Homegrown Methi- A herb with impressive health benefits!
Fenugreek or Methi as it is known in India, is a favorable commodity that is an add-on to a lot of Indian delicacies. With Dishes like Khada masala Kasturi methi chicken, the famous methi de paratha, methi machi (Fish), or methi maas (Mutton), methi is a little better but the addictive spice that is widely renown all over India. Laced with a distinct aroma, a captivating pungent flavor, and loads of benefits for the human body, the methi plant is used in varying forms. From its orange-yellowish or amber color to its dried leaves which are known as Kasturi methi to grounded powder and its freshly picked saag, the Fenugreek holds its own in the culinary world. And you know what! it is easy to grow at home as well.
The first step to be taken is the seeds. You cannot use the same seeds which are used in cooking as they have already been treated with preservatives. Now your local nursery may or may not have methi seeds that can be cultivated. The best and easiest option is to have it delivered from an online well-known store. Now you have to pick a spot to sow your seeds.
Fenugreeks do not do well when they are transplanted so make sure that the container or area you will be using is the final one. For containers, you will be needing at least a 12-inch pot or planter. Methi can do well in full sun but can also adapt to partial or indirect sun.
Methi does very well in loose, well-drained soil and organic fertilizers. Now Fertilizers are not required but do help in leave growth. They need at least 4 hours of sun and a consistent watering up to a level of 2 inches. Make sure you do not overwater them as the fenugreek plant is susceptible to root-rot.
Now fenugreek prospers best in warm soil so early spring (March, April May) to autumn (September, October, November) are optimal seasons to plant them outside. If the Climate is too cold, then they will fare better indoors in a controlled environment. You can also soak the seeds overnight in water to increase the chances of germination.
You can sow the seeds in any which way, as they do not need spacing and can even grow in tight spaces and get along with each other very well. Also they need to sow at least ¼ inch below the soil surface and not more than ½ inches for them to successfully germinate. And remember they are a favorite for birds to feed on so do not leave any seeds lying above as it would let the birds know about the seeds who would then dig them up.
When it comes to watering, make sure the soil is evenly moist. Make sure you have loosed the soil well and broken down any big chunks of soil to prevent water-storing as it will adversely affect the plants. Some professionals even recommend that you spray the water and not pour. You can even use the steady slow water dripping method to keep the soil moist. Fenugreeks are fast growers.
They are ready to be harvested within 30 days. It’s also a reason why they are also used in scientific experiments about plants as well as research subjects for new and upcoming developments regarding plants, their internal systems, and their care.
So within 3-4 weeks, when the seedlings have grown to 6 inches or 140 mm tall, they can be harvested. Depending on what you want, you have to harvest. Like for example, if you just need the leaves, you can cut the plant from the stem or along with its roots.
For seeds, you would have to leave the plant to let it flower as in turn the pods yellow. Make sure you harvest the seeds before the pods burst open and that would be a signal for new crops to grow. Fenugreeks do not regrow after flowering so you have to clean the area before re-sowing the seeds as per your needs.