Dill is an aromatic herb that adds a flavor to seafood, soups, pickles and other foods.

But in your garden it’s more than that – it attracts beneficial insects including pollinators, lady beetles, syrphid flies and parasitic wasps that will attack damaging insects such as aphids and Japanese beetles.

Also, once it has gone to seed, it is attractive in flower arrangements.

Dill is an annual that does not transplant well, so it’s best to seed it directly into the garden. Plant the seeds about a quarter of an inch deep and gently rake them into the soil. The seeds will sprout in about two weeks. Two weeks after that, thin them so they are about a foot apart. Dill likes full sun, well-drained soil and plenty of water.

You can harvest dill leaves as soon as they appear. Once the flowers appear, you can cut down and dry the entire plant.

If you like, let some of the flowers go to seed and you should get some volunteers in your garden the following year.

— TOM ATWELL

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