How to Grow Black Cumin:
After the last good frost of the winter season is the best time to plant your black cumin herb seeds outside. There are some gardeners who will grow the black cumin, also known as Nigella Sativa in several successive weeks after the final frost which is great to do if you want your harvesting season to last longer. Black cumin also make great accents to flower arrangements when their pods are dried. They are also edible as a seasoning to almost any type of food you choose to make.
Seed Sowing Depth: Your black cumin seeds should be sown in a total of about of about 8 to 10 inches in rich soil. Each seed should lay about 1/8 inch under the top layer of soil. Each seed should be planted 4 to 6 inches apart to allow for adequate growth until the plant is ready to be harvested.
It is recommended to sow your black cumin seeds outdoors after the last deep frost of the winter when at all possible. All seed should be planted in rich soil in direct sunlight for best results.
When To Sow: The black cumin seeds will do best if they are sewn right after the last hard frost of the winter so they will germinate and be ready for harvest 2 to 3 months later.
Sowing Indoors/Outdoors: Black cumin should be sewn outdoors whenever possible in soil with a pH balance of between 6.0 and 7.0. Each seed should be planted about 8 to 10 inches deep in the soil and all soil should be worked thoroughly two to three months before planting to ensure the appropriate pH balance is reached.
Plant Height & Width: The fully grown black cumin plant will end up being about 20 to 60 cm (8 to 24 inches) tall and about 2-4 inches wide when they are fully grown.
Leafs Color/Description: Black cumin does not grow with leafs but as blooms with flowers that germinate on the end when the plant is fully grown. Fully germinated flowers have light blue petals and are shaped somewhat like a star with each plant consisting of 4-5 petals on the plant.
Growth Habits: The growth habits of the black cumin flower are that they love to grow in full sunlight when at all possible. They also love rich, dark soil with a pH of between 6.0 and 7.0 to allow them to grow to be the healthiest they can possibly be. Flowers should be watered with a lighter mist or spray as they are fairly fragile avoid drenching them with streams of water which can damage the growing plant. If no rain falls, about 1-2 inches of water are needed for the plant each week and should be provided in 2 to 3 watering sessions weekly.
General Information on Black Cumin & Uses: Black cumin is often dried and used in flower arrangements and bouquets. Drying the black cumin and adding it in to a bouquet can add a nice scent as well as a pop of color and accent to the bouquet. These plants are going to need to be planted annually for such purpose as they are annual bloomers and they will not come back the next year. Drying the flowers before using them for accent is vital or they will wilt and die off within a few days.
Black cumin is also edible and can be used as an accent to foods as the seeds in their pod are completely safe and edible. Add them to your favorite dishes to add a few seeds and a little bit of crunch to your meal. Adding them to smoothies or soups for a different consistency and added health benefit is also another great idea. These seeds have a variety of edible uses including garnishes to your favorite dishes as well. Add them in and let people marvel at how well they fit in with almost anything that you plan to cook.
Pests & Diseases Black Cumin Are Susceptible Too: Black cumin is susceptible to several different issues including wilt if they are left too long and not harvested when they are meant to be. They will wilt quite quickly within a few days to a week. Be sure to harvest your black cuminon time, about two to three months after they are planted to ensure that they are being harvested before the wilt away.
Black cumin is also subject to powdery mildew during the colder months of March and April after the last frost when they are planted. Powdery mildew is a mold that will attack the plant during its growing phases when it's just starting to sprout to the point when it is just starting to flower. In severe cases of powdery mildew the plant may not be able to develop or grow and may be killed off completely.
Alternia blight is another condition that black cumin is susceptible to when the weather is hot and humid. The most susceptible stage is the stage when the plant is beginning to grow but hasn't fully reached germination and harvesting stage yet. The seeds will die by being shriveled easily as fungi take over the plant. These pathogens can be spread by clothing people wear, tools, or even the air around the plant.
The last issue black cumin can have is damping off and this condition occurs in two stages including the pre-emergence and the post-emergence phases. The pre-emergence phase causes the seeds to rot and they are usually killed before the plant even breaks the soil's surface. The post-emergence phase occurs after the plant has begun to sprout and causes the young seedlings and stocks of the plant to die off before it matures.
Harvesting Information and Storage: When harvesting your black cumin be sure to harvest the seeds by late summer. Seeds can be stored throughout the entire year. When harvesting your black cumin be sure to clip the entire flower off of the plant to ensure that all seeds and flowers that the plant has to harvest are harvested. Moreover, if you want to use the flowers for accents to arrangements be sure to cut the stems long as you will need them to ensure they fit in the bouquet.
When storing the seeds take them out of the flowers and dry them adequately before storing in air-tight bags or containers for year-around use. They are then used as accents and herbs that are spices in both your cooking and as seeds that add accents to various medicinal dishes that people create. They add great accents to dishes and awesome tastes to anything from soups to rice dishes to smoothies and back again.
If you are putting them in flower displays or bouquets be sure to dry them thoroughly before adding them to the the arrangements so they do not wilt or die before you are done enjoying the bouquet. It is best to grow new flowers to dry each year as they are brittle and may break down over time. This will keep the flowers fresh to add to your bouquets all year around. Enjoy them as a beautiful accent to any bouquet you choose to put together and ensure that they are there for you and friends to enjoy year around.