Climate Information for Fenugreek Farming.
Fenugreek is a winter season crop and requires a moderately cool climate for its proper growth and development. The scented type of fenugreek is fairly tolerant to freezing and frost and requires a comparatively cooler climate. Areas, where heavy rain occurs, are unfit for its cultivation. High humidity and cloudy weather, especially during pod filling period, enhance the incidence severity of powdery mildew and aphids which affect the yield as well as the quality of the grain.
Suitable soil for Fenugreek Farming.
Fenugreek can be grown successfully on all types of soils, however, well-drained sandy loam soil with good fertility status having 6.0-7.0 pH is best. It is slightly tolerant to saline conditions compared to other leguminous vegetables.
Land Preparation for Fenugreek Farming.
One deep ploughing followed by 2 to 3 light ploughing in heavy soils is sufficient to achieve a fine tilth. Light soils require less ploughing. The field should be immediately planked to conserve soil moisture. If soil moisture is low, pre-sowing irrigation should be applied before preparation tillage.
Recommended Sowing Times for Fenugreek Farming.
Fenugreek is sown from September to mid-March in the plains and April to October in hills for leaves. For grain and seed production the last week of October to the first week of November is the optimum time in North Indian plains.
Best varieties for Fenugreek Farming.
Pusa Early Bunching, Pusa Kasuri, Co-1, Lam Selection-1, Rajendra Kranti, RMt-1, Hisar Sonali, Hisar Suvarna, Hisar Mukta, Hisar Mashavi, AM-1, AM-2.
Seeds Requirements for Fenugreek Farming.
A seed rate of 25-30 kg for common Methi and 20-25kg for Kasuri Methi is sufficient for one-hectare area.
Seed Treatment for Fenugreek Farming.
Fenugreek is a leguminous crop and responds well to tall Rhizobium culture. Hence, before sowing seeds should be treated with Rhizobium meliloti Culture.
Sowing methods and tips for Fenugreek Farming.
30 x 5-7.5 cm is an optimum spacing. The depth of seed should not be more than 4.0.
Fertilizer Requirement for Fenugreek Farming.
Fenugreek is commonly grown on the residual fertility of the previous crop. Being a leguminous crop it is capable of fixing atmospheric nitrogen and requires a lower dose of nitrogen. However, early and succulent leafy growth applies 150-200 quintal/hectare well-decomposed FYM or compost at the time of field preparation. In addition to this, 30-40 kg N and 40 kg each of Phosphorus and potassium should be drilled in the soil at the time of sowing. When Fenugreek is grown from leaf production then apply N in two to three split doses as a top dressing after alternate cuttings. Seed inoculation with Rhizobium meliloti should be done to increase the efficiency of N fixation.
Irrigation Methods for Fenugreek Farming.
Fenugreek requires irrigation for quick growth. However, the frequency and depth of irrigation depend upon the type of soil. First irrigation should be made just after sowing to facilitate better germination. When sowing is done in a moist condition, first irrigation is given at 30 days after sowing (DAS), second at 40-45 DAS, third at 70-75 DAS, fourth at 85-90 DAS and fifth at 105-11 DAS. When green leaves are used the crop should be irrigated at an interval of 8-10 days. In general, 4-5 irrigations in heavy soils and 6-7 irrigation in sandy loam soils are recommended. The optimum level of moisture in the field should be maintained at pod formation and seed development.
- Two weeding and hoeings at 25 and 50 days after sowing are sufficient to keep the crop from weeds and maintain good aeration.
- Fluchoralin @ 0.75 kg/ha as pre-plant application + one hand weeding at 25 days sowing is recommended to control weeds and resulted in better yield.
Harvesting and Yield.
Fenugreek is ready for first cutting 3-4 weeks after sowing when the plant attains a height of 15-20 cm. Cutting should be done by sickle leaving 2-3cm stub to produce new shoots. Subsequent cuttings are made after 15-20 days. Delay in harvesting makes the leaves bitter. About 5-6 cuttings may be obtained from kasuri methi at 15-20 days intervals.
Seed crop of common methi matures in 150-160 days and Kasuri methi in 160-170 days after sowing. The crop is harvested when the pods turn green to yellowish color. Crop should be harvested at this stage otherwise delay in harvesting leads to shattering of the seeds. The green yield of common methi varies from 70-80 quintal and kasuri methi 90-100 quintal/ hectare. Common methi yields 12-15 quintal seed/hectare and kasuri methi 6-7 quintal/ hectare. Seed yield is higher if no cutting is taken and left entirely for seed production.