When I first started out experimenting with growing vegetables, Methi was my first garden attempt. What I found was It works no matter you have green thumb or not. Methi is easiest to grow, ready to harvest in as little as 30 days. I was delighted to taste tender fresh methi from my own garden very first time I harvested, yield is far better and bigger than what you get at your neighborhood Indian store.
Most of the Indian stores sell methi wilted, about to make seed pods and sometimes it tastes like grass. And I used to pay 99cents for few twigs of methi. Well, not anymore. From early spring till late fall, I grow my own methi and buy frozen packs for rest of the year. Methi is semi-cold hardy so light frost doesn’t kill it. Methi makes it the perfect crop for those who just can’t wait to get the garden going, just open the pantry and soak some methi seeds in water.
How to grow fenugreek (Step by Step):
1 – Methi (fenugreek) seeds are sold in Indian grocery stores, $1.99 packet will get you more than 500 seeds. Store bought seeds work beautifully.
2 – Soak seeds in tap water for 12-24 hours
3 – Prepare ground by working soil, adding some compost. Methi can be planted in containers as well. Methi seeds are seeded densely (not in rows). Scatter methi seeds dense in desired growing area.
5 – Germination is expected in 1-3 days, methi seeds upon germination look something like above.
6 – Ready to harvest in 30-35 days.
Some harvest methi as micro-greens, just before first true leaves appear. Fleshy first leaves are bitter and are used extensively in daal or with fish preparation in Mumbai cuisine. If harvesting for micro greens (samudri methi), it is ready in 5-7 days after germination.
Also, I found that methi develops it’s trademark bitter pungent taste in warmer, hot weather. Methi grown in spring and fall has mild taste.
More about Methi: for those with botanical interest, methi belongs to legume family(Fabaceae) – flowering plants that produce edible seeds. Fenugreek is termed as Trigonella foenum-graecum.
medicinal properties: In West, fenugreek is widely used by lactating women to boost milk supply. Tablespoon of fenugreek powder 3 times a day is the trick. Fenugreek is natural remedy to control diabetes.