Surely, when you were little or little, in your school you planted lentils. Usually planting lentils used to be done a few weeks before Mother’s Day, since it was the gift that was offered to them for their celebration.
But it does not mean that it is something exclusive to teachers. You can plant lentils yourself and keep them at home, even use them for your own meals. Do you want to know how? We tell you all the details you should know about this legume.
When are lentils planted?
The scientific name for lentils is Lens culinaris. It is an annual legume, widely consumed in Europe and Latin America, but also in Asia and Africa. Due to its resistance as a plant, and all the benefits it offers, many choose to have it among their foods. But it is even healthier if you cultivate it yourself.
And for that, the first thing you need to know is when to plant lentils. This will be determined by the climate you have where you live.
For example, if you live in an area where the climate is warm and the winters are not too cold, you can plant it in spring, summer or fall. The best months are spring and autumn. In the case of having a cold climate, then it is better to reduce the time for planting to spring.
Now, if where you are going to plant them is in a pot, in a seedbed, etc. and it will be indoors, so you could plant it throughout the year since it will have a stable temperature (ideal if it was between 6 and 28 degrees Celsius).
How to make a cotton lentil plant?
Normally, lentils are usually planted in a pot, seedbed or in the ground itself. But in school, many children know plants first-hand with this experiment: planting lentils with cotton. Yes, it is possible, and in fact it is “magical” to see how a lentil, which many do not like, becomes a beautiful plant.
You can also do it at home. And in fact it is a way to help the lentils activate before transferring them to a pot. To do this, you will need lentils, cotton, water and a glass jar or jar to put them in. If you have several children, we advise you to put only 2 lentils per jar, so that each one has their own. It is also not advisable to put many because when the plants grow later it will be difficult to separate them without damaging some.
The steps you must take to plant lentils in cotton are:
- Clean the jar so that it is odor-free and dirt-free inside.
- Dip the cotton in water and insert it into the jar, making a kind of bed in it.
- Add the lentils to the jar and press it a little with the cotton to soak it.
- Cover the jar leaving a few holes in the lid. You can also use foil or plastic wrap with holes to create a kind of greenhouse.
- Keep the cotton moist for a few days, soon the lentil will open and take root and a small stem.
- Once it does, and begins to grow, you will no longer have to cover the pot but let it grow and even come out of the container. It will be time to plant them.
How to sow sprouted lentils?
The process of planting seeds in cotton is also known as germinating seeds . And, when planting these legumes, many leave them in water the night before doing so to help them germinate.
However, the cotton method is more fun, and also curious for the little ones in the house.
Now, when you already have sprouted lentils, how are they planted? Well, in this case it is the same as with any other plant:
- Take a pot and fill it with soil.
- Take the sprouted lentil plant and remove it from the jar or seedbed. If you have made it in cotton, you have to remove it so that it does not affect the roots.
- Lentils should be planted depending on the size of the seed. As a rule, you should put them at a depth of 3 times their size. In addition, it is not advisable for you to put many in a pot, unless it is very large, because they need a space between them of 15 cm.
- Water with water and keep them in semi-shade for a few days to adapt to their new environment. After that time you can place them in the sun.
How is the lentil plant grown?
Now that you have a lentil plant, it is convenient that you know what care you should provide so that it continues its development and, in the end, it gives you lentils.
- Temperature: place it in an area where the temperature does not drop below 6 degrees, since if it does, the plant can suffer and in the end it will die, especially if it is very young. It is best if it is in a range between 6 and 28 degrees.
- Location: Planting lentils requires sunlight. These legumes appreciate the sun a lot, so don’t be afraid to put it in the sunniest area.
- Soil: for lentils to develop perfectly, the soil where they are planted must be rich in organic matter. The pH must be between 5.5 and 9 and you will also have to provide organic fertilizer (compost, bokashi, worm castings …). Make sure everything drains well so there are no pools of water that could rot the roots.
- Irrigation: lentils love humidity, therefore, they do not tolerate prolonged droughts. When you see that the soil begins to dry out, then you have to water. Now, if you see that the pods of the lentils are drying out, stop watering, because perhaps it is too much for the plant.
- Guide: Lentils themselves need a little guide so they can support themselves and grow. If they don’t, the plant will end up in the ground, and it won’t look pretty in the end.
If you do it right, in 80-110 days of planting lentils you will have your first harvest. As soon as you see that the plant begins to dry, you have to cut the stem and place it upside down. Wait for it to dry completely and shake it off. Then your seeds will start to fall, which will be new lentils that you can use to eat or to plant new plants.
Do you dare to try? It is very easy to do and does not require excessive care.