Growing Lentils in the backyard
Today, we learn the topic of growing lentils in your backyard. Also, we discuss step by step of planting lentils, caring lentil plants and harvesting methods of lentils.
The lentils whose scientific name is Lens culinaris or Lens esculenta are the legumes which are edible. These are annual plants which are bushy and are very popular for their seeds which have the shape of the lens. The lentils will be at a height of 16 inches and the seeds will grow in the pods, generally two seeds per each pod. In the Indian sub-continental cuisines, Split lentils which are called as dal will be used. These are generally consumed along with rotis or rice.
Lentils are fantastic food which will give you a very good boost of proteins. Fortunately, for the gardeners, they are very easy for plantation and also maintenance. You can begin growing them with quality seeds or even with dried lentils. You will need to start planting them in a container or backyard which will get a huge amount of sunlight and sufficient water. Lentils will be ready for harvest within three months. Many people will have questions about how to grow lentils indoors, how to grow lentils in cotton and how to grow lentil sprouts. In this article, we will learn how to grow lentils in the backyard garden.
Selection of site for plantation:
- It would be difficult for you to get the lentil seeds which are packaged at any of the gardening centers in your locality. You can also go to a garden retailer or you can buy them from an organic seeds business offline and online where there are lentil seeds for sale. Anyways, for the purpose of the plantation, any dry, whole lentils which you find in the grocery store will be fine.
- The split lentils are the ones which do not work. So make sure that you are getting the whole lentils.
- The seeds have to be placed in a colander and you will need to rinse them with some water. Pick out the lentils which are discolored, broken or cracked and throw them away.
- Lentils are the ones which will survive in the cool climatic conditions. Then, they will be mature when the temperatures are hot. In order to let your seeds survive, the ground temperature has to be a minimum of 4°C at the time of plantation. If you are seeing a frost after the plantation, there is no need to worry as most of the seedlings will survive this frost even though they have to again start from the roots.
- If you wish to have your options of plantation in a more flexible way, lentils can be also planted in the indoor locations as the room temperatures can be maintained around 20°C. In the cool seasons, few people make use of lighting of the indoor garden for the maintenance of consistent temperature.
- Lentils will grow very well in both the containers and also gardens. The main thing is to give the plant adequate sunlight. It will surely help if the plantation of lentils is done beside the low lying plants as the lentils will not be overshadowed. Always ensure that the soil is moist without any standing water accumulated at the top so that the roots will not be rotted.
- If you have a doubt about the alkalinity or acidity of the soil in your backyard, you can also go for a soil pH test. Lentils are the ones which will grow well in the pH range between 6 to 6.5.
Plantation of Lentils:
- Prior to planting the lentil seeds, you can spray them with a mixture of bacteria which is healthy. This is called as inoculant and this can also be bought in garden stores. A normal use inoculant which is labelled for beans and peas will work fine if used. This pretreatment will help the lentils for sprouting more number of modules or extensions in their respective roots. This will make the lentils more resistant to the changes in environmental conditions and they will provide you with a very good harvest.
- If you see that the soil in your backyard is in a very good condition, in order to grow lentil sprouts, you will need to start the plantation of seeds at a 1-inch depth. If you see that the soil is dry on the top, then you can opt for a depth of 2.5 inches. Make sure that you are not going beyond the depth of 2.5 inches as the seeds will be unable to sprout when they are sown at too much depth.
- If the plantation of lentils in your backyard garden is done in rows, the seeds have to spread at a distance of a minimum one inch from each other and the rows have to be kept at a distance of 6 inches from each other. With this sequence of the plantation, it is always possible to yield half a kilogram of dry lentils for 100 square feet.
Care and maintenance of lentil plants:
- The lentils which are fully grown will stand at a height of 3 feet. If they bend downwards, then the flowers and seed pods of the lentils will break off ending up touching the ground. You can go for the addition of low trellis as a support and then wind the plants across the gaps. Or you can also protect them to bamboo supports along with the cotton string.
- For the creation of a quick trellis, you can get a few numbers of bamboo stalks. Then you will have to stick them into the ground level which is close to the lentils. The lentils have to be hooked to the stalks with the help of a cotton string. Then, start attaching the stalks to each other by making use of nylon or cotton cord.
- Like all the other plants which love the heat, lentils are the ones which are tolerant to drought. But they will be growing well if your watering is best keeping them just at the moistening point. When you press your finger on the soil, it should be damp but water should not rise from the area which is pressed.
- Lentils can be dead quickly and blocked by the weeds which would be competing. For the prevention of this, you will need to spend some time every week and pick the weeds if you see any in the area of plantation. If you see that the lentils are growing at the top of the container, you will need to take this opportunity to thin them and also protecting your harvest.
- If there is more amount of circulation of air, then it will decrease any chances of fungi and other different diseases which survive on the soils which are stagnant.
- Aphids are the insects which will be more attracted to lentils and they might also eat them. If you come across any aphids, just bring a bottle or a hose and spray water on them till they fall off from the leaves. If you find weevils on the lentils, then you will have to completely pull out the plants which are affected and throw them off immediately.
Check all over the patch of lentils and remove the plants at the soil when the bottom part of the pods start sounding shaky when they are rattled. They might also turn into yellow-brown color. Then, you will need to start breaking open the pods for the removal of seeds from inside. Allow them to air dry for some time prior to rinsing them out. The storage of the lentils which are harvested can be done in an airtight container till to wish to use it.
That’s all folks about growing lentils techniques, tips, and ideas for your backyard gardening. Keep gardening!.
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