

Do you do dill? In the comments section below, share your experiences growing this flavorful herb.

If you’d like more information about growing herbs, check out these articles next:

  • How To Grow and Use Lemon Balm
  • Grow Common Sage, A Mediterranean Culinary Staple
  • Love It Or Hate It, Cilantro Is Easy to Grow

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© Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Originally published on January 10, 2020. Last updated: January 16, 2020 at 18:29 pm. Uncredited photos: .

About Gretchen Heber

A former garden editor for a daily newspaper in Austin, Texas, Gretchen Heber goes through entirely too many pruners and garden gloves in a year’s time. She’s never met a succulent she didn’t like and gets really irritated every 3-4 years when Austin actually has a freeze cold enough to kill them. To Gretchen, nothing is more rewarding than a quick dash to the garden to pluck herbs to season the evening meal. And it’s definitely time for a happy dance when she’s able to beat the squirrels to the peaches, figs, or loquats.

Planting Dill in Your Flower Garden

Flowering annuals such as dill not only are tasty and edible herbs, but they add charm to a garden. Planting dill in your flower garden heightens its aesthetic atmosphere while at the same time protecting certain plants and vegetables. Companion planting is the art of selective plant and herb placement to mutually benefit its neighbors. Like other herbs and vegetables, some plants are benefited by dill while others are beneficial to dill. When laying out your plant or vegetable garden, learn how to use dill beneficially. It is not only an aromatic, attractive herb, but it makes a good companion to many plants.

Dill Companion Planting

Planting dill in your vegetable or flower garden will attract beneficial visitors and repel pests. In a vegetable garden, dill benefits members of the cabbage family, corn, cucumbers, members of the onion family and lettuce. Avoid planting it with carrots and tomatoes. Dill can be planted among flowers as well. Many of the same insects it attracts help with flowers too. Dill attracts wasps, hoverflies, tomato horn worms and honeybees. On the other hand, dill repels aphids, mites, cabbage loopers and squash bugs. Dill is also one of the few annuals that can be planted with fennel which should be avoided by almost everything else.

Where to Plant Dill in the Garden

Dill should be planted in full sun. The soil should be well drained, and because dill can grow to a height of two or three feet, consider what you plant next to it. Dill self seeds, so you can expect it to return next year provided the soil conditions are the same. Plant dill next to flowers of varying color. Its light green stem and yellowish green flowers contrast nicely with flowers that produce dark petals. If garden aesthetics are your main concern, sprinkle dill seeds in a variety of locations throughout your flower garden. Imagine a bouquet of flowers accentuated by sprigs of green leaves that allow the vibrant colors of the flowers to stand out. Dill serves a similar purpose in a garden, but it is also very aromatic.

Harvesting Dill

The ideal time to harvest dill is when the weather is cool, usually in the morning. Cut the flower heads after they begin to go to seed, but be sure to let some complete the life cycle to reseed the ground. A dill harvest is another advantage of growing this herb. If you enjoy making pickles, grow plenty of dill. For each jar of dill pickles, at least two flower heads and several sprigs are necessary. Fresh dill can also be added to salads or other culinary concoctions.

Planting dill in your flower garden is both good for the flowers and aesthetically pleasing. Dill is an aromatic herb that attracts honeybees and other beneficial insects while repelling certain pests. Dill can be used for flower garden contrast, or it can be harvested and used in pickling or cooking. If you let some of your dill plants go to seed, they will self seed and regenerate themselves during the next growing season.

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