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The lentils they are one of the oldest legumes in history; think that this legume was already cultivated in 7,000 BC. in Asia. Lentils have a high amount of antioxidants and, thanks to the high content of isoflavones, they are an excellent ally in the prevention of some diseases.
They are rich in vegetable proteins so as to make them a valid alternative to foods of animal origin. The lentils they are widely used in gastronomy; they can be eaten as a main course instead of meat or fish. For further information read "How to cook lentichhie"
Their cultivation does not require particular cultivation practices; they also develop in poorly fertile soils. Although it is a legume whose origins come from the East, those of the highest quality are produced in Italy. The major Italian producing regions are Campania, Abruzzo, Puglia and Lazio. Let's see how to grow lentils following our directions.
How to grow lentils, helpful tips
- Soil and fertilization
The lentil prefers a sandy soil but also adapts to the clayey type; in any case it is good to be careful to avoid water stagnation.
The soil must be fertilized with manure before the previous crop, but to make the harvest more productive it is advisable to add phosphorus and potassium, minerals useful for the plant.
- Rotation and association
Generally, lentils are used, therefore a legume, to open a rotation cycle, therefore it will subsequently be possible to grow almost all vegetables on that land except for other legumes. He doesn't like the company of other vegetables so much, except for broad beans, rye, barley and peas.
If you have an olive grove, an orchard or a vineyard, you can sow lentils under the trees or close to them: you will have a mutual benefit!
The sowing period varies according to the geographical area and also to the climatic trend:
those in the north will be able to sow in the spring while those living in the center and south will be able to anticipate sowing with the beginning of the autumn season
At the time of sowing, about 6 cm should be left between one seed and another and about 35 cm between one row and the next with a depth of about 2 cm. Germination will take place after about 10 days
The plant should be uprooted when the aerial part dries up completely and once it has been uprooted it must dry well in a warm and dry place.
Harvesting should not be delayed to prevent the seeds from losing color or being attacked by weevil, a parasite that affects legumes.