Clemson Extension School and Community Garden Program

Don’t “Dill-Ay” – Plant an Herb Garden

Feathery dill ready to be planted in the herb garden.

Dill (Anethum graveolens)  is a feathery herb great for cooking and attracting pollinating insects. It tops out at around 3 feet tall with yellow umbel shaped flowers.

Swallowtail butterflies use dill and other members of the carrot family (Apiaceae) to feed their young.  So if you are trying to attract more butterflies to your landscape, consider planting this herb.

Dill is easy to grow from seed sown in fall or early spring. It prefers cooler weather, so don’t wait to plant in the heat of the summer.  To use dill for cooking, harvest the feathery young leaves of the plant. Use the fresh foliage to season baked salmon along with a squeeze of lemon juice. Serve with roasted potatoes and steamed broccoli for a delicious and healthy side dish.

Dill is also the key ingredient in homemade ranch dressing or dip.  Use dill when pickling excess vegetables harvested from your garden. However, the ripe and unripe seed heads the parts best for use in pickling.  My favorite foods to pickle are cucumber, fennel, beets, okra, and sauerkraut.

Here is s favorite recipe using dill.  Try this fresh and light version of potato salad; it makes a perfect side dish for summer picnics.

Red Skin Potato Salad

  • 2 pounds red potatoes, cut into cubes
  • Salt
  • ½ cup fresh dill, minced
  • ½ cup capers
  • 1 bunch green onions, chopped

For dressing:

  • 1 tsp fresh lemon zest
  • t¼ cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tbs chopped fresh dill
  • 1 ½ tsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 ½ Tbs tahini
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

1. Put potatoes in a large pot of salted water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 7 minutes. Drain potatoes and set aside. Once cool, toss with dill, capers, and green onions

2. Prepare the dressing by mixing all the ingredients together. I use a food processor to mix the dressing. Add water or olive oil as necessary to thin if needed.

3. Toss the dressing over the potatoes. Enjoy!

Megan Shearer
Megan Shearer, Program Assistant, School & Community Gardening, Clemson Extension

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