How to Grow Cumin
Let’s talk about how to grow cumin. In America, cumin is not grown in many home gardens, possibly because of two factors:
(1) A belief that it cannot be grown outside tropical areas.
(2) There is much uncertainty for many people about how to use cumin in the kitchen.
However, cumin should be a wonderful addition to your gardens, because not only is it a healthy addition to your diet , but because it is easy to grow! Here’s where you can buy cumin seeds to plant in your garden.
Cumin (Cuminum cyminum) is a member of the parsley family. It is a herbaceous annual plant which grows to a height of around 1 foot tall. The weed-like branches and leaves of the plant are very thin and feathery and the flowers are a small, pretty pink or white color. The flowers are short-lived and then they become the clusters of the cumin seed that are harvested as the spice.
Enough background info, let’s get down to the details about how to grow cumin…
Propagation of Cumin:
**Sow your cumin seeds indoors about 8 weeks before your final frost date. After frost danger has passed, plant your cumin seedlings 4 inches apart in your chosen garden area. You want to plant the seedlings close together, so that they will support each other during harvest time.
**Cumin requires a pretty long growing season, as it takes about 4 months to mature, so if you live in an area with a short growing season, you will want to start them indoors. Transplant your cumin plants outdoors when temperature LOWS reach 60 degrees.
**Cumin can either be grown indoor as well as outdoor from seeds and seedlings. Buying seedlings from nursery is more expensive (and difficult to find!) than growing cumin from seeds.
Position of Cumin Plants:
**Plant your cumin plants in full sun, wherever you want: containers, garden, or raised beds, etc.
**These plants thrive in well-draining soil in a sheltered sunny spot.
Maintenance of Cumin Plants:
**Water your cumin plants well in dry weather and about four months later, you will be ready to harvest. Cumin plants likes damp soil (but still do not overwater!) and the only real problem is that the plant is intolerant of long periods of dry heat. In those climates, misting will help.
**Other than watering, there is very little maintenance to do for these easy going plants.
Harvesting Your Cumin:
**Enjoy the beauty of the cumin flowers, and then watch closely as the flowers turn into the seed pods.
**Cumin seeds often ripen unevenly, so you need to keep a close eye on your crop and harvest your cumin plants individually.
**Cumin seed pods are ready to harvest when they easily crack open in your hands and when the clusters turn brown.
**When some of the plants are ready, cut down 5-6 cumin plants at the stem and place the pod clusters in a paper bag. Tie it and hang the bag upside down in a warm, dry place. After 7-10 days, the pods will have dried. Rub the pods between your fingers and the seeds will drop out for immediate use or for storage.
**You can also thresh the bag when it is ready to harvest: beat the bag against a hard surface to dislodge the seeds. Sift the seeds through a mesh cloth to remove the chaff.
**IMPORTANT: make sure the cumin seeds are absolutely dried before putting them away for storage to prevent rot/mold.
**The seeds (brown cumin) start out yellowish in color and when they dry, they become more green-brown.
**Cumin seeds can be used as is, but dry roasting brings out more aroma. You should roast them if you plan on grinding them.
After learning about this easy-t0-grow plant, will you grow Cumin?
**I would LOVE to hear from you! Are you going to grow your own cumin? Have you grown your own cumin before? Did my information on ‘How to Grow Cumin Seeds’ inspire you? Tell me about your thoughts on cumin in the comments below.
**Here is where you can buy cumin seeds for planting. Click here to read more about where to find high-quality seed companies for organic gardening.
**Read more about How to Plan Your Garden.