My current home doesn't have a verandah but I'd like it to! A long porch surrounding the entire house. With a porch swing, potted blueberry plants, and a long strong dog laying at my feet. The sweet smell of lrosemary and freshly-turned soil wafting across my yard. The chickens clucking contentedly as they scratch for goodies in the fertile dirt. Knowing we have a full root cellar, trees in the orchard about to drop their bounty, and soup made all from hand-picked harvests bubbling in the crockpot. Heaven.

Please move with me over to my current blog, www.rosemary-ridge.blogspot.com ... thank you!

How to Grow Lentils Part 1

It took me a lot of experimentation and testing to find lentil seeds that were (1) organic and (2) would sprout in dirt! I found some and am offering some for sale too!

This is my saga of growing lentil plants. I took my special organic green lentils and planted 1-2 in each reconstituted peat-pellet (see pic). Did 3 pellets in a baggie. The first sprout popped up within 7 days. I had given up on 2 and 3 and pushed another lentil in each when the next day number 2 popped above the soil. Oops. About 3 days after that, number 3 popped up! So about 14 days after I originally planted the peat-pellets, I had 3 seedlings, and noticed that #2 and #3 had another popping up beside the first ones! Argh! Of course, we keep our house temp at 63 degrees F during the Fall, Winter, Spring so it was probably the temp. The moral of this paragraph is that some lentil seeds sprout quicker than others so be patient!

I'll continue to grow these 3 in our house's garden room, and will plant some outside along our fences, with cucumbers. Now... here's some info about growing lentils:

= = = =

Basic info: An annual plant, member of the pea family (legume). Sometimes referred to as a bean. Grow on short vines (18-24 inches high). Branches are sparse. Flowers are small and kinda white or light pruple. Pods are flat, small and broad and have about 2 flat seeds. The kind I'm growing are green, but there are red, yellow, orange, brown and tan too.

Sow: 2-3 weeks before the last frost. If frost kills the seedling, it might grow back from what's below the ground (resilient). Can start indoors before transplanting or grow on your windowsill (pots should be at least 8 inches deep). If temp is kept at 68 degrees F, seeds will germinate in around 10 days. Outdoors, plant in full sun, in loose, well-drained soil (sandy is good). PH between 6.0 and 6.5.

Spacing: 1/2 to 1 inch deep, about 2-3 inches apart (I hate to thin and do as much "intensive gardening" as possible. Trellis to allow air circulation... I plan to use almost every fence I have for bean, pea and lentil growing.

Feeding/Watering: Dress bed with compost before planting, weak compost tea when about 5-6 inches tall, and again at flowering. Stop watering when they start to die/dry out. While growing, keep evenly moist, although they are pretty drought tolerant.

Companion planting: NEVER near onions, garlic or other alliums. They love potatoes, cucumbers and summer savory. I will be planting vining cucumbers along the fence with the lentils ... 5 lentils, 1 cuke, 5 lentils, 1 cuke and so on.

Growing: Protect from pests (aphids or weevils) or early frosts. Use crop rotation system to avoid infestations. No real diseases to worry about, but are susceptible to mildew (which is why you need to give them good air circulation).

Yield: about 2 lentil seeds per pod. Number of pods can vary. So... not good but if you're into providing your own food, as we are, and like lentils, grow them! Plants lots, especially if you eat lentils more than once a week.

Harvesting: pick fresh for immediate munching, or allow to let dry on the vine to harvest for storage and later-cooking. Takes 80-110 days to come to harvest.

= = = =

THIS WAS PART 1 OF "How to Grow Lentils". I'll write Part 2 when they are growing in the garden, and probably Part 3 when I've harvested them.

= = = =

Please plant a nut or fruit tree today.

1 comment:

Dunappy said...

Thanks for that Info. I finally got my lentil seeds in this week. I found a variety that matures in 60-75 days I need that for my high altitude short growing season. My last frost hasn't even hit yet. We had 3 inches of snow last Sunday. I'm thinking that I can go a head and plant though because the end of the cold will be soon.

Did you use any bean innoculant? I got some seed innoculant also so I"ll be adding that when I plant the seeds.