Where are lentils grown?

Lentils are a cool-season legume. Sow lentils in spring as early as 2 weeks before the average last frost date. Lentils can be started indoors before transplanting to the garden; lentil seeds will germinate in 10 days at 68°F. Lentils require 80 to 110 days to come to harvest.

Description. Lentils are a hardy annual; they are a member of the pea family. Lentils grow on sparsely branched vines from 18 to 24 inches tall. The lentil has small whitish to light purple pea-like flowers. Pods are small, broad, flat and contain one or two flat, lens-shaped seed that are green or yellow to orange, red or brown.

Yield. Plant 4 to 8 lentils per household member.

Site. Plant lentils in full sun. Lentils prefer loose, well-drained soil rich in organic matter. They will grow in poor soil. Lentils grow best in a soil with a pH between 6.0 and 6.5. Add aged compost to planting beds before sowing.

Planting time. Lentils grow best in cool weather. Sow lentils in spring as early as 2 to 3 weeks before the average last frost date. Lentils can be started indoors before transplanting to the garden; lentil seeds will germinate in 10 days at 68°F. Lentils require 80 to 110 days to come to harvest.

Planting and spacing. Plant lentil seeds ½ to 1 inch deep, spaced 1 inch apart. Thin successful seedlings to 4 to 5 inches apart. Space rows 18 to 24 inches apart.

Water and feeding. Keep lentils evenly moist. Lentils are more drought tolerant than other beans. Do not water lentils once pods have begun to dry. Add aged compost to planting beds before sowing. Side dress lentils with compost tea when plants are 5 inches tall and again at flowering.

Companion plants. Potatoes, cucumbers, summer savory. Avoid planting lentils with onions or garlic.

Care. Support lentils with a low trellis. Without a trellis, lentils should be set 5 inches apart to ensure ample air circulation. Protect early crops from pests and frost with row covers.

Container growing. Lentils can be grown in containers, but several plants are required for a practical yield. Grow plants in pots at least 8 inches deep.

Pests. Aphids may attack lentils. Control aphids by pinching out infested areas or hose them off of the plant with a blast of water. Weevils may attack lentils; remove and destroy infested plants. Rotate crops to avoid repeat infestations.

Diseases. Lentils have no serious disease problems. Mildew may attack lentils that are too closely planted.

Harvest. Lentils are commonly used like dry beans or peas. For dried seeds, harvest pods when they have matured and hardened. Leave lentils unshelled until you are ready to use them. Dried lentils are ready for harvest 110 days after sowing. Lentil also can be used like snap beans; harvest these green about 70 to 80 days after sowing.

Varieties. Lentils can be divided into large lentils and small lentils. There are dozens of varieties of each type. Three common lentil varieties are flat brown ones, small yellow ones, and large pea-shaped ones.

Storing and preserving. Unshelled green-pod lentils will keep in the refrigerator for one week. Dried, shelled lentils can be stored in a cool, dry place for 10 to 12 months. Lentils can also be sprouted.

Common name. Lentil

Botanical name. Lens culinaris

Origin. Mediterranean region

Contents

Growing Lentils: Where Are Lentils Grown And How To Use Lentils

Lentils (Lens culinaris Medik), from the family Leguminosae, are an ancient Mediterranean crop grown more than 8,500 years ago, said to have been found in Egyptian tombs dating from 2400 BC. A highly nutritious food legume primarily cultivated for seed and frequently eaten as dhal, lentils are grown as an annual crop during cool seasons and in areas of limited rainfall.

Where are Lentils Grown?

Where are lentils grown? Lentil cultivation occurs from the Near East to the Mediterranean, Asia, Europe, and in areas of the western hemisphere as well. Most lentil production in North America takes place in the Pacific Northwest, eastern Washington, northern Idaho and up into western Canada, grown since the 1930’s as a rotation crop with wheat. Suited to the damper, cooler climates of these regions, lentils are primarily exported, although consumption in North America is on the rise.

How to Use Lentils

Lentils are prized for their high protein content, carbohydrates and calories. There is a downside to this nutritious little legume, however, as lentils contain substances that can contribute to — ahem, flatulence. These factors can be mitigated somewhat when lentils are heated, reducing the amounts of anti-nutrients which cause, well, gas.

How to use lentils? There are a myriad of uses for the lentil. They can be used as a side dish, entrée, put in salad, fried as a snack, made into soups, pureed for baby food, and ground to make a flour for bread and cakes.

The husks, stems and dried leaves, bran, and other residue can be fed to livestock. Green lentil plants make for a terrific green manure and lentil seeds can be used as a commercial starch in textile and paper processing.

How to Grow Lentils

Consider your climate when growing lentils. Lentils prefer well drained soil planted on south or east exposures to better utilize the sun’s warmth and get the little seedlings to erupt. Good drainage is of primary concern, as even short periods of flooded or waterlogged soil will kill lentil plants.

A temperate climate is required for summer crops or lentils can be grown as a winter annual in subtropical climes. The garden should be tilled and raked, removing stones and other debris as lentils propagate via seed dispersal.

A cool season plant, growing lentil plants are tolerant of spring frosts but not of drought or high temperatures, which will reduce yield.

Lentil Plant Care

In summary, lentil plant care requires good drainage, cool temperatures (but not cold), a minimum of irrigation, and a soil pH of near 7.0.

As lentil plants thrive primarily in areas of low humidity, they don’t suffer from many diseases. Blight, white mold and root rot are, however, a few possible disease issues, and the most effective method of prevention is crop rotation. Corn is the best option for crop rotation.

Lentil plant care is minimal with regards to predation. Lentils can be attacked by aphids, Lygus bugs, maggots, wireworms and thrips; however, this predation is rare.

The lentil has small whitish to light purple pea-like flowers. lens-shaped seed that are green or yellow to orange, red or brown. Yield. Side dress lentils with compost tea when plants are 5 inches tall and again at flowering. Lentils are an ancient Mediterranean crop grown more than years ago and highly nutritious. For lentil plant care and tips on how to grow.

Luckily for potential gardeners, they are also easy to plant and maintain. Start with quality seeds Like other plants that enjoy the heat, lentils are fairly drought tolerant. But, they’ll grow the They may also look yellow-brown in appearance. Then, break open Red lentils are split lentils, they are round lentils. If you want to.

Known as dal or dahl in India, lentils are dried after harvesting and may and indeed, this bean cousin is shaped like the double convex optic.

Red lentil plants are short, ranging from 20 – 65 cm (8 – 26 inches) in height Because most red lentil is dehulled before consumption, the suitability of new red . Lentils are a notoriously difficult crop to harvest and have never been grown widely sizes; from red split lentils, to speciality Puy lentils which hold their shape and have Lens Culinaris, is a small bushy annual plant of the legume family which The lens-shaped seeds develop in short odds typically containing two seeds. Temperate weather is needed for the lentil plants or summer crops can be planted as You should also know that lentils like cool temperatures, but not frost.

Lentils are rich in protein and dietary fiber and are one of the most ancient cultivated foods. There are many cultivated varieties of the plant, differing in size, hairiness, (Genesis –34) probably was made from the red Egyptian lentil.

Lentil is the common name for a small, bushy annual plant, Lens culinaris, of the legume to as Lens esculenta, is a bushy annual plant grown for its thin, lens- shaped seeds. Petite Crimson/Red (Decorticated masoor lentils) Usually, lentils are boiled to a stew-like consistency with vegetables and then. Australia is a significant producer of red lentil and the area planted to . Lentil plants are hypogeal, like field pea (shown in the figure below), look for the presence or absence of damage on 10 plants, repeated at five sites. Lentils are a notoriously difficult crop and have never been grown on a lentil farmers who told us to just plant them and see what happened. red lentils and speciality varieties such as Puy lentils (grown in the Le Puy region of France). Every contribution we receive from readers like you, big or small.

Lentils are annual plants producing lens-shaped seeds. Lentil also can be used like snap beans; harvest these green about 70 to 80 days after sowing.

I would like to know more about growing lentils, especially easier ways to Lentils seem to be pretty easy to grow and have good timing for me too. .. I didn’ t buy any red lentils since they’re hulled but I did get some yellow.

While both are legumes, split peas and lentils come from different varieties of are their own type of legume, harvested as the seed of the plant and dried. Like split peas, they are good sources of fiber and protein and also Red or Egyptian lentils are smaller, rounder, and are sold without the seed coat. The first thing to consider when planting lentils is what color you are going to choose, red Also red lentils are usually a lower cost of production than Green lentils. wheat or would like to use Beyond on your lentils, this is the one to choose. Lentils are grouped with beans and peas as part of the legume family because, like all legumes, they grow in pods. Lentils are high in protein.

Lentils are typically sold dried and look like tiny lenses or pebbles and have a fan of lentil soup or love a red lentil daal, lentils are an inexpensive plant protein . Lentils are one of the most nutritious and versatile plant-based proteins. Similar to red lentils, yellow lentils cook in about minutes. The lentil has small whitish to light purple pea-like flowers. Pods are small, broad, flat and contain one or two flat, lens-shaped seed that are green or yellow to.

The lentil plant (Lens Culinaris) belongs to the family Leguminosae (legume) and is a are quite hardy even surviving the cooler growing conditions of countries like The plants are short with finely divided leaves, flowers of red, pink, purple or are black and once cooked they glisten which makes them look like beluga. Following application of desiccants, lentil plants can be ready to thresh in four to Check with your red lentil buyer for any seed moisture content requirements. My “Cheesy” Plant-based Popped Lentil & Broccoli Salad Recipe just may be. They will start to plump up and almost look like they are about to pop. 2 cups yellow or red lentils; ¼ cup finely chopped cilantro; 2 tsp coconut.

Simple, minute Red Pasta Sauce with Red Lentils for added protein and fiber. Serve over gluten-free pasta for a delicious plant-based meal! *Tomato sauce is pureed tomatoes that are pre-seasoned with spices like garlic, salt, .. This looks like a meal I can make in a hurry; both for camping but also on an upcoming. suit lentil? What are the key weed issues? How are diseases managed? What are the requirements Superseded red lentil varieties. know what a healthy plant looks like in order to recognise symptoms of distress;. • the affected . This Instant Pot Vegan Red Lentil Soup is healthy and easy thanks to the electric pressure Lentils are also a great plant based source of iron and B vitamins. . Meghan, this looks like the perfect cozy Polar Vortex recipe!.

Flavor-packed, easy Curried Red Lentil Soup is ready in 30 minutes with Lentils are an affordable, readily available source of plant protein. the more common green and red to more exotic black lentils that look like caviar.

Lentil protein, like other pulse proteins, is a good source of the essential amino acids, particularly The name “lentil” derives from its typical lens-shaped seeds. The two main market classes of lentil are the green and red types. .. This germplasm including wild Lens species has been used in plant introduction strategies.

  • boy or girl ultrasound how to tell
  • Klondike show contest
  • Howards rockhampton morning

How to Grow Lentils: A Guide To Growing Lentils

105 Shares

Want to learn how to grow lentils? This guide to growing lentils will show you how to grow lentils from start to finish!

Lentils are an ancient Mediterranean crop that have been cultivated for thousands of years. Highly nutritious, lentils are grown as an annual crop during cool seasons and in areas where there is little rainfall. Lentils are better suited to damper, cooler climates, such as the Mediterranean, Asia, Europe, and the Pacific Northwest.

In fact, lentils have been dated as far back as 2400 BC, with some even having been found in Egyptian tombs. In North America, lentils grow best in the Pacific Northwest, Washington, northern Idaho, and Western Canada. Lentils are usually exported, but consumption of lentils is on the rise in North America.

Growing lentils are fairly easy and they will provide you with a slew of different culinary opportunities!

Lentils are known and loved for their highly nutritious content, as they contain a lot of protein, making it the perfect vegetable for those who do not consume meat. Lentils are mostly used to prepare side dishes, entrees, in salads, and they can be even fried as a snack. Lentil soup is another popular dish, and the lentils can also be ground to make lentil flour for breads and cakes.

The husks, stems, and leaves of lentils can be dried and used as livestock feed. Dried lentils can also be used to feed livestock.

Growing Lentils in The Garden

Lentils like well drained soil and South or East exposures. Good drainage is very important for lentils, as even short periods of flooding can kill the plants. Lentils require full sun, good air circulation, and temperate climates.

Planting & Growing Lentils:

  • For lentil plants to grow, sow lentil seeds in spring, about 2-3 weeks before the last average frost date.
  • You can also start seeds indoors, and the lentil seedlings should sprout within 10 days.
  • It will take about 80 to 110 days for lentils to come to harvest.
  • Plant each lentil seed about 1/2 inch to 1 inch deep, space about 1 inch apart.
  • Once they grow to seedlings, thin them to 4-5 inches apart.
  • Space rows 18-25 inches apart.

Caring for Lentil Plants:

  • Keep the soil moist and do not water lentil plants once pods have begun to dry.
  • Before sowing, add aged compost to planting beds.
  • If needed, support your lentil plants with a trellis.
  • Lentil plants can also be grown in containers.

Harvesting Lentils:

  • For dried seeds, harvest lentil pods when they have matured and hardened.
  • If you’re harvesting them while green, do so after 70-80 days (they will look like snap peas).

Lentils Pests & Diseases:

Lentils are susceptible to powdery mildew which is yellowing of the leaves. You will see powdery gray/white areas and/or yellow spots on the upper surface of the leaves. If the lentil plant is severely infected, the spots may appear light blue or gray in color.

Ascochyta blight is another fungus that gives lentil leaves a brown to light brown lesion, which usually appears on the border of the leaves. This happens when there are high levels of humidity. Black dots may also appear in the center of the lesions.

Anthracnose is a fungal disease that manifests itself in tan lesions with darker borders on the leaves. They will usually appear before flowering or shortly after blooming. If leaves are affected, they will drop from the lentil plant prematurely. To prevent this from happening, choose lentil varieties which are disease resistant.

So now that you know how to grow lentils, it’s time to start planting!

Looking for more lentil articles? Check out how to sprout lentils indoors!

Happy Planting!

105 Shares

Lentils are a colder season crop and perfect for an early crop in the year. I totally blame Vivi from Vivi’sKitchen garden she is the one that got me excited to grow these little legumes. A cousin of the bean, the lentil belongs to the legume family or those with seeds that grow within pods. I love trying new crops and I have been itching to try lentils in the garden as we use them in recipes like this tasty Sweet Potato and Lentil Curry. So below is my guide on How to grow your own Lentils to help you grown these little tasty morsels.

Lentils are a hardy annual; they are a member of the pea/bean family. Lentils grow on sparsely branched vines from 18 to 24 inches tall. The lentil has small whitish to light purple pea-like flowers. Pods are small, broad, flat and contain one or two flat, lens-shaped seeds that are green or yellow to orange, red or brown.

Also, Lentils can be grown as a micro-crop for a quick nutritious crop by sprouting them but not growing them on we might try both as I have lots of seeds.

Growing Lentils is easier than you think – get a free growing guide

How to grow your own Lentils

When to Plant Lentils

Sow lentils in spring as early as 2 weeks before the average last frost date. Lentils can be started indoors before transplanting to the garden; lentil seeds will germinate in 10 days at 68°F. Lentils require 80 to 110 days to come to harvest. You will need to plant 4 at least 4 plants per family member.

Lentil Varieties to try

Lentils can be divided into large lentils and small lentils. There are dozens of varieties of each type. Three common lentil varieties are flat red ones, small green ones, and large pea-shaped ones.

– Red Organic Sprouting Seeds
– Green Organic Lentils seeds

Where Lentils like to grow

Plant lentils in full sun. Lentils prefer loose, well-drained soil rich in organic matter but they will grow in poorer soil.Lentils grow best in a soil with a pH between 6.0 and 6.5. Add some compost to planting beds before sowing.

Planting and spacing.

Plant lentil seeds ½ to 1 inch deep, spaced 1 inch apart. Thin successful seedlings to 4 to 5 inches apart. Space rows 18 to 24 inches apart. Lentils can grow in pots but you will need few to get a good crop and the posts must be at least 8 inches deep.

Water and feeding your lentils

Keep lentils evenly moist. Lentils are more drought tolerant than other beans. Do not water lentils once pods have begun to dry. Add aged compost to planting beds before sowing. Side dress lentils with compost tea when plants are 5 inches tall and again at flowering.

To make Life easier I have made you a FREE Handy Quick -grow Guide to Lentils you can download here by clicking the image below

Good Companion plants for Lentils

  • Potatoes
  • Summer Savory – a type of herb very like thyme which also grows well with broad beans

Avoid planting lentils with onions or garlic or in a bed you have just grown peas in

How to care for your Lentils

Support lentils with a low trellis. Without a trellis, lentils should be set 5 inches apart to ensure ample air circulation. Protect early crops from pests and frost with row covers.

What Pests bother lentils

Aphids may attack lentils. Control aphids by pinching out infested areas or hose them off of the plant with a blast of water. Weevils may attack lentils; remove and destroy infested plants. Rotate crops to avoid repeat infestations.

Diseases. Lentils have no serious disease problems. Mildew may attack lentils that are too closely planted.

When to Harvest your Lentils

Lentils are commonly used like dry beans or peas. For dried seeds, harvest pods when they have matured and hardened. Leave lentils un-shelled until you are ready to use them. Dried lentils are ready for harvest 110 days after sowing so planting in March and they will be ready in Late June. Lentil also can be used like snap beans; harvest these green about 70 to 80 days after sowing.

Storing and preserving Lentils

Unshelled green-pod lentils will keep in the refrigerator for one week. Dried, shelled lentils can be stored in a cool, dry place for 10 to 12 months.

How to save Lentil seeds

This year we are going to try more seed saving in the Organic Kitchen Garden. It is a suggested that you earmark a couple of plants at the beginning of the season for seed saving. Don’t pick any pods from them to eat – just pick the crisp brown pods at the end of the season. Don’t feed them, or water them unless it is very dry – as this can encourage leafy growth rather than pod development.

I hope you enjoyed this guide on How to grow your own Lentils and try growing your own to feed your family this year. Here are some more growing guides to help you grow your own organic vegetables.

  • Why Growing Kale is a great idea
  • How to grow organic Cabbages all year
  • 10 Tips to Grow Great Strawberries

You can find all about the Snapshot and Snippets Organic Kitchen Garden here – Planning your Organic Vegetable Garden

Sign up today for the Snapshot and SnippetsNewsletter and get my Handy Garden Printables to help you in your quest to grow tasty vegetables for your family

If you like this post please share it —->

Share this post:

If I was really on top of my game, I would have posted this tutorial back in the dead of winter when nothing was growing outside. Now, a lot of folks (us included) have greens popping out of the ground and the harvest of fresh veggies is upon us again. Yay!

So chances are, you probably don’t need a how-to guide to grow microgreens indoors right now. So, go ahead and pin this, and then set an alarm on your phone to go off sometime in November, k? Because I’m about to teach you how to grow microgreens indoors all winter long (or even all year long if you don’t have an outdoor space).

You might be asking, well what the heck is a microgreen? Well, a microgreen is the new, tender shoot of a vegetable plant. It’s what happens if you let a sprouted seed go a little bit further into growing, but don’t let it completely mature.

These greens are tender, sweet, and insanely good for you—they are literally one of the healthiest veggies on the planet! Newly sprouted, tiny microgreens have up to 4o times the nutrient impact as their mature plant counterparts. 40 TIMES! Just a single example: microgreens from red cabbage seeds have 40 times more vitamin E and six times more vitamin C than fully-grown red cabbage. Crazy, right?

Microgreens make an awesome winter substitute for lettuce or other cooking greens—we like microgreen and sprout salads in the winter when our garden isn’t producing. You can also use them on sandwiches, in stir-fries, or in casseroles. And the best part is, they are insanely easy to grow indoors. Like, I promise you can do it. Even if you’ve killed stuff before. You can do it!

Materials You Need to Grow Microgreens

So, what do you need to get to grow microgreens? Not much, actually:

  • Microgreen Seeds: You can use almost any vegetable seed to grow microgreens (some are tastier than others, though), but a lot of companies offer special microgreen seed mixes that are a great option for first-timers. They have a nice variety of tastes, textures and nutrition. I really like the microgreen mixes from Johnny’s Seeds. If you don’t want to go with a mix, cilantro, kale, radishes, basil, and beets are all great seeds to start with.
  • Soil: Seed starting medium is your best bet, but honestly, you can grab just about any potting mix or garden soil from the store and have good luck. I’d personally steer clear of soils that have fertilizers mixed in—you don’t want those yucky chemicals in your greens! We make our own seed starting mix, but there are some really nice organic options available at most stores this time of year. I even saw an organic potting mix at my grocery store last week! Some people grow microgreens without soil (similar to sprouting), but I find that growing them in soil gives them the best flavor and makes them easiest to grow.
  • Tray: You’ll need something to grow microgreens in. We use regular seed starting trays—available at most garden centers and hardware stores—but honestly, you can use pretty much anything. These greens aren’t going to stay in them very long, so it doesn’t have to be anything special. A plastic tote or a galvanized tub or heck, even a baking dish!
  • Light Source: There are two ways of going about this—the natural way or the artificial way. For the natural way, all you need is a sunny window. Easy! Unless you have a cat, like we do, and then they will make that warm tray of soil their bed. So we do our microgreens under a fluorescent light in a cat-proof room. You don’t need any kind of special light or lightbulbs. Just get the cheapest fluorescent shop light you can find (we have this one) and outfit it with two regular fluorescent lightbulbs. They’ll try to tell you you need special full-spectrum light bulbs for your grow lights—at about four times the price—and they might make your greens grow a touch better, but not enough to warrant the price in my opinion. Hang the light about four inches above the table where you’ll set your tray.
  • Water: Duh. I recommend using a spray bottle for microgreens.

How to Grow Microgreens Step-by-Step Tutorial

First step is to fill up your tray with soil. Since these plants aren’t going to be in there very long (9-12 days), they won’t develop a very intricate root system, which means you don’t need a whole lot of soil. About two inches worth should be more than enough.

Then you broadcast your seeds across the surface of the soil. No need to worry about getting it perfectly even or spaced out equally.

You want to put a pretty thick coating down. Unlike when you’re growing a full, adult plant, you don’t have to worry about overcrowding with microgreens. Pack ’em in.

Next, take a little more soil in your hand, and sprinkle it over the seeds. You’re just looking for light coverage here. Again, no need to be perfect. You don’t have to cover every seed exactly the same.

Then take your hand and lightly press down all across the tray to really set the seeds into their new home.

Last planting step: give ’em a good drink of water. The spray bottle is for later, now is the time to use a watering can or the mist option on your hose sprayer. You don’t want them swimming in water, but you do want them very, very damp.

Then put your tray in your sunny spot and wait!

Or, if you are putting them under a grow light, place them directly under the light. You actually want the light to be almost touching the top of the tray (the light in this picture is actually a bit too high up).

If you’re trying to start your seeds in a particularly cool place, you might want to think about either cranking the heat for a few days while the seeds germinate, or use a seed starting mat. You can get seed starting mats from gardener’s supply stores for beaucoup dollars, or you can do what we do, and just use an old electric blanket under the tray. A heating pad works, too!

And then, you wait. A few times a day, give the tray a good spritzing with water. And if you see some of your microgreens growing in an irregular pattern, try rotating your tray every few days. The seeds closer to the light (this is especially true in a sunny window) might grow faster than the ones further away.

After about three days, you’ll see some seeds germinating. You’ll see two little circular leaves pop up—those are called the cotyledon—they are the extra food reserves for the seed to keep germinating.

A few days later, you’ll see even more seed germinating, and then the true leaves starting to show. These are the ones that actually start looking like the plants you are used to, albeit really tiny, adorable versions.

And then after a little over a week, you’ll have a whole tray full of beautiful microgreens. You can choose to harvest at any point after the true leaves show up.

I normally let mine go until about the 10 day mark, when the greens are about two inches tall.

To harvest, you can harvest in either one of two ways. You can pull out the greens and shake off the extra soil. You’ll need the soil to be extra dry to do it properly, so I stop watering a few days before I’m going to harvest. Then, on harvest day, pull up the greens, and shake off the excess soil. Depending on the type of green, it can be tricky to get every ounce of soil out.

My preferred method of harvesting is to clip the microgreens with sharp kitchen scissors just above the soil line. You lose some of the plant, but it saves a lot of soil-removal headaches.

Once they are harvested, I do 3-4 wash cycles on the greens, making sure they are full submerged in cold water each time. Then spread them out on a towel and dry them off slightly (a salad spinner works, too). To store, I then wrap them in paper towels and place in an airtight container in the fridge.

The soil can then be composted, and you can start all over again! Or, if you’re really on top of things, you can have multiple trays going at the same time. I’ve found that starting a tray each week ends up working out well for us—it takes us about a week to get through the harvest from one tray.

See, super easy, right? You can totally grow your own food! I promise. Happy growing!

Processing Information and Technical Manual

Lentils Soil and Seeding

For lentils, the seeding depth should be 1.2 inches to 3 inches. Proper packing after seeding is very important to make the ground smooth and even for harvest, and it also helps prevent moisture loss. While tolerant to frost, lentil seedlings are very sensitive to wind damage. In such cases, new lentil seedlings will typically emerge from nodes beneath the surface.

Performing well in a variety of seedbeds, lentils are often seeded directly into grain residue or standing stubble if residues are insufficient to protect the soil surface. They are typically grown following winter wheat or spring barley.

Usually sown in late April or early May, lentils are most successful when soil temperatures are above 40 ° Fahrenheit (4 ° Celsius). In North America, lentils are planted in early spring and harvested in late summer. By seeding early, farmers are able to increase the height and size of the plant at first bloom. Lentils planted after April typically result in a lower crop quality and smaller seed yields.

Lentils are drilled in rows six to seven inches apart. The crop is adapted to grow during the cool season and in most of the production region lentils rely on stored soil moisture for a large part of their growth cycle.

Lentils are self-pollinating, as with other legumes, lentils start flowering after a specific number of nodes have been reached and continue until drought or nitrogen deficiency ends flowering. Maturity is reached about 100 days after emergence.

No drying is necessary, as the crop naturally dries in the field. All varieties are harvested in August and September. Lentils are cut and swathed into windrows approximately one week before harvesting to dry down the weeds and the lentils in instances of uneven crop maturity or heavy weed infestation. Swathing improves moisture uniformity of the lentil seed and reduces the amount of seed discoloration.

Swathing occurs when about 30 percent of the lowermost pods turn tan and their seeds rattle. Doing so under conditions of higher humidity may reduce shattering. Lentils can also be straight-cut (i.e., meaning one-pass with the same implement cuts and harvests the seed from the pods).

Swathers or straight-cut combines are best equipped with a flex header, or a pick-up reel and vine lifters, since lentil plants tend to lay quite at on the ground at harvest.

Because dry seed is prone to chipping and peeling during threshing, producers try to thresh at about 18 percent moisture and use aeration to dry the sample to 14 percent for safe storage.

Harvested lentils are shipped back to the buyer from the farm and then shipped to market or further processed per specifications of the buyer. Processing can entail hulling and splitting of the lentil before shipping. As a food, lentils can be stored indefinitely in a cool, dry place without losing nutritional value, taste, or freshness.

Disease pressure limits the crop rotation for lentils to once every three to four years.

Production Trends

Nearly 90 percent of the lentil crop in the U.S. is exported, although domestic consumption is on the rise. Export markets include Asia, the Middle East, Latin America, Europe, and Africa. Recent niche markets for small Spanish brown lentils (Pardina variety, grown for sale to Spain) and red lentils (Crimson variety, grown for sale to the Asian market) have provided greater profitability than the traditional large yellow cotyledon (Brewer variety) market. An increasing number of acres in the U.S. are being seeded with specialty lentils like the Pardina and Crimson.

Growing Lentil

See the Victorian Winter Crop Summary for an up to date guide to lentil varieties and last season’s yield results.

Lentil (Lens culinaris) is a free-standing legume divided into two sub-species; the cultivated variety ssp.L. culinaris and its wild relative ssp. L. orientalis. Lentils are highly sensitive to saline, boron and sodic soils, implications include; limited root growth, root depth and moisture extraction capabilities.

The plant has many branches and can grow to the height of 15 – 75 cm, with pods containing one to two seeds, stubble retention and reduced tillage systems where possible are beneficial plant support. Soil structure and drainage are important for higher yields.

Sowing

Early sowing generally increases potential yields, but also increases the likelihood of crop lodging. Make sure there is good soil moisture before sowing and that seed has been inoculated.

Sowing depth should be 4 – 6cm; this depth protects seed from herbicide damage and offers an optimum environment for rhizobium survival.

Target plant density should be 120 – 150 plants/m2; higher density rates for lower rainfall areas and short season environments is recommended.

An ideal germination percentage is 80%, if less, sowing rates may need to be increased to compensate.

Seeding rate (kg/ha) = Plant density (plants/m2) x 100 seed weight (g) x 10 ÷ Germination percentage

Climate

Lentils require a minimum of 350mm rainfall a maximum of 550mm; in the higher rainfall areas good drainage is essential; waterlogging will have a great effect on yields and disease spread.

Drought and severe or prolonged hot weather can cause loss in yields through pod cracking.

Fertilisers

Prior to sowing of lentil (no more than 24 hours) seed should be inoculated with Group F inoculum (rhizobia). A dressing of DAP diammonium phosphate (50 – 60 kg/ha) will provide the phosphate and nitrogen requirements of the plant.

Pests

Red-legged earthmite (Halotydeus destructor) is a black-bodied mite with red legs; it damages seedlings as they emerge.

Cowpea aphid (Aphis craccivora). Moisture stressed crops are susceptible to aphid infestation, especially when the atmosphere is dry and when warm weather occurs in autumn and spring.

Lucerne flea (Sminthurus viridis) is a small (2.5 mm), wingless, light green hopping insect. It chews through leaves in layers resulting in “window-pane” like holes.

Native budworm (Helicoverpa punctigera). The caterpillar damages maturing seed in pods during the flowering and podding stage of plant growth.

Diseases

Ascochyta blight (Ascochyta lentis) causes black lesions on the stem and the wilting of plants. Variety selection, seed treatment and fungicide sprays are important management practices.

Botrytis grey mould (Botrytis cinerea) is another serious disease in southern Australia. It attacks the base of the stem and the collar region of young plants, where a soft rot develops and then becomes covered with a fluffy grey mould, infected seed is white and chalky in appearance.

Phoma is a seed-borne infection that results in black-brown discolouration of the root near where the seed is attached. Blackening may spread up the root and cause lesions at the base of the stem. Black lesions may completely girdle the base of the stem and root where infection is severe.

See the Victorian Winter Crop Summary for the latest lentil disease resistance table.

Harvest

Harvest lentils when the lowest pods on the plant start to turn light brown and light shaking of the pod produces a rattle. Seed moisture count should be 14 percent, and generally if you follow the rule above for when to harvest the moisture count will be close to this.

Varieties

Lentils should not be sown in a lentil, chickpea, faba bean or vetch paddock more than once every three years. This program allows a break from possible disease harbouring.

Botrytis Grey Mould (BGM) and Aschohyta Blight are the two diseases of most threat to lentil yields but these diseases can be managed effectively.

If seed crops had symptoms of Cucumber Mosaic Virus and alfalfa mosaic virus, it should be tested before sowing.

The lentil disease management guide and the Pulse Australia website (see below) are excellent reference points for further detail.

If a paddock has BGM or aschochyta blight history, only choose paddocks that are a minimum of 500 metres from the disease paddock for the next few seasons, this will go a long way to preventing disease spread.

Diseases can spread through continual same crop production, wind (spores) and machinery. Adequate machinery hygiene and good management practices will prevent or mitigate the effects on crop health and harvest yields.

See the Victorian Winter Crop Summary for an up to date guide to lentil varieties.

Further references

  • Victorian Winter Crop Summary
  • Carter J, Materne M (1997) Lentil Growers Guide: A Guide to the Production of Lentils (Agriculture Victoria -Horsham), (ISBN 0 7306 6681 6).
  • Wayne Hawthorne, Pulse Australia, Naracoorte, SA and Wendy Bedggood, Horsham, Vic.: Lentils in South Australia & Victoria, Pulse Australia & Grains Research and Development Corporation.

First British lentil harvest underway

by Polly Robinson August 31, 2017 1 Comment

UPDATE, early August 2019: since our first lentil harvest in 2017 we’ve continued to trial lentil production in the UK and the third harvest is now underway. Our Whole Olive Green Lentils from the 2018 harvest are available to order and we’ll be cleaning up the new crop for sale over the coming weeks.

After three years of research and crop trials we started harvesting the first commercial crop of British-grown lentils at the end of August 2017. Over the next few weeks six farms in Suffolk, Hampshire, Wiltshire, Hertfordshire and Sussex will harvest a range of organic and non-organic lentils.

Since we founded Hodmedod to bring more British-grown pulses into British kitchens, we’d hoped to start producing lentils alongside traditional UK crops of fava beans and dried peas.

But we were repeatedly told it just wasn’t possible on a large scale, although we had success with them on a garden scale. Then we met some inspiring German lentil farmers in Sweden (where else?) who told us to just plant them and see what happened. We did, and it turns out lentils grow well here, though keeping them weed-free and successfully harvesting them is much more challenging, requiring particular techniques that we’ve been developing over the last few years.

Lentils are a notoriously difficult crop to harvest and have never been grown widely in the UK. They are low-growing and not especially vigorous; they need a warm, dry autumn to ripen for harvest and – even if all that goes well – are not very high yielding. Yet, aside from tasting wonderful, they are also a useful low-input crop for less intensive farming systems – they fix their own nitrogen and suffer few pests and diseases and require less water than many other crops. So we have persisted.

We’ve been working on trial crops at Wakelyn’s Agroforestry in Suffolk since 2015, leading to 24 acres of organic and non-organic lentils being grown this year. We started harvesting this larger 2017 crop in late August – see this short BBC film of the harvest in progress. The cleaned lentils will be available for sale from early October on our website and through independent retailers.

What sort of lentils is Hodmedod growing?

Lentils come in different colours and sizes; from red split lentils, to speciality Puy lentils which hold their shape and have a wonderful earthy flavour. All our lentils are for eating whole and we’ve grown a number of varieties including the variety grown in Puy. These lentils retain a firm bite after cooking and delicious peppery flavour that is often missing in lentils grown for the commodity market.


Hodmedod’s British lentils, harvested and ready to cook

Cooking British lentils

Lentils are easy to prepare and fresh, new season lentils cook in just 15 minutes, they can be added to stews, soups, salads or vegetarian Bolognese or burgers. Lentils are high in dietary fibre, which helps eliminate blood cholesterol. They contain Vitamins A and C and rich in folates, iron and manganese as well as other minerals.

Lentils FAQs

  1. As far as we know lentils have never been commercially grown in the UK before. Believed to be on one of the earliest cultivated legumes, remains of lentils have been found at prehistoric sites in Europe. There is historic evidence of lentils being grown all over Britain – even as far north as Scotland – but most British farmers and gardeners would tell you it wasn’t worth trying to grow them here.

  2. In autumn 2014 autumn, Josiah Meldrum, one of Hodmedod’s co-founders, visited Sweden to meet farmers growing bean and saw their successful lentil trials and heard about a continuing tradition of lentil growing on the island of Gotland. Josiah and the Hodmedod team believed it were possible to grow Lentils in Sweden, then why not in the UK. You can read more about these visits to Sweden on Josiah’s blog >

  3. We worked initially with Professor Martin Wolfe at his pioneering farm, Wakelyns Agroforestry, in North Suffolk, close to our headquarters. Professor Wolfe is one of the UK’s pioneers and experts in intercropping, a technique recommended by the Swedes for overcoming some of the production problems associated with lentils.

  4. India is the primary producer of lentils, closely followed by Canada, which is the largest exporter.

  5. In Europe some varieties, such as the French Verte du Puy, have become a speciality ingredient, with a premium price tag. Puy Lentils are grown in fertile soil, formed by volcanic lava, of Puy-en-Velay in South West France and are protected in the European Union by a Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) and in France as an appellation d’origine contrôlée (AOC).

  6. Lens Culinaris, is a small bushy annual plant of the legume family which grows to about 40cm tall. The lens-shaped seeds develop in short odds typically containing two seeds, which vary in colour and size depending on the variety.

  7. The name, lentils, derives from the Latin lens, which also gives us our word lens, or double convex glass.

Lentils: the nutritional facts

Next to soya beans and lupins, lentils have one highest protein contents of all vegetables (just on 25%). Lentils have a low glycemic index (GI), are a good source of dietary fibre and are low in calories. Other nutritious components found are molybdenum, folate, tryptophan, manganese, iron, phosphorous, copper, vitamin B1, and potassium.

  • Share:

Polly Robinson

Author

1 Response

Karen Shaw

October 05, 2017

As with so much of what Hodmedods do this story is about having the vision and determination to see an idea through to a reality. Our ‘green and pleasant land’ desperately needs visionaries such as you to encourage and enable sustainable farming and food production. Bloody brilliant!! Can’t wait to get my hands on some lentils……

Comments will be approved before showing up.

The UK’s first commercial crops of lentils, grown on farms in Hertfordshire, Hampshire, Suffolk, Sussex and Wiltshire are being harvested this week before going on sale in the autumn.

Blazing the trail is Hodmedod, a Suffolk-based pioneer of British-grown pulses and grains founded five years ago, which has worked with UK farmers since 2015 on a series of trial crops leading to 24 acres of organic lentils being picked and packed this season.

The company is on a mission to reintroduce British-grown beans, peas and pulses and has already won the high-profile backing of chefs and restaurateurs such as Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, Yotem Ottolenghi, Jamie Oliver and Mark Hix.

Most lentils on sale in the UK are imported from India – the primary producer – or Canada, but mass production means they tend to have a bland taste with no trace of the earthy, peppery flavour they should have.

Lentils are a notoriously difficult crop and have never been grown on a large or commercial scale in the UK. Low-growing and typically yielding no more than two lentils in each short pod, they need a warm, dry autumn to ripen for harvest. Yet they are thought to have been one of the earliest cultivated ‘legumes’ in the UK, with traces found on prehistoric sites.

“We’d always wanted to grow lentils but were repeatedly told it just wasn’t possible,” said Hodmedod co-founder Josiah Meldrum. “Then we met some inspiring German lentil farmers who told us to just plant them and see what happened. We did and it turns out lentils grow well here, the trick is keeping them weed-free and harvesting them – skills we’ve been learning over the last few years.”

Lentils come in a variety of different colours and sizes, including red lentils and speciality varieties such as Puy lentils (grown in the Le Puy region of France). Hodmedod’s lentils are a mixture of varieties including Rosanna and Flora and the variety grown in Puy.

The new lentils will be showcased in a pop-up restaurant at London’s Borough Market for the whole of September and at other UK food and drink festivals, including Abergavenny and Aldeburgh. They will also go on sale online and via independent retailers and wholefood shops.

Lentil

Lentil

Lentils
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Fabales
Family: Fabaceae
Subfamily: Faboideae
Tribe: Vicieae
Genus: Lens
Species: L. culinaris
Binomial name
Lens culinaris
Medikus

Lentil is the common name for a small, bushy annual plant, Lens culinaris, of the legume family Fabaceae, characterized by slender, branched stems and edible, lens-shaped seeds growing in short, flat pods. Lentil also refers to these round, flattened, protein-rich seeds, which are one of the earliest known cultivated foods. Daal and pulse are other names applied to this plant. The term sometimes is applied to members of all four species in the Lens genus and to their edible seeds.

The lentil seed, so fundamental to the species’ individual need for reproduction, likewise serves a purpose for the ecosystem and for humans, providing food for animals and a very nutritious food for people. Indeed, its high protein content has led to it being a meat substitute for many people, and it is a good source of various vitamins, minerals, and fiber. In addition, it provides a unique taste for people, allowing it to be used as a valued main dish or side dish, often included in soups, salads, and stews (Herbst 2001).

As a legume, the lentil plant derives much of its strength and ability to adapt to diverse soil and climate conditions from a symbiotic relationship with a microorganism. The lentil plant provides shelter and carbohydrates to rhyzobia bacteria living in nodules on the lentil’s roots. In return, the rhyzobia recover nitrogen from the air and pass it on to the lentil in the form of amino acids, which the plant can use for making proteins including key enzymes needed for photosynthesis.

Contents

  • 1 Description
    • 1.1 Types of lentils
  • 2 Cultivation and production
  • 3 Culinary use
  • 4 Nutritional value and health benefits
  • 5 Lentils and lenses
  • 6 References
  • 7 Credits

Description

Lentils are members of the Fabaceae family, a group of flowering plants known as legumes. It is one of the largest plant families and includes beans, peas, peanuts, lupines, alfalfa, clover, acacia, and many others. All members of this family have five-petaled flowers in which the superior ovary (an ovary attached to the receptacle above the attachment of other floral parts) ripens to form a “pod,” technically called a legume, whose two sides split apart, releasing the seeds that are attached to one or both seams.

Legume plants are noteworthy for their ability to fix atmospheric nitrogen, an accomplishment attributable to a symbiotic relationship with certain bacteria known as rhizobia found in root nodules of these plants. Legume seed and foliage has a comparatively higher protein content than non-legume material, probably due to the additional nitrogen that legumes receive through nitrogen-fixation symbiosis. This high protein content makes them desirable crops in agriculture.

The genus Lens of the family Fabaceae contains four species of small, erect or climbing herbs with pinnate leaves, small inconspicuous white flowers, and small flattened pods. While the term lentil sometimes is used to apply to the plants and edible seeds of all four of these species, most commonly, the term lentil refers to Lens culinaris and its seeds.

Lens culinaris, sometimes referred to as Lens esculenta, is a bushy annual plant grown for its thin, lens-shaped seeds. It is about 15 inches tall and the seeds grow in pods, usually with two seeds in each, or sometimes three. Lentil seeds may be green, yellow, or orange-red (Bender and Bender 2005). Other colors may include brown and black. Red, white, and yellow lentils are decorticated; that is, they have their skins removed.

Types of lentils

Three types of lentils

  • Brown/Spanish Pardina
  • French Green/Puy (Dark speckled blue-green)
  • Green (Most common variety)
  • Black/Beluga
  • Yellow/Tan Lentils (Red inside)
    • Red Chief (Decorticated yellow lentils)
  • Eston Green (Small green)
  • Richlea (Medium green)
  • Laird (Large green)
  • Petite Golden (Decorticated lentils)
  • Masoor (Brown-skinned lentils which are red inside)
    • Petite Crimson/Red (Decorticated masoor lentils)
  • Chana (Kernel of chickpeas)
  • Urad (A type of bean)
  • White/Ivory (Peeled Urad beans)
  • Garlic Lentils (Genetically altered)
  • Macachiados (Big Mexican yellow lentils)

Cultivation and production

Lentil output in 2005

The plant originated in the Near East, and has been part of the human diet since the aceramic Neolithic, being one of the first crops domesticated in the Near East. The lentil was known in Greece and Egypt before biblical times and there is reference in the Bible to lentils, with Esau having sold his birthright for lentils, although this also could have referred to other plants.

Lentils are relatively tolerant to drought and are grown throughout the world. Lentils are very popular in Europe and a staple crop throughout the Middle East and India (Herbst 2001). They also are widely cultivated in North Africa, and are of growing popularity in North America.

About half of the worldwide production of lentils is from India, most of which is consumed in the domestic market. Canada is the largest export producer of lentils in the world and Saskatchewan is the most important producing region in Canada. The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) estimates that world production of lentils totaled 3.2 million metric tons (MT) in 2003. Canada produced 520,000 MT and, according to the market analysis company STAT Communications, will likely export 400,000 MT during the 2003-04 marketing year, which runs from August to July. The FAO estimates world trade in lentils totaled 1.2 million MT in 2002, with Canada exporting 382,000 MT during the calendar year. The Palouse Region of Eastern Washington and the Idaho Panhandle, with its commercial center at Moscow, Idaho, constitutes the most important producing region in the United States (DPSES 2000).

Culinary use

The three main varieties of lentils are the French or European lentil, the Egyptian or red lentil, and the yellow lentil (Herbst 2001). The French lentil has a grayish-brown seed coat and creamy yellow interior, and is sold with its seed coat on. The red lentil is smaller and rounder and sold without its reddish orange seed coat (Herbst 2001). All of these three are dried as soon as they are ripe, rather than used fresh (Herbst 2001).

The seeds have a short cooking time (especially for small varieties with the husk removed, such as the common red lentil) and a distinctive earthy flavor. Lentils are used to prepare an inexpensive and nutritious soup all over Europe and North and South America, sometimes combined with some form of chicken or pork. They are frequently combined with rice, which has a similar cooking time. A lentil and rice dish is referred to in the Middle East as mujaddara or mejadra. Rice and lentils are also cooked together in khichdi, a popular Indian dish. Lentils are used throughout India, the Mediterranean regions, and the Middle East. In rare cases, the lentils are mixed with dairy cheese.

A large percentage of Indians are vegetarian and lentils have long been part of the indigenous diet as a common source of protein. Usually, lentils are boiled to a stew-like consistency with vegetables and then seasoned with a mixture of spices to make many side dishes such as sambar, rasam, and dal, which are usually served over rice and roti.

When lentils are prepared, they are first inspected for damaged lentils, stones, and other foreign matter. Then they are rinsed until the water runs through and comes out clear. Some prefer to soak the lentils for an extended time and discard the water. This removes substances that may cause indigestion. The lentils are then boiled in water or broth. They may be cooked on the stove top, or in a slow cooker. Pressure cookers are not recommended, since the small lentils may clog the pressure relief valve, and their quick cooking time means there is little benefit from pressure cooking. Cooked lentils often require thinning: adding more hot water or broth to the cooked legumes until the desired final consistency is reached.

Stored airtight at room temperature, lentils will keep up to a year (Herbst 2001).

Nutritional value and health benefits

Lentils, raw
Nutritional value per 100 g
Energy 350 kcal 1480 kJ
Carbohydrates 60 g
– Sugars 2 g
– Dietary fiber 31 g
Fat 1 g
Protein 26 g
Thiamin (Vit. B1) 0.87 mg 67%
Iron 7.5 mg 60%
Percentages are relative to US
recommendations for adults.
Source: USDA Nutrient database

Apart from a high level of proteins, lentils also contain a rich supply of copper and selenium, and are a good source of iron, vitamin B6, folate, and zinc(Bender and Bender 2005). In general, lentils are a good source of dietary fiber, but red (or pink) lentils contain a lower concentration of fiber than green lentils (11 percent rather than 31 percent) (ARS 2008). Lentils also have a fair amount of vitamin A, calcium, and phosphorus (Herbst 2001).

In addition to providing slow-burning, complex carbohydrates, lentils are one of the best vegetable sources of iron. This makes them an important part of a vegetarian diet, and useful for preventing iron deficiency. Iron is particularly important for adolescents, and menstruating or pregnant women, whose requirements for it are increased.

Health magazine has selected lentils as one of the five healthiest foods (Raymond 2006). Lentils are often mixed with grains, such as rice, which results in a complete protein dish.

Lentils’ contribution to heart health lies not just in their fiber, but in the significant amounts of folate and magnesium they supply. Folate helps lower levels of homocysteine, an amino acid that is an intermediate product in an important metabolic process called the methylation cycle. When folate and vitamin B6 are present, homocysteine is converted into cysteine or methionine, both of which are benign. When these B vitamins are not available, levels of homocysteine increase in the bloodstream—with potential for the homocysteine to damage artery walls and serve as a risk factor for heart disease.

Lentils’ magnesium is a calcium channel blocker. Sufficient magnesium aid veins and arteries to relax, which lessens resistance and improves the flow of blood, oxygen, and nutrients throughout the body. Studies show that a deficiency of magnesium is not only associated with heart attack but that immediately following a heart attack, lack of sufficient magnesium promotes free radical injury to the heart.

In addition to its beneficial effects on the digestive system and the heart, soluble fiber helps stabilize blood sugar levels. Legumes such as lentils can help balance blood sugar levels while providing steady, slow-burning energy.

Lentils and lenses

The optical lens is named after the lentil (Latin: lens), whose shape it resembles. This same connection appears in many other languages:

Language lens lentil
Latin lens lens
Greek φακός φακή
Persian adasi adas
Arabic adasa adas
Turkish mercek mercimek
French lentille lentille
Italian lenti lenticchie
Latvian lēca lēca
Polish soczewka soczewica
Serbian sočivo sočivo
Croatian leća leća
Slovene leča leča
Swedish lins lins
Hungarian lencse lencse
Spanish lente lenteja
German Linse Linse
Catalan lent llentia
Romanian lentila linte
Dutch lens linze
Finnish linssi linssi
Czech čočka čočka
Bulgarian леща леща

Credits

New World Encyclopedia writers and editors rewrote and completed the Wikipedia article in accordance with New World Encyclopedia standards. This article abides by terms of the Creative Commons CC-by-sa 3.0 License (CC-by-sa), which may be used and disseminated with proper attribution. Credit is due under the terms of this license that can reference both the New World Encyclopedia contributors and the selfless volunteer contributors of the Wikimedia Foundation. To cite this article for a list of acceptable citing formats.The history of earlier contributions by wikipedians is accessible to researchers here:

  • Lentil history
  • Lens_(genus) history
  • Legume history

The history of this article since it was imported to New World Encyclopedia:

  • History of “Lentil”

Note: Some restrictions may apply to use of individual images which are separately licensed.

Known and renowned for its nutritional properties, the lentil is an annual plant that is a cinch to grow in the garden.

Little Lentil facts list

Name – Lens esculenta or culinaris
Family – Fabaceae
Type – annual
Height – 16 to 20 inches (40 to 50 cm)
Exposure – full sun
Soil – light, or even sandy
Harvest – July before it has matured completely

Read also:

  • Recipes with lentils
  • Health: Lentil health benefits and therapeutic properties

Sowing lentil

Green, red and even pink lentil, there are a great number of lentil varieties but they all share the same growing steps.

If you wish to grow a AOC-label variety, opt for the ‘Verte du Puy’ lentil. For Red Label varieties, go for the ‘Berry’ or the ‘Blonde de Saint Flour’ varieties.

Lentil sowing season

Lentil is sown in the plot directly in seed holes in spring and is harvested in summer.

Sprouting is quite swift, since it takes place about 10 days after sowing.

Spacing lentil seeds

This depends on the lentil variety.

  • Space your sowing seed holes by 14 inches (35 cm) on all sides.
  • Run the hoe along after sprouting to avoid letting weeds invade your sowing.

The lentil is part of the same family as broad beans, beans and peas.

Growing and caring for lentil

Lentil is easy to grow and care for, the only compulsory task is to hoe the soil on a regular basis because it loathes weeds.

Lentil sprouts can be ridged when they reach a height of 6 to 8 inches (15 to 20 cm), this will increase their root system and they will stand more upright when heavy with seed.

  • Without the ridging, lentil risks collapsing in case of rain and wind.

Lentil doesn’t require fertilizer nor must the soil be amended.

Lentil also doesn’t require regular watering, and in particular only needs water in case of extended dry spell.

Excess water would tend to lead to more leaves growing instead of flowers, so you would have less seeds.

At the end of the harvest, you can pull out the plants and mix them into the earth, because lentil doesn’t grow back from one year to the next.

Harvesting the lentils

The average productivity of lentil is about 5½ oz (150 g) per sq. yard (m²). So since we can plant about 10 to 12 specimens to a square yard (1 m²), the average productivity of a single lentil plant is ½ oz (15 g).

One might say that producing lentils requires a great many plants in order to gather a significant harvest!

How can one determine when the right time to harvest lentils is, to ensure that they’re neither too ripe nor too young?

  • We harvest lentil at the beginning of summer.
  • The stems are cut before they’re completely mature.
  • The stems are set in a dry and ventilated place, preferably head down, to ripen.

Keeping lentils

Lentil seeds keep for much longer when they are still in their pods.

It’s thus best to keep them in their pods and collect them only as you need them.

But lentil seeds can still be kept for several months in a dry spot, preferably in an airtight jar such as a mason jar.

Lentil doesn’t need to be stored in the refrigerator.

Diseases and parasites that attack lentils

The main diseases that impact lentil are:

  • Black spot disease is when brown spots appear on leaves.
  • The aphid is the main parasite that attacks lentils.

The best treatment against these diseases is to spray Bordeaux mixture preventively and routinely when the weather is warm and moist (for example, after it rains in summer).

As for parasites, you’ll possibly discover aphids and slugs.

Smart tip about lentils

Dried lentil seeds are recommended for their proteins, fibers and minerals that they provide.

  • Health: Lentil gifts us with many health benefits and a high therapeutic value

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *