I've read several conflicting pieces of information on the growing of dill, cilantro, and fennel near one another. I've read that fennel and dill will grow well together and make good companion plants, however I've also read that they will cross pollinate to make a foul-smelling hybrid. I've read that dill and cilantro will cross pollinate to create a rather disgusting culinary useless hybrid, but I've also read that they can be beneficial to one another's growth. I have not, however, read anything on cilantro and fennel growing together. How do these three plants fare when grown with one another, and is there any risk of cross pollination or hybridization?
To cut costs I am planning on using the seeds again. I (personally) don't particularly care about hybrids or GMOs, I just want to be able to use the plants as herbs. However, should the hybrids not be culinarily useful, I would begin to care.

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    Are you intending to collect seeds from your plants then? Because if you just want to grow them for culinary use, its fine to grow them together - Dill and Cilantro, being annuals, means you'll need new plants or seed the following year, so maybe you do want to save seed from those or allow self set seedlings, which might have cross pollinated and are undesirable, I'm not clear from your question whether you do or don't want to save seeds.
    – Bamboo
    Jan 10 '18 at 12:12
  • Whether a resulting hybrid is useful from a culinary standpoint may be subjective, as far as taste goes. That's the sort of thing you don't always know unless you taste it for yourself and actually use it in a dish it goes well in (which may not be the same dishes that dill, cilantro, and fennel go well in). I personally like the taste of rue, but I understand it makes some people vomit. Jan 11 '18 at 1:43

Yes, cross pollination between Dill and Fennel can occur. Not a plant you want to grow...bitter and wimpy. Not sure about the Cilantro...the point is harvesting your own seed without exacting knowledge about genome, sanitation, sequestration and lots of money to ensure pollination between two plants with known DNA? Is kind of a waste of time.

While we are able, before some dang catastrophe, we should always use certified, non gmo stamped, seed, certified seed potatoes, certified plant starts. Harvesting our own seed is fine but that habit has major draw backs if you aren't expecting them or have enough room to experiment growing your own harvested seed without the ability to know the genetics. Save your NON gmo and certified seeds. Freezer with absolutely no worry about thawing...so no automatic defrosting freezers and vacuum packing.

Just the ability to grow crops successfully, knowing how to test pH, knowing how to change pH, knowing how to rotate crops, prepare proper beds, how to use fertilizer, how to control drainage, how to mitigate normal insect infestations, how to water properly? How to improve soil tilth? How to do just the basics without being able to go to a store to get proper ingredients is pretty much out of the scope of skills the most seasoned gardeners have.

Harvesting your own seed is interesting. Pollination control? That is almost impossible without a sealed, sanitary room with positive pressure. I am spending my time and money collecting unadulterated seed. Certified seed. There is a half life of sorts with seed but having good seed makes good sense. I collect seed when I've been lazy making sure I label exactly what I THINK I've got. Growing this seed will make sense when there is no other seed to buy...

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    My two cents - I grew dill and cilantro in the same small vegetable garden for seven years without any cross-pollination that I knew of. In both cases, I let the plants go to seed and seed themselves into the garden. The seeds sprouted the following spring and were fine, culinarily speaking.
    – Jurp
    Jan 11 '18 at 1:27
  • I do the same thing every year...seriously. I do not advocate collecting seed other than to learn how to collect seed and check out the genetics in a pot situation. I feel there is only so much time to collect heirloom and genetically 'normal' seed I will always order seeds. Sometimes, I collect seed, experiment, but right now focus on excellent seed/genetics is more important than saving a few bucks risking a less than hearty harvest. Grins. The thing with self seeding as I know you know is that YOU don't have control over rotation. I've got tomatoes and potatoes and eggplant coming up
    – stormy
    Jan 11 '18 at 2:11
  • ...everywhere in my garden. I don't let them flower and seed. But my crops are on graph paper with constant logs what was done, added, temps, future notes, what is a trap crop, what beds are acidic enough for blue berries and potatoes....sometimes I get lazy and really regret not doing decent note taking. My hubby got me back on track...comes a point where we gardeners are allowed to relax cause we know how far we can be lazy yet not risk a harvest? But for newbies I do not advocate letting them see our organic sloppiness. Ok for us, not for them. Grins.
    – stormy
    Jan 11 '18 at 2:18
  • ...we've earned the right to be sloppy? Organic, messy?
    – stormy
    Jan 11 '18 at 2:25

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