These seeds are a favorite addition to a number of vegetable and pasta dishes. Caraway has feathery, carrot like leaves, and white flower umbels, all of which are also eaten. A herb worth growing, needing a little patience because it does take two seasons for the harvest of seeds, but well worth the fresh Caraway flavor.
Biennial, zones 3-9
Germination: 7-14 days
Germination Temperature: Optimum soil temperatures 60-65ºF
Seed Planting Depth: ⅛” deep
Starting Indoors: Start indoors 2-3 weeks before the last frost. Provide 60-65°F soil temperatures. Using biodegradable peat, cow, or paper pots can help with the stress of transplanting, they grow delicate roots and successful transplanting may be challenging. Transplant into the garden after the last frost. Water seedlings regularly until established.
Sowing Outdoors: After the last frost, sow seeds 1-3” apart, thin to 6-8” apart.
Growth Habit: Mounded first year, upright flowers second year
Height and Width: 36” x 18-24”
Spacing: 6-8” apart
Light Needs: Full sun
Soil Needs: Caraway needs average to fertile, well-drained soil
Harvest: in the second year after the spent flowers form seeds and foliage dries and starts to die back. Cut flower umbels off, place in a container or paper bags, let them dry for a few days, then shake off the seeds. Store in an airtight glass jar. Leaves can be harvested and added to salads. Roots are edible and can be harvested like carrots and other root vegetables in the second year.
Uses: Culinary, medicinal, attracts beneficial insects.
Care: Keep weeded, doesn't compete well with weeds. Stop watering plants once the seeds begin to form.
Tips: Grows 1-2’ during the first year. During the second year, the flower umbels arrive and can reach up to 3 feet. Leaves die down in the fall of the first year, resprouting in the spring