Sesamum indicum 85 days
Sesame prefers warm and dry conditions. I managed to get a fair yield of quality seed during a cooler than normal and extremely wet summer (2014), here in Northern Indiana. Sesame is one of the oldest cultivated herbs, going back as far as 4000 years. It is thought to have originated in Africa. It is rich in calcium and makes a excellent culinary oil when pressed. I started my plants indoors at the very end of April. The seed should be planted 1/4” deep and take about 7 days to germinate. Keep the soil warm and moist. I transplanted into the garden on May 26th. Sesame likes rich soil with plenty of calcium. Keep the plants watered until the seedlings are established, after this, water very sparingly until harvest time. I harvested the whole plants on August 7th (74 days). The trick is to watch when the lower pods on the plant are dry and beginning to split open, spilling their seed. I cut the whole plant and brought them into my drying shed. The plants should be allowed to further dry in an upright position with a tarp underneath to collect any seed that drops. The green pods will split open as they dry. After a week, I carefully removed all the pods from the plant using a felco pruner. The pods were brought indoors and allowed to completely dry out for a few weeks. I then placed all the pods into a pillow case and threshed using a piece of rubber hose, bent in half, with the two ends duct taped together. This makes a great flail. Winnowing is a bit tricky as the seed is so small and light, and the pod pieces are large and to heavy to blow away using a fan, without losing your sesame seed as well. I use stainless steel, mesh screens to remove the chaff and pieces of dry pods. I purchased a set of 8 graduated screens from Horizon Herbs. They are a little expensive but well worth the cost if you intend to work with tiny seeds like sesame, lettuce, ect. I further dry the winnowed seed for a couple of weeks before storing.
2 gram packet contains approx. 800 seed