The herb known as cumin is a seed from a plant closely related to parsley. Cumin has been used since ancient Syria and Egypt for cooking, and the Greeks once used it in similar fashion to modern-day black table pepper. Many cuisines, such as Tex-Mex, Indian and Asian, feature cumin. Like other herbs, cumin must be hung to dry before it can be used. The seeds can be stored and replanted, making cumin a self-propagating plant.
Find shallow containers to start the seeds in. Use containers at least 3 inches deep. Make sure there is a 1-inch drainage hole at the bottom of each container. Fill the containers with potting soil 1 inch deep.
Sprinkle seeds across the container so they are 2 inches apart on top of the soil. Put potting soil over the seeds. Use enough soil to reach just below the lip of the container. Water the soil until it is damp but not wet. Set the containers in a sunny window where they can get at least six hours of sunlight daily. Keep the soil damp while the plants grow indoors.
Choose the location to plant the seeds. Pick a sunny location that doesn't get lots of wind with good drainage. Cumin requires many hours of direct sunlight. Look for flat spots that are in open areas for best results. Don't use areas at the base of a hill because drainage from the hill can drown the sprouts.
Plant the sprouts. When the plants reach approximately 2 inches, take the containers outside to the garden. Slice through the soil with a knife between the sprouts. Cut the line midway between two plants to avoid cutting away the roots of any one plant. Dig holes 2 inches deep and 3 inches apart for each plant. Pull the plants by the base gently upward. Set one plant into each hole. Fill over the hole with garden soil. Tamp down the soil. Water the garden until the ground is damp.
Harvest the cumin when the color of the seeds change and the plants are over 6 inches high. Use scissors to snip the seed heads leaving some of the stalk with the head. Tie the stems together with string. Put the seeds into a small paper bag with the tied end at the top of the bag. Tie the stem group to the bag with string around the outside of the bag. Leave enough string to hang the bag. As the seeds dry out, they will fall into the bag for easy gathering.