If you're looking for an exotic addition to your organic herb garden, consider planting fenugreek (Trigonella). An attractive plant with dusky, greenish-grey leaves and sweet-smelling white flowers that bloom from mid-summer to autumn, fenugreek adds variety and interest to the organic herb garden. The celery-like fenugreek seeds are commonly used in Indian dishes such as curry and chutney. Fenugreek, which is related to the pea family, is a fast-growing herb that germinates quickly and once established, will require minimal care. Plant fenugreek seeds in the garden as soon as the ground can be worked in early spring.
Select a spot where the fenugreek plants will be exposed to full sunshine. Plant fenugreek with other herbs or plants that won't be exposed to insecticides or herbicides.
Prepare the soil for planting about a week ahead of time. Use a hoe or a garden fork to cultivate the soil to a depth of 6 to 8 inches.
Add 2 to 3 inches of organic matter such as compost, and work the compost thoroughly into the soil. If you use commercial compost, be sure the bag is marked "organic" and that the components come from all natural sources with no exposure to toxic chemicals. Fenugreek requires no additional fertilizer.
Hoe a shallow row and plant the fenugreek seeds. Cover the seeds with no more than 1/4 inch of soil.
Water the fenugreek seeds carefully, using a hose with a fine spray nozzle or a watering can. If the soil is warm, the seeds will germinate in a few days. Keep the soil evenly damp, but never soggy, as the plants can develop root rot in too much moisture.
Apply an inch or organic mulch around the plants to retain moisture and help control weeds. Good choices are dry grass clippings, chopped leaves or shredded bark, as long as the organic matter hasn't been exposed to toxic chemicals. The organic mulch will gradually decompose and as it does so, will increase the organic properties in the soil.
Control weeds by cultivating around the plants lightly with the corner of a hoe. Do not to disturb the roots of the plant.