Growing caraway, planting, care, and harvesting
Today we go through the full guide of caraway growing methods, techniques and tips. Caraway which is scientifically called as Carum Carvi is a herb which is biennial. It is also called as Meridian fennel or Persian cumin. This caraway belongs to the family of Apiaceae. The leaves of caraway have a very good aroma and its seeds are delicious. The seeds of Caraway are used in many numbers of culinary wats. The caraway will grow up to a length of 2 feet and it is a plant which will grow its best in the climatic conditions which are cool and warm. The seeds of caraway are the most used parts of the plant and can be used in stews, baking, soups and other types of food.
The caraway plant is the one which will get matured and grow up to a length of 30 inches. The plant will only have a length of 8 inches at the time of the first season with foliage which is like carrot and a long taproot. When the second year arrives, the caraway plant will become thrice its size and the foliage will become feathery with stems which are stout. You will see small flowers on the umbrels which will start at the time of May until the last weeks of summer. The flowers which are spent will yield small seeds which are hard and brown.
The spice of caraway is under-used and is not much grown in most gardens where herbs are raised. Caraway belongs to Western Asia and Europe where it will survive in full sun and in a soil which is well-drained. The soil with a pH level between 6.5 to 7 is perfect to grow caraway. Caraway will grow not that well when planted in the climatic conditions which are hot and humid. These are the plants which will prefer to grow in temperatures which are cool but not freezing. The seeds have to be sown at a depth of half an inch at the time of autumn or spring.
For the plantation of caraway in your garden, you can go through the internet to get the caraway plant images and check if you can find caraway plants for sale to directly plant them in your garden.
Growing caraway from the seed:
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- Caraway is considered to be the best plant which will grow very good when the plantation of its seed if done straight in the ground where you wish to grow the caraway. The seed of caraway has to be selected from the nursery or from any of its previous crop. If you are residing in a locality where the winter is not very cold, the seed, you can sow the seeds in winter but remember that caraway will not be able to resist the wetness which would be present in winter.
- If you find that the soil is dry, you will have to water the seeds for making sure of a very good process of germination. The seeds of caraway have to be sown in a shallow manner. The seeds have to be kept at a distance of 6 to 8 inches from each other. If you did not place them at that particular distance, the seedlings have to be thinned to the most vigorous growers.
- Mulch has to be placed around the caraway seedlings. Few good choices of the mulch which can be placed would be like Manure which is rotted, hay or compost.
- Watering has to be done in a deep manner. It is very important at the time in which the climatic conditions are dry.
- The fertilization of caraway can be done at the end of the spring and in summer. You can make use of a complete fertilizer in the soil on the plantation, and you can make use of soluble fertilizer one time or two times at the time of its months of growing.
- You will have to pick the heads of caraway seed when the ripening of them is done completely. Make sure that you are not waiting for the seeds to start falling through. The seeds have to be spread on a tray or on any of the open containers so that you can dry them in a complete manner by using the sunlight. Placing the tray or container on the windowsill is fine.
- If you are interested to consume the leaves of caraway, you can pick them at the early time of spring, like when they are in a young phase and also palatable. The roots of caraway can also be consumed when they are in a young stage.
Storing caraway seeds:
The seeds of caraway can also be stored. The storing of caraway seeds can be done by placing them in containers which have airtight lids until you need them. You can restore them every year. If the caraway seed is not collected, it will self-seed on yearly basis.
Pruning caraway plants:
The caraway plants will die at the time of winter. So, at this point in time, you will have to cut back the caraway plants in a complete manner for enabling them to grow back in a robust way in the coming spring.
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Difference between caraway seeds and fennel seeds:
Caraway and fennel are just like relatives, but they are not the same plant. The seeds of fennel will have a flavor which is completely dominated by anise where caraway is a bit different and is dominated by other types of flavors. They also have a slight difference when coming to the terms of appearance.
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Anise, Dill, cumin are other seeds which will look similar to flavors which are very different. Fennel and Anise have flavors which are very much similar and they can also be substituted in place of each other for usage. Dill and caraway are somewhat similar in terms of flavor. Cumin has a flavor which is completely different from the above-mentioned herbs.
Facts about growing caraway:
- Wild caraway is considered to be biennial or it would be sometimes a perennial forb. It will give rise to a rosette which is low growing at the time of the first year. The stalk which is flowering will bolt at the time of growth in its second year and sometimes, it may take place in the third year too.
- Caraway plant can be grown in the regions of Europe, Western Africa, and Europe.
- The caraway seeds are dark brown in color and they have five ridges all across their length. It has a similar taste which is earthy and warm like cumin, and they also belong to the family of Apiaceae. The overlay of caraway is bitter and is quite stronger than in cumin and caraway is sharper and is also less buttery than cumin.
- The caraway leaves will be tasty. You can make use of them in a salad as a fresh herb and you can also dry them in some amount of heat to add them in your soups all across the winter season.
- If the caraway seeds are stored properly, they will usually last for about 3 to 4 years with the best quality. To increase the shelf life of caraway seed which has been bought in bulk and to maintain its flavor, you can store them in air-tight containers.
- Cumin and caraway are somewhat similar in terms of taste and appearance, but cumin has a flavor which is stronger. You can make use of caraway seeds as a substitute of cumin seeds or you can also ground the caraway seeds to use them in place of cumin which is grounded.
That’s all folks about the techniques of growing caraway plants in your garden. Keep gardening!.
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