“Two weeks from larder to garden to plate
Methi is a novice gardener’s mate!”
One of the most popular leafing veggies to grow, methi will please any urban farmer – growing just as happily on a windowsill, balcony or large terrace!
SEASONS: Methi is an annual plant but is usually grown as a quick seasonal with the entire crop being uprooted and used in cooking. It is very well-suited for Mumbai’s tropical climate and can be sown and grown through the year.
PROPAGATING: Methi is very easily propagated from seed. Buy methi seeds at the grocery store or raid your kitchen shelves for some.
GERMINATING: Methi is best germinated in germination dishes/seeding baskets prepared with a mixture of compost and peat moss. Seeds can be shown in shallow, 1/4 inch deep holes in soft, acidic or neutral, moisture-rich and well-composted soil, or densely scattered on the surface with a sprinkling of soil above. Place in semi-shade and spray water evenly. Spray daily until seedlings emerge in 5-7 days.
PLANTING OUT: Methi that is grown as a micro-green, or even for its larger leaves, is best not transplanted. Once seedlings are sturdier at a couple of inches in height, move them to direct and strong sunlight and water well. This plant loves a crowd and will grow well when closely planted together. The closeness of growth gives stability to individual plants. Methi grows well anywhere – in containers and in open plots. For urban farmers, you can even grow methi in shallow containers on your windowsill.
NURTURING: Water deeply each day, twice a day in summer. This plant requires little maintenance but tends to attract birds like pigeons, since it gives them a cool, cushioned place to sit in during hot summers. You may not feel like eating that crop after this occurs (!) so it’s a good idea to grow it on a protected window sill, or to cover your outdoor containers with wire mesh.
HARVESTING: Your plants will grow rapidly and can be harvested for their leaves at various times. Young methi seedlings (1-2 weeks of growth) are edible as micro-greens while older plants (3-6 weeks of growth) can be consumed as a leafy vegetable. Methi plants left to go to seed will produce flowering stems that will seed the surrounding area. You can harvest this plant for its seeds by collecting mature flower heads, threshing, drying thoroughly and storing in a cool, dry place. You can keep growing methi in that space if you replenish the soil with new compost between harvests. Otherwise, replenish the soil and alternate usage by growing fruiting or rooting veggies in that space next.
Full-grown methi, ready to be harvested
© Mumbai Farmer 2014. Do not copy in part or whole without prior written permission from the author. Infringement of copyright will render you liable for legal action.