Irrigation of lentils
The lentil plant is decidedly resistant to periods of drought and very rarely does it need irrigation systems or interventions in this regard in Italy. Water should be distributed only if the disturbances should fail for a long period of time and the plants begin to turn yellow. During the germination and flowering phases, on the other hand, we should irrigate more frequently to allow the plants to grow and fully develop their fruits. The general rule remains to wet only when the soil is completely dry. If you live in a very rainy area, only the intervention of nature would be enough to make the lentils sprout, grow and mature. Generally the ripening and harvesting phase takes place during the summer.
How to grow lentils
Lentils are the most cultivated legume of man, it would seem that it was cultivated already nine thousand years ago. The sowing should be carried out from autumn to spring depending on the climate of the area, planting the seeds at a depth of a couple of centimeters. About seven centimeters should be left between the seeds and thirty-five centimeters between one row and the other, dug in parallel. germination will occur quickly, waiting for about ten days. Once the lentils have ripened, or when the upper part is completely dried, they must be collected and dried. It is very important not to leave the lentils on the plants for a long time, because this would increase the risk of attack by pests and, moreover, could turn yellow and wither.
How to fertilize and associated plants
The best soil for cultivation is the sandy one, but it also develops into a clayey one, paying attention to avoid stagnation of water. It is necessary to make a consistent fertilization using the manure during the previous cultivation, adding minerals such as phosphorus and potassium, to bring lentil cultivation to a higher productivity. Generally we use a legume like lentils, to begin a rotation cycle of crops, then in the same place you can grow any vegetable excluding other leguminous. Usually it is not associated with other vegetable plants, except barley, broad beans and peas. If you have an olive grove or an orchard, you can plant lentils under the trees, bringing both of them benefits.
Growing lentils: Possible diseases and remedies
One problem for lentil plantations is the weeds that frequently choke the plants during the germination phase. The weeding of the surrounding soil is therefore fundamental, being careful not to damage the roots. It is also possible to use a non-residual herbicide to limit the growth of weeds. Even pests can be a problem for lentils, for example the weevil is fought with carbon sulfide. Regarding aphids, there are systems to eliminate them in biological ways , spraying infusions or macerations of garlic. The snails, instead, are eliminated manually or through the use of traps. Among the most widespread diseases are rust and anthracnose which are prevented with copper sulphate.