Seed Count: Approx. 175 seeds
Days to Maturity: 120 Days
Description: Cumin is a fragrant herb, that is popularly used in Mexican, Mediterranean, and Indian cuisine. Its feathery green foliage resembles dill, and is in fact a member of the parsley family. Its young leaves can be a tasty addition to add to salad mixes, and its seeds are a well known herb used to add a warm, earthy flavor to your dishes. It is one of my favorite herbs to keep around, in both ground, and whole form. Cumin is an absolute necessity in making your own curry seasoning, but its flavor can also be found in masalas, chili powders, adobos, kormas, and more. It grows best in warm climates, but can be grown anywhere, if started early enough. They boast cute, tiny, pink or white flowers that beneficial insects love, and can grow up to 2 ft. tall.
Mint2Grow Tip: I absolutely love cooking with whole cumin seeds. The flavor is absolutely amazing. Cumin is such a homey spice for me, and just tasting a good curry makes me feel like Anton Ego, going back to his childhood after tasting Remy's ratatouille. My favorite thing to make is jeera (cumin) rice to go with my lamb curries. Because why eat only plain rice when you can add a little bit of flavor to your life?
How To Grow
Sowing: If you live in a colder area, give your cumin a head start, by starting your seeds indoors 4-6 weeks before your last frost. It's helpful to soak the seeds for 8 hours, to help with germination, but it's not necessary. Plant them 1/4 inch deep, and provide them with heat, and adequate light. Your seeds should germinate in 7-14 days. Transplant your seedlings into your garden about a week after your lost frost, spacing your plants about 8 inches apart, in full sun. You can also direct sow your seeds in a sunny area 1/4 inch deep, and 4 inches apart, thinning to 8 inches, once your plants start to develop its true leaves.
Growing: Cumin should be watered regularly, however, allow for the soil to dry out first, in between waterings. Use mulch to help conserve moisture and control weeds. Cumin needs a long growing season of at least 120 days to produce harvestable seeds, and does best in a well draining, fertile soil. Watch out for aphids, with this plant, as they can be a nuisance. Besides this, growing cumin is relatively easy and care free. Companion plant cumin with cucumbers, potatoes, and cabbages.
Harvesting: You can harvest fresh cumin leaves as needed, taking care to leave some of the plant in tact, if you wish to harvest seeds. To collect seeds, allow your plants to flower, and develop seed heads. Once your seed heads have dried, pick them, and rub them gently in order to remove the seeds; dry the seeds more if needed, and store your seeds in an air tight container.