Fenugreek or Methi is an annual growing herb with leaves consisting of three small obovate to oblong leaflets which are green to purple in color.
The fenugreek plant may have a single stem or may be branched at the stem base. The plant has an erect growth habit and a strong, sweet aroma.The plant produces solitary pale white or purplish flowers and a straight or occasionally curved yellow pod which houses the seeds. Between 10 and 20 seeds are produced per pod and they are small, smooth and brown, each divided into two lobes. Fenugreek can reach a height of 60 cm (23.6 in) and as an annual, survives only one growing season.
The plant is grown as a vegetable crop, young shoots and leaves are harvested earlier and the plant is allowed to regrow before harvesting again.
Fenugreek is a sun-loving plant which is usually grown as a cool season crop. It grows optimally in well draining loams or sandy loams with a pH between 5.8 and 8.2. it will not grow well in heavy clay. Fenugreek is moderately drought resistant and can be grown in areas with low amounts of rainfall. In areas where the summer temperatures are high it is grown as a cool season crop but can be grown over summer in more temperate climates. The plants can withstand light frost.
Fenugreek is propagated from seed and it does not withstand transplanting. It should be direct seeded to a depth of 1–2 cm (0.4–0.8 in) allowing 7.5 cm (3 in) between individual plants and 20–45 cm (8–18 in) between rows. It may also be be spread by broadcasting.
Productivity of fenugreek grown for seed will be increased with the addition of potash and phosphate fertilizer.
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