Vegetables

Lentil cultivation

Irrigation and land

Lentils are plants very resistant to drought and it is rare in Italy that they need other interventions. Water should be supplied only if the lack of disturbances lasts for a long time, such that the plants begin to show signs of suffering. The only time when you need to water frequently is flowering, to get a good harvest. We always wait for the earth to dry out. As soils, it prefers poor and arid ones but it is important that they are well drained. The rottenness of the roots in fact with the diseases, are the problems that lead to the loss of the crop. It is therefore necessary to avoid very clayey and calcareous soils. It does not even like those that are too fertile or with a high level of salinity, with a pH that does not exceed in acid or alkaline.

Cultivation


The sowing of lentils should be done in the autumn or spring. It starts in winter after harvesting, digging up to 40 centimeters deep. The earth must be left to rest during the frosts, so that they break up the clods thoroughly. The seeds must be arranged in rows about thirty centimeters from each other, at a depth of about 2 centimeters, having taken care to soak the seeds in water the previous night and to have moistened the growing earth. If we want to grow dwarf lentils, however, we must keep the distance of 60 centimeters between the rows. The germination of the seeds is fast and a temperature of 5 degrees is enough to see them germinate. It is advisable to put bird protection nets to prevent them from eating the seeds.

Fertilization


For the cultivation of lentils it would be necessary to fertilize with deeply buried mature manure. This operation is carried out during the cultivation before the lentils. If we wanted to speed up the growth of the plants, it is possible to spread more seasoned manure at the time of sowing. They are plants that do not need large quantities of nitrogen but it is good that the soil is not devoid of it. On the other hand, it is important to supply good quantities of fertilizer with a high phosphorus content, which is why wood ash comes in handy, guaranteeing a fundamental contribution to obtain a good result. Potassium must also be integrated, in case it is lacking naturally in the soil used for our lentil cultivation. Legumes such as lentils are usually used to start a rotation cycle.

Lentil cultivation: Diseases and weeds


Lentil plants could be affected by pests such as weevil, which contrasts with carbon sulfide products. Other common parasites are aphids to be fought with infusions or macerates of herbs suitable for the purpose. The snails, on the other hand, are eliminated with traps or one at a time manually. Plants can also be infected with some fairly common diseases, such as anthracnose and rust, which are counteracted using specific products, possibly organic. Weeds should be kept under control, they are easily able to suffocate the seedlings and sprouts. It is therefore essential to remove them manually and weed the earth diligently, trying not to damage the superficial roots which are very delicate.

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