Caraway (Carum carvi)

Caraway is an herb

Image – Flickr/Gertjan van Noord

Many herbs are used as ingredients in culinary recipes: some because they are edible, others aromatic, but all of them very easy to grow. in pots, such as caraway, whose scientific name is carum charcoal.

This is a relative of celery, so when it blooms we will see that it produces an inflorescence very similar to that of that plant. But, How is it cared for and what uses does it have?

What are the characteristics of carum charcoal?

Caraway is a medicinal herb

Image - Wikimedia / Jerzy Opioła

It is a biennial herb (that is, it lives two years: the first, germinates and grows; during the second it flowers and bears fruit) native to Europe, as well as North Africa and West Asia. Its leaves are compound and have toothed margins.. The flowers sprout from a stem that reaches a height of about 40 centimeters., sometimes 1 meter, and they are white and small.

It is popularly known as caraway, carvia or meadow road. And as a curiosity, you should know that it can be grown in pots, something that you can do by following the advice that we offer below.

How do you care for caraway?

Do you dare to grow your own caraway? If so, you will see that it is not difficult. It is a plant that resists drought relatively well, so you will not have many problems when it comes to getting it to finish its development so that you can use it in the kitchen:

Location

El carum charcoal It is a grass that grows fast, but to be able to do it well it is important that it gets direct sunlight. So, our first advice is to put it outside. Even if instead of an already grown plant you have bought seeds, the seedbed must be exposed to the light of the king star. In this way, you will ensure that they have a good development.

Soil or substrate

Carum carvi is a biennial herb

Image – Flickr/Gertjan van Noord

  • the garden: not demanding. It grows in many types of soil, but it is important that it is rich in organic matter, since otherwise it will have a hard time staying healthy.
  • Flower pot: if you intend to grow it in a pot, you can fill it with universal substrate such as this or with a specific one for urban garden (for sale here!).

Irrigation

It is an herb that does not need to be watered frequently. You only have to do it during the summer (and if it is dry), and if you have your caraway in a pot. So that problems do not arise from lack or excess of watering, you have to check the humidity of the soil or the substrate before re-hydrating the plant.

You can do this easily by inserting a wooden stick: if you see that when you take it out it comes out the same as when you put it in, that is, if you see that it comes out clean and dry, it means that you have to water your caraway, because the soil is very dry; and if, on the contrary, it comes out wet and with a substrate adhered to it, you do not have to water it.

Extra trick in case you grow it in a pot

El carum charcoal it is sensitive to rot, so if you are going to have it in a pot, it is very important that it has drainage holes. But beware: it is not enough. If you are one of those who put a plate under the containers, it is preferable that you do not do it with the caraway, unless you are going to remember to drain it after watering.

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Carum carvi is a biennial plant

Since it is an edible plant, we are going to pay it with organic fertilizers, suitable for organic farming. For example, with manure from herbivorous animals, compost or guano (not mixed with fertilizers). We will start doing it during its first year of life, in spring, and we will stop doing it at the end of summer; and then we will resume the fertilization during the following spring, and we will continue until it is time to harvest it.

Multiplication

The seeds of carum charcoal are sown in spring, or if you want at the end of winter if you have an electric germinator. You have to put them in a sunny place so that they can germinate well, and bury them a little. They should not be piled up, because if they were, two things could happen: not all of them would germinate and/or on the contrary, many would sprout together, something that would be a problem when you wanted to separate them, since not all of them would survive.

In fact, it is best to plant them in a vegetable seed tray, and put one or two at most in each hole. That way, as soon as the roots came out of the holes, you could easily separate them and plant them in pots or in the ground.

Rusticity

Caraway is a very rustic plant, capable of withstanding temperatures of up to -18ºC.

What is?

Carum carvi seeds are sown in spring

It has several uses:

  • In the kitchen: both the fruits and the seeds are used as a condiment, as well as to flavor some foods, such as Danish cheeses. It is also often combined with cabbage, or even used to make alcoholic beverages.
  • in folk medicine: both the seeds, as well as the essential oil and the tincture are used to improve digestion, reduce gas, and in cases of bronchitis, asthma or skin wounds.
  • Other uses: body hygiene products are made, such as soaps.

El carum charcoal It is a very interesting and easy to care for herb.


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