Schabzigerklee, Trigonella caerulea - cultivation tips

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Schabby Clover - Trigonella caerulea

Originally Schabzigerklee comes from the Caucasus and is mainly native to mountain meadows in alpine regions. One reason to grow it in your garden is the aromatic taste of its leaves. In addition, it looks pretty when its delicate blue flowers in the green sea of ​​leaves rise. The annual Trigonella caerulea reaches a height of 50 to 80 cm and is a delicious addition to any vegetable and flower bed. The bees fly on top of him and supply the soil with natural nitrogen.


The scabby clover is botanically closely related to the fenugreek, which is also valued for its spicy aroma as a spice. Both belong to the subfamily of the Fabaceae (Faboideae), which belongs to the species-rich family of legumes (Fabaceae or Leguminosae) and this belongs to the order of the butterfly flower type (Fabales). Like all plants of the legume family, they are a valuable and completely natural nitrogen enrichment for the soil. The roots and a certain type of soil bacteria (nodular bacteria, rhizobia) enter into a symbiosis. The result of a rather complex biochemical process is ultimately biologically available nitrogen in the garden soil. Some key facts about the Schabzigerklee:
  • annual
  • generative propagation
  • Flowering period June to August
  • Flowers pale violet-purple to whitish
  • Location: sunny to partially shaded
  • Soil: neutral to calcareous; dry
  • Bees pasture, green manure, spice, spice herb

Cultivation, sowing

Whether for ornament, as bee pasture, green manure or for the culinary harvest, the cultivation of Schabzigerklee is completely uncomplicated. The seed is available in specialized mail-order or well-stocked specialist shops both conventionally and in organic quality. The amount needed for seeds is calculated in grams per square meter, about 2 g per square meter.
Tip: As a quick, simple germmer, sowing and cultivating Schabzigerklee is also well suited for the balcony or the terrace. The delicate, blue flowers look pretty and can be plucked at any time quite uncomplicated as a culinary, aromatic eye candy for the plate decoration.

Cultivation, preculture

Schabious clover Trigonella caerulea

Pre-culture is not essential, but can be useful when growing in pots or even for limited areas in the bed. From April, the seeds are placed about 1 cm deep in small pots with potting soil. Depending on the temperature they germinate quite quickly in 7-14 days, at 15 to 20° C. Due to the short lifespan, seeds can still be brought forward until late May. When the seedlings are about 3 cm high, it's time to poke them. They will then set in desired intervals in the field (10-30 cm) or in a larger pot or balcony box.

Sowing, outdoor

From the end of April to July, you can sow seeds directly in the field. Place the seeds about a foot deep and cover with soil. For row sowing, keep a distance of at least 30 cm between rows. In the beginning, keep the soil moist until the first leaves have formed. The demands on the location are not very specific. It should not be too shady and too humid. Above all, sow the Schabzigerklee not two years in a row at the same place. Leaving the seeds to flow after flowering usually results in a rotting and less aroma in the leaves. Other plants from the legume family should not have been cultivated there in the last 3 years. The legumes are largely self-incompatible, as it is called in the gardening language. Therefore, when singling, care must be taken to ensure a sufficiently large distance between the plantlets.


As a year old herb, Tritonella caerulea is very undemanding in its care. If necessary, one can loosen the soil between the rows and free it from weeds throughout the year. Since the clover forms taproots, which meet a bit deeper in the soil still on damp layers, it is in most German summers also not necessary to pour. If you cut it short of flowering or in the beginning of flowering to a few centimeters above the ground, you can reap in this way three times a year. Otherwise, you leave him standing until the seed pods have formed. Anyone who allows for self-sowing for the following year, must reckon with a rotting of the bed. Which can be desired. Anyone looking for a high-yield crop for the kitchen will definitely opt for another row planting next year for next year.


Schabzigerklee Trigonella caerulea seeds

As already mentioned, the Schabzigerklee can be cut three times in the course of a year. This happens mostly shortly before the flowering season in July for the first time. Edible are both the leaves and the flowers and seeds. The typical aroma is only fully effective when dried.The freshly harvested herb stalks are tied together in bundles and hung upside down in an airy, cool place, without direct sunlight, to dry.


Only when the bundles are properly dry (crumb sample), all parts are roughly cut. In the next step, these are then processed in a kitchen shredder or a coffee grinder to fine spice powder. The powder can then be stored in a glass with screw cap for some time. It tastes great in bread dough, savory pastries, soups and stews. You can cook and bake without any loss of flavor. The dried seed, when ground, is also used as a spice. Mostly in meat marinades, sauces and also in bread and pastries. Not so heat resistant, not so intense, but no less tasty is the fresh application of the herb. For example, as a sandwich, in wild salad or in cream cheese and quark. For this you harvest the herb stalks best during the beginning of flowering.
ConclusionSchabzigerklee in self-cultivation is definitely worth a try. It is seeded quickly and easily and offers a rich yield for the kitchen throughout the year. The taste is very similar to the Bockhornklee. The amount of time spent on care over the year is very small. Especially in natural gardens and vegetable gardens he is both culinary, as well as green manure useful. In short, Schabzigerklee is an enrichment for humans and bees.

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