Whenever I think of growing the Caraway plant, I always remember a spicy herb that loves full sun, which grows in well-drained fertile soil with a pH that is near neutral. Caraway Plant is not one of those vegetables that love hot humid climates. It thrives well in zone 4-10 and Caraway seeds are planted 0.25-0.5 inch deep.
Read on for more details about Caraway, how to grow Caraway, how to take care and harvest Caraway, and how to choose the best variety of Caraway for planting.
What is Caraway and how to choose the best variety for planting?
Caraway Plant is scientifically known as Carum carvi. Common names of the Caraway Plant include Meridian fennel and Persian cumin. It belongs to the family Apiaceae, which is a family that comprises parsley.
Caraway Plant is a biennial herbaceous plant, which is native to Asia and some parts of Northern and central Europe. The plant takes two years to produce flowers and Seeds. During the first year, Caraway Plant grows leaves that resemble that of carrot leaves. The roots of Caraway are taproot, which is also similar to that of carrots.
The plant can grow up to 8 inches during the first year and up to 24 inches during the second year. Flowers develop in the second year from the umbels, which are later followed by the seeds.
Caraway Plant is of different varieties and origins. There are Caraway varieties that are from Egyptian, Dutch, English, and German Caraway. However, despite these many varieties of Caraway on the shelves, you should not be overwhelmed.
This is because there is a good variety that was tested by many gardeners and they found the variety to be worth a good variety for growing. This variety is called Arternet variety. This variety of Caraway Plant has a good flavor and contains a high amount of essential oil than other varieties of Caraway Plant.
It was also found to produce a high yield when compared with the other varieties of the Caraway Plant.
With this basic information about Caraway Plant, let us look at how to grow Caraway both in pot and garden.
How to grow Caraway
If you want to grow Caraway, you have two options. The first option is to grow Caraway Plant in the container. The second option is to grow Caraway in the garden. Growing Caraway Plant in the pot is not recommended. This is because Caraway develops long extensive taproots, which normal growth can be hindered in the hot.
However, when you grow the Caraway plant in the garden, the roots of Caraway will have plenty of space to grow optimally.
In this article, I’m going to look at how to grow Caraway both in a pot and in the garden so that you can choose the cultivation method that suits you.
Read also: How To Grow Spinach From Cuttings And Seeds
How to grow Caraway in pot
Here is a step by step guide on how to grow Caraway in the pot:
1. Locate the right time for planting: the first step for growing a successful Caraway Plant is to plant at the right time. Plant Caraway seeds before the last frost. If you are loving in a warm climate, sow Caraway seeds in spring or autumn. However, if you are living in a temperate climate with a long growing season, plant Caraway seeds in winter.
2. Find good container (s): the next step is to choose a good container or containers that are suitable for growing Caraway. While choosing the pot, make sure you choose a tall pot with enough space. This is because Caraway Plant grows long taproots. And so if you do not use a tall pot, the roots will struggle to grow due to insufficient space.
If you are choosing a pot, I recommend that you choose a tall terracotta pot that has a well-drained space. It also needs to be biodegradable so that you can later transfer it to the ground.
3. Add potting soil: if you have gotten the right pot, fill the pot with a good potting mix. Make sure you add a well-drained and fertile soil that has all the necessary mixes in the right proportion. The pH of the potting soil should be near neutral. This is because Caraway Plant grows well in pH that ranges between 6.5-7.
Plant the Caraway seeds: sow seed in the potting soil about .25 to 0.5 inches. Cover the seed with the potting soil or vermiculite. Water gently with water to keep the potting soil and seed moist.
Read also: How To Grow Broccoli From Scraps And Seeds
4. Locate the right place and place the container: you need to keep the pot in full sun. The place should be well-ventilated and receive at least 6-8 hours of sunlight daily. Do not keep the container in a hot humid place as Caraway does not grow well in this condition.
5. Watch for germination: if everything is done right, after 8-12 days, your Caraway will begin to germinate. During this time, do not feed the Caraway seedlings, however, if you so wish, you give them slow-release liquid fertilizer. You can alternatively apply well-aged compost. What is needed much is water. Keep the potting soil moist. But, avoid flooding your Caraway seedlings.
For details on how to take care of your Caraway and how to harvest your caraway plant, read on. Alternatively, you can skip this section on how to grow Caraway in the ground and go to the section where I explained how to take care of the Caraway Plant.
How to grow Caraway plant in the ground
Here is the step by step guide on how to grow Caraway plant e the garden:
1. Choose the right time and season: as earlier discussed under growing Caraway Plant in a pot, the first thing is to sow Caraway seeds in the right season. Sow seeds in the garden 4-6 weeks before the last frost.
2. Choose the right garden spot: unlike growing Caraway in a pot where you will need to find a tall pot, here you need to find a good garden spot that receives full sun. The soil should be well-drained and fertile with a pH that is near neutral. Never choose a location with pests. We are going to discuss Caraway pests later in this article.
Tip: for details about choosing a garden spot, read our step by step guide to choosing a good spot here
3. Prepare the garden spot: the next step is to prepare the garden spot. Use a garden rake and fork to loosen the top 10 inches of the soil. Remove large rocks, stones, plant roots, and other off plants. Mix in two inches layers of compost. Prepare rows or drills and leave about 12 inches between rows.
Tip: learn more on how to prepare a garden spot
4. Plant the Caraway seeds: sow Caraway seeds 0.25 to 0.5 inch deep and then cover with 1cm of soil. Water gently with water. Do not overwater just enough to keep the soil and seeds moist. After about 8-12 days, the Caraway seeds will begin to germinate. After germination, continue to keep the ground consistently moist. Add in compost and liquid fertilizer.
5. Take care of the garden: you need to take care of your Caraway garden. Water the ground regularly especially during the early vegetative growth of Caraway. But, do not water the surface of the leaves as water on the leaves can attract pests and diseases. Always water the plants from the base. Mulch the garden if it is cold or too hot. You can learn more about how to take care of your garden here.
Harvesting Caraway Plant
Caraway will take all the first 12 months growing vegetatively. But, if you like, you can harvest the leaves and enjoy in your favorite salad dressings. The seeds of Caraway can be harvested during the second year. Harvest Caraway seeds in the late summer or early fall of the second year. The flowers of Caraway can also be consumed. The taproots are similar to that of carrots, which can be dug out and enjoy in various recipes.
Caraway companion plants
Caraway can be grown together with members of Brassica family such as kale, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, and so on. Growing Caraway together with these vegetables can help determine pests such as caterpillars. Caraway can also be grown with peas. Growing Caraway with peas help determine pests such as aphids.
Pests and diseases of Caraway
The common pests that cause damage to the Caraway Plant include leafhoppers, carrot rust flies, grasshoppers, and parseley caterpillars.
While the diseases that cause damages to Caraway include aster yellow damping off, phoma bligh, and powdery mildew.
Frequently asked questions
How long for Caraway to grow
Under normal climatic conditions, an average variety of Caraway can take 65-75 days to fully mature.
What are the Caraway growing zones?
Caraway Plant is a vegetable that loves full sun and well-drained fertile soil. It thrives well in zone 4 through 10.
Is Caraway Plant a perennial?
Caraway Plant is usually grown as biennial vegetable. The leaves are usually harvested for consumption during the first year. While the seeds as well as the flowers are harvested during y second year.
How do you sprout Caraway seeds?
To sprout Caraway seeds, sow Caraway seeds in potting or garden soil. Then, cover the Caraway seeds with soil or vermiculite. Water gently to keep the soil and seeds moist. After 8-14 days, the seeds will start to sprout.
In this article, I look at how to grow Caraway plant from seeds both in container and ground. I hope you will find this article helpful. Let me know if you have any questions.