Cumin

   Cumin

Heirloom. Organic. Cultivated for millennia in North Africa, the Mediterranean and modern-day Iran, Cumin is now an essential flavor in the cuisines of Europe, India, Mexico and elsewhere. Seeds of this parsley family member have been recovered dating back more than 4000 years, and the seeds of this herbaceous annual are believed to be the second most popular spice in the world. The leaves can also be added to salad and impart a mild tangy flavor. An annual herb native to the Mediterranean regions, cumin is a candidate for indoor windowsill gardens. It is primarily cultivated for its flavorful seeds, which have a variety of culinary uses. Cumin is a common flavoring agent in Indian and Mexican cuisine, as well as cheeses, pickles, sausages and soups. It is the primary flavoring spice for curries and chili powders.

Planting Cumin

While starting seeds of the Cumin plant is not necessarily difficult, the right conditions will make the process successful.  Most gardeners sow Cumin Seeds directly in the ground in the spring when the threat of frost has passed or plant is containers (grows great on a window ledge). Keep the ground moist but not wet for the first couple of weeks. Pick a sunny, well-drained spot for planting for the best performance. Prefers a well-drained fertile soil in a sunny position.  Heirloom / Open Pollinated Cumin are cool weather loving plants that prefer well drained loose soil and an even amount of water. Plant heirloom Cumin in rows or hills but make sure the soil is well warmed. Plant seeds 1/8" deep. Plant Cumin in full sun or partial shade. Germination should occur in 5-10 days in soil 70-85°F. 

In rows 12-15" apart. Height: 18”   Spacing: 3-6”

Depth: 1/8  inch Germination: 5-10 days

Starting from Seed Indoors

Generally, the time to start your seeds is about 2- 3 weeks before the last expected spring frost date in your area, planting the seedlings outdoors about 2 weeks after that date. Another way to figure is to plan on setting out sturdy seedlings in the garden when night temperatures stay in the mid-50 degree range both day and night. Count back and sow seeds 2 to 3 weeks before that date normally arrives. Broadcast seeds over the area to be planted. Cover the seeds to a depth of approximately 1/4 inches of the potting mix. Mist each  pot with water until the soil appears moist. Place the pots in an area which will provide both light (which is required for germination) and heat, preferably about 65 to 70 degrees F and at least 8 hours of light each day. Check on the seeds every day and keep the seeds damp but not drenched by misting with your plant mister. You should see sprouting in about 5 to 10 days. Once your seedlings have reached about 2 to 3 inches in height, choose an area in your garden to transfer them. You can also use containers like barrels or clay pots. Dig holes twice the width and depth of each of your pots. Fill up each hole with water then let it drain off. Place a pot in the hole center and level so that your seedling is at the same level as the surrounding soil. Push dirt in carefully all the way to fill the hole back up. Water each seedling carefully so as not to soak the leaves or stem.  You can grow several crops during a season.  

Direct-seeding into the Garden

Turn over the area you've selected to a depth of approximately 2 inches. Rake the area until it's level and smooth. Water the area until the soil is damp but not saturated. Scatter the seeds in the row. Gently rake the area to distribute the seeds further and protect them from birds. Or, press the seeds into the soil and cover with no more than 1/8 inches of soil. You can also place 2 to 3 seeds every 3 to 6 inches in rows approximately 12-15 inches apart, and cover seeds with 1/8 inches of soil. Place planting stakes around the area so you will know where to water. Check on your seeds about once a day. Make sure to mist the soil whenever it appears dry. Germination for the Cumin is approximately 5 to 10 days, depending on the warmth of the soil.   

Germination Problems

Growing plants from seeds successfully depends on a lot of factors and this makes it impossible to guarantee success on every batch of seeds planted.  Factors include, soil composition, PH, temperature, moisture levels, seed depth, soil density, seed viability, seed storage and many others.  We tested the germination of all our seeds and this seed variety is around 80%, but your results may vary based on exactly how you plant and all the environmental factors.  Good luck.