Legumes are an important part of a vegetarian diet, but because there is so much variation in the way they grow and are used, they can be challenging to identify. Basically, a legume is any plant that bears its fruit inside a pod. Learning what legumes are and how to identify them can give you a number of options for adding protein and variety to your meals.
Types of Legumes
All legumes consist of a seed and a pod. This pod usually has two halves, sometimes hinged, with a seed inside. Typically, people eat the seed portion of the legume, but they may also eat the pod. The best example of a legume is a green pea: it can be bought and eaten in its pod or removed from the pod before consumption.
There are more than 18,000 different species of legume plants, each with its own characteristics, such as how its pods grow and how the plant flowers. In spite of this, there are two classifications of legumes: forage legumes and grain legumes. Grain legumes are the most common, being grown for human consumption, although you may be familiar with forage legumes as well.
Forage legumes are typically found in fields. They may be cultivated, like alfalfa, or they may grow wild like clover. Farmers frequently cultivate forage legumes as feed for livestock; animals can graze directly on the legumes in the pasture where they are grown. The pods of forage legumes typically grow underground, while the leaves and flowers appear above ground.
Grain legumes are the plants that are grown for human consumption. They can vary widely by the plant type and age at which they are harvested. Peanuts, for example, grow a dry, brittle pod that surrounds the seed, while green beans grow a moist, edible covering over their seeds.
Grain legumes can belong to many different plant families within the legume family. Many legumes, like peanuts, grow their pods underground like most forage legumes. Other legumes, like green beans and peas grow their pods above ground on vines. The plant that grows lentils is a bushy, annual plant that also grows its pods above ground.
Not all legumes are cultivated for food; many are cultivated for their flowers. This subsection of legume may include plants from both the forage and grain legume categories and includes plants like:
Legumes are great sources of protein, fiber and folate – all necessary to a healthy diet. In fact, according to the United States Department of Health, a 1/2 cup serving of legumes gives you:
- 24 percent of your recommended amount of folate
- 15 percent of your recommended amount of protein
- 20 percent of your recommended amount of fiber
In addition, legumes are also a great source of nutrients like phosphorus and magnesium.
Examples of Legumes
The legumes you are most likely to encounter in your local grocery store may be fresh, dried or canned and ready for consumption. A partial list of legumes you may enjoy includes the following:
- Soy nuts
- Black beans
- Chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
- Fava beans
- Kidney beans
- Lima beans
- Green beans
- Sugar snap peas
- Butter beans
- Wax beans
Add Some Legumes to Your Diet
Legumes are a great source of protein for vegetarians, and they can be cooked and served in a wide variety of ways. Try adding some to your diet and experience the flavor and versatility of these nutritional power houses.
How to plant:
Propagate by seed – Do not start seeds inside. Beans do not like to be transplanted.
Germination temperature: 70 F to 80 F – Germination is slow and poor when soil temperatures are below 60 F.
Days to emergence: 8 to 10 – Germination may take two weeks or more if soil temperatures are below 60 F.
Seed can be saved 5 years.
Maintenance and care: Do not plant until danger of frost has passed and soil has warmed. Germination is poor when soil temperature is below 60 F. Cold air temperatures (even above freezing) can injure plants and reduce yields.
Plant seed one inch deep (deeper if soil is dry), about 2 inches apart, in rows 18 to 36 inches apart.
Soaking beans to hasten germination may damage seeds. Do not start seed inside.
For a steady supply of beans, make successive plantings until mid- to late July.
Relay-crop beans following harvest of cool-season crops, such as lettuce, spinach and peas.
Beans require even moisture – about 1 inch per week – especially when flowering and developing pods. If you water, avoid wetting foliage, which encourages disease. Water early in the day so foliage dries quickly. Mulch after second set of true leaves develops to help retain moisture.
Do not use nitrogen fertilizers. Inoculating seed with rhizobium bacteria may increase yields, especially in soils where beans have not been grown before.
Pod set is often poor when temperatures exceed 90 F.
Deformed pods may be the result of lack of moisture, poor soil fertility or insect damage during blooming.
A three-year rotation helps reduce some diseases.
Pests: Mexican bean beetles – Handpick and destroy beetles and eggs in small plantings. Plant early to avoid this pest. Turn under any infested plants after harvest.
Aphids – A hard stream of water can be used to remove aphids from plants. Wash off with water occasionally as needed early in the day. Check for evidence of natural enemies such as gray-brown or bloated parasitized aphids and the presence of alligator-like larvae of lady beetles and lacewings.
Leafhoppers – Small, light green to gray wedge-shaped insects that suck plant juices, causing stunting, and carrying virus diseases. No cultural control available.
Seedcorn maggot – Avoid heavy manure or organic matter in garden which attract maggot flies and encourages egg laying. Purchase insecticide-treated seed. Use gloves to plant.
Spider mites (two-spotted) – Wash off with water occasionally as needed early in the day. A hard stream of water can be used to remove many mites from plants.
Diseases: To reduce disease spread, do not work among wet plants.
Bacterial blights – Avoid wetting foliage if possible. Water early in the day so aboveground plant parts will dry as quickly as possible. Avoid crowding plants. Space apart to allow air circulation. Eliminate weeds around plants and garden area to improve air circulation. Do not save your own seed.
Bean common mosaic virus (BV-1 and NY 15) – Remove and discard or destroy entire infested plant. Use resistant varieties: Lancer, Provider,Blue Bush 274, Golden Butterwax, Royal Burgundy, Tendercrop, Improved Tendergreen. Manage insect vectors.
White mold – Avoid wetting foliage if possible. Water early in the day so aboveground plant parts will dry as quickly as possible. Avoid crowding plants. Space apart to allow air circulation. Eliminate weeds around plants and garden area to improve air circulation. In autumn rake and dispose of all fallen or diseased leaves and fruit. Crop rotation is essential.
Stunted Growth – Vegetable Seedlings and Transplants
Drought, sustained winds, water-logged soil, poor quality transplants, temperature extremes, and cloddy or compacted soils high in clay can all cause the stunting of young seedlings or transplants. Providing optimum conditions for good growth at this early stage will help ensure healthy growth and good yields through the season. Follow these cultural recommendations:
- Plant in well-drained soil high in organic matter.
- Use high-quality seed and transplants. Check transplants prior to purchase. Avoid plants with roots that are brown and growing around the bottom of the container.
- Keep soil evenly moist and fertilize with a balanced soluble fertilizer after seedlings emerge or after transplanting.
- Protect plants from wind and cold with floating row cover material, cold frame, or cloche (e.g. an empty 1 gallon plastic milk jug with the bottom removed).
- Avoid damaging plant roots through cultivation, tilling or walking on the soil.
Plants grown under poor conditions will not produce adequate foliage or yields. In addition, low yields and poor eating quality can be expected if plant growth is checked significantly at any point in the life cycle- from seedling to fruit maturation.
Stressed and root bound broccoli seedlings
Unhealthy eggplant transplant
Poor soil drainage
Zucchini planted too early in the season
It can be a frustrating experience for a grower to have cannabis plants that grow slowly, and it’s even worse if those plants stop growing altogether.
Here are just some of the causes behind stunted plant growth and what to do to enhance cannabis growth:
- Seeds Are Old
When seeds reach a certain age, they lose their ability to germinate or might take forever to do so. If you’re interested in growing cannabis plants, rather purchase your seeds from a reputable cultivator that’s known for having superior quality seeds with good genetics.
- Plants Are Not Getting Enough Light
As with any plant, it’s important that your cannabis babies get the right amount of light and this differs according to the particular strain. For growers who’re cultivating indoor plants, it might be a good idea to adjust lamp distance so that they can get enough light. The same applies to outdoor plants. Just transfer them to a brighter spot and they should be right as rain in no time!
- Plants Are Getting Too Much Light
If you suspect that your seeds are getting too much light, either move them to a shady area if they’re outdoors or shift the lamps so that there’s a bigger distance between them and the canopy. This is one of the main causes of slow cannabis growth.
- Incorrect Light Spectrum
The light spectrum is also an important consideration to make when your plants are going through stunted growth. Perhaps they’re not receiving the right light spectrum for the growth phase that they’re going through, which is something that’s worth paying attention to as the plant grows from seedling to fully-fledged herb.
In the early stages, it’s often recommended to go for cooler light which is characterized by a blue-colored spectrum. As the plant grows bigger to reach the flowering phase, it’ll require a warmer light spectrum with a reddish hue.
While plants need water to survive, too much of a good thing can stunt their ability to grow and thrive. Overwatered plants will suffocate and end up with problems like fungal growth, root rot, nutrient deficiencies as well as stunted growth.
For the best results, only water your plants when you need to and you can gauge this by lifting the plant to see whether it’s light or heavy. If it’s heavy, then there’s still enough water for the plant to stay healthy, but if it’s light then it’s probably dry and needs water.
- Nutrient Deficiency
Just as growing kids need their vitamins to support healthy development, plants also need the right kind and amount of nutrients in order to thrive.
Now, the nutrients in your potting mix will expire in 2 to 4 weeks which means that you’ll have to supply your plants with more nutrients. These should be administered based on recommended dosages on the nutrient products so make sure you buy the right nutrients for your specific plant soil.
- Calcium Deficiency
Without the right amount of calcium, plants tend to have issues like slow and twisted growth, as well as discolored shoots that just don’t look healthy. Dolomitic lime is the best way to fight calcium deficiency in your plants, and it can be easily administered through a foliar spray.
Post tagged with:enhance cannabis growth Growing cannabis slow cannabis growth
Stunted Plant Growth
Two years ago I planted two clematis and one burning bush. The plants have not grown much. In fact the burning bush has very few leaves and they turned red early this year.
Start by evaluating the planting site. Poorly drained soils, excessive water or insufficient moisture can cause stunted growth and plant decline. A wet growing season combined with poorly drained soils can cause these types of problems. Check the soil near the plantings several days, a week and 10 days after a heavy rain or thorough watering. Do not water unless the top 6-8 inches of soil have begun to dry. You can’t stop the rain but you can correct your watering habits. If the soil is still water logged after a week (with no additional rainfall) you will need to correct the situation. Rework or raise the planting bed. This means temporarily removing the existing plants. Spring before growth begins is a good time for this project. Incorporate compost or peat moss into the planting bed to help improved drainage. Or purchase a well-drained topsoil mix from a reliable source and create raised planting beds. Improving the soil will pay off with years of enjoyment.
Synonyms: bean Types: show 9 types… hide 9 types… bush bean a bean plant whose bushy growth needs no supports pole bean a climbing bean plant that will climb a wall or tree or trellis shell bean, shell bean plant a bean plant grown primarily for its edible seed rather than its pod Phaseolus vulgaris, common bean, common bean plant the common annual twining or bushy bean plant grown for its edible seeds or pods Dutch case-knife bean, Phaseolus coccineus, Phaseolus multiflorus, runner bean, scarlet runner, scarlet runner bean tropical American bean with red flowers and mottled black beans similar to Phaseolus vulgaris but perennial; a preferred food bean in Great Britain Phaseolus limensis, lima bean, lima bean plant bush or tall-growing bean plant having large flat edible seeds Phaseolus lunatus, butter bean, butter-bean plant, lima bean, sieva bean bush bean plant cultivated especially in southern United States having small flat edible seeds Phaseolus acutifolius latifolius, tepary bean twining plant of southwestern United States and Mexico having roundish white or yellow or brown or black beans English bean, European bean, Vicia faba, broad bean, broad-bean, broad-bean plant, field bean Old World upright plant grown especially for its large flat edible seeds but also as fodder Type of: legume, leguminous plant an erect or climbing bean or pea plant of the family Leguminosae
How Beans Grow
If you’ve ever walked by containers of bulk seed in a garden store, you may have been surprised by the many different colors, sizes and shapes of the beans — even by the variety of designs on the seed coats and their descriptive names: ‘Soldier’, ‘Wren’s Egg’, ‘Yellow Eye’, ‘Black Eye’, and others. Maybe you were impressed, too, with how big some of these seeds are. Underneath the large, hard seed coat is an embryo, a tiny plant ready to spring to life. When you plant a bean seed, the right amount of water, oxygen and a warm temperature (65°F to 75°F) will help it break through its seed coat and push its way up through the soil. The Seed of Life
Most of the energy the young plant needs is stored within the seed. In fact, there’s enough food to nourish bean plants until the first true leaves appear without using any fertilizer at all. As the tender, young beans come up, they must push pairs of folded seed leaves (or cotyledons) through the soil and spread them above the ground. Beans also quickly send down a tap root, the first of a network of roots that will anchor the plants as they grow. Most of the roots are in the top eight inches of soil, and many are quite close to the surface.
What Beans Need
Beans need plenty of sunlight to develop properly. If the plants are shaded for an extended part of the day, they’ll be tall and weak. They’ll be forced to stretch upward for more light, and they won’t have the energy to produce as many beans. The bean plant produces nice, showy flowers, and within each one is everything that’s necessary for pollination, fertilization and beans. Pollination of bean flowers doesn’t require much outside assistance — a bit of wind, the occasional visit from a bee, and the job is done. After fertilization occurs, the slender bean pods emerge and quickly expand. Once this happens, the harvest isn’t far off. Although beans love sun, too much heat reduces production. Bean plants, like all other vegetables, have a temperature range that suits them best: They prefer 70°F to 80°F after germinating. When the daytime temperature is consistently over 85°F, most beans tend to lose their blossoms. That’s why many types of beans don’t thrive in the South or Southwest in the middle of the summer — it’s simply too hot. Beans don’t take to cold weather very well, either. Only Broad or Fava beans can take any frost at all. Other types must be planted when the danger of frost has passed and the soil has warmed up.