Growing lentils in a Pot

Growing lentils is very easy. Some of the things you will need to grow lentils in the pot are 8-inch or deeper pots with drainage holes, household chlorine bleach, soil, compost, watering can, small trellis or bamboo, and string. This plant is an annual crop that likes cooler weather, so growing them in pots is actually a project you can start early on in the growing season. The following are the steps on how to grow lentils in a pot;

Buy a Set of Pots: Make sure you choose pots that are at least eight inches deep, and then plan to have one pot for each plant. 4 to 8 lentil plants will feed a single person throughout the year, so if you are hoping to have some for use year-round, you have to get the appropriate number of pots.

Prepare the Pots for Planting: You need to disinfect each pot by wiping it down with a clean rag soaked in one part bleach to nine parts water. Actually this will help to prevent the spread of diseases that may be lurking in the pots from the plants you grew last season.

Prepare the Lentil Seeds for Planting: You need to treat your lentil seeds for planting with a Rhizobium leguminosarum inoculant before planting, this will help your plants utilize nitrogen. Different brands of inoculant require differing amounts, and some legumes come pre-inoculated. Normally, the process involves laying your lentil seeds in a tray and then sprinkling powder or liquid form inoculant on them. Wait for about twenty-four hours before using the seeds. If you’re not sure how to proceed you can ask your local nursery whether your lentil seeds are treated, and then ask about the best available inoculant for lentils.

Add the Soil: You need to fill the pots with about half soil and half mature compost. Some gardeners say lentils prefer soil with a pH near 7.

Using Trellis: Slide a small trellis or a three foot length of bamboo into each of the pot, leaning the structure against the inside wall of the pot. Like all beans, lentil plants also need a little trellising to grow well. Lentils usually get to about twenty inches tall, so the trellis does not necessary have to be very big.

Planting the Lentil Seeds: You can place 2 or 3 seeds into each of the pot, about 1 ½ to one inch down in the soil, and then lightly recover them with soil. If you want to give the lentil seeds a head start, you can plant them about 2 weeks before the last frost and then keep them indoors near a sunny window. When the threat of frost has passed you can put the pots in a sunny location outdoors. Give them at least a few inches between pots so that they will have plenty of air circulation.

Dampen the Soil: Actually it’s best to keep the pots evenly moist, but don’t water them so much. This plant will do better with a slightly dry soil versus a wetter one. However, growing your lentils in pots will require more frequent watering than the lentils grown in the ground since pots tend to dry out faster.

Removing the Weaker Plants: You need to pick the seedling with the strongest growth in each pot. When the seedlings have a few leaves you can carefully pull out the weaker plants, be very careful not to disturb the roots of the lentil plant you’re leaving in the pot.

Monitoring the Plant Growth: Train the lentil plants to grow up the trellis. If possible, tie a string loosely around the stem of the plant and then around the trellis. You have to monitor that area carefully to ensure you’re not choking your lentil plant; if the string gets tight you can cut it off and then tie on a new, loose one.

Adding More Nutrients: When it comes to lentil plants fertilizer requirements, all you actually need to do is to sprinkle a handful of manure compost over the soil when the lentil plants get about five inches tall.

Harvesting Lentils: You can easily harvest your lentils when most of the plant has become dry and yellow. You can use a hand pruner to cut away the hulls and beans, or pull the entire lentil plant from the pot and then remove the hulls surrounding the lens-shaped “beans.” You can either cook and eat the lentils in a fresh form or lay them in on a flat, dry surface for them to dry.

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