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Caraway Seeds

When to Plant Caraway Seeds

Sow caraway seeds outdoors in spring or autumn. For an early start, sow caraway in spring as early as the soil can be worked, about the date of the average last frost. Seeds sown in spring will not produce flowers or seeds until the second summer. If starting indoors, do so 3-4 weeks before the average last frost.

Where to Plant Caraway Seeds

Caraway grows best in well-drained sandy soil with a pH of 6.0 to 7.0. It prefers full sun conditions but can tolerate partial shade.

How to Plant Caraway Seeds

Caraway seeds require light to germinate, so be careful not to cover them when planting. Learn more about germination light requirements here.

Add aged compost to planting beds in advance of planting. If starting indoors, press seeds into potting soil surface and cover lightly with vermiculite. For outdoor starts, sow seed shallowly, about 1/4th to 1/2 of an inch deep. Space caraway plants 8 inches apart, with rows 18-24 inches apart, and then thin successful plants from 12-18 inches apart when seedlings are about 4 inches tall. Water evenly and regularly until plants are established. After, caraway can be left nearly dry in between watering. Stop watering when flowers begin to form. Fertilize lightly when seedlings are 3 inches tall and again when flowers appear.

How to Harvest Caraway

To harvest, cut caraway leaves from spring onward the first year. During the second year, harvest after flowering but before seeds fall to the ground. Cut flower heads as seeds turn from yellowish to brown. Harvest roots as soon as flowering is finished. Allow seeds to dry out and turn brown. Place a paper bag around seed heads, allowing seeds to drop in the bag as they ripen.