Lentils - benefit, harm, cultivation

Lentil, whose useful properties have been known for thousands of years, has been a source of livelihood for our ancestors since prehistoric times. Gourmets of antiquity once considered lentils food for the poor. They even refused to eat it because of the cheapness. I would not say that, in Russia, this is a cheap product - some varieties of lentils are not cheap. More important, perhaps, is that it is the most delicious product of all beans.

  • Lentil - useful properties
  • Can lentils cause harm to health?
  • Cultivation of lentils in the garden
  • Pests and diseases of lentils
  • Anthracnose
  • Ascochitis
  • Gray rot
  • Pea aphid
  • Snails and slugs

Lentil is mentioned many times in the Bible: Jacob buys the birthright of Esau for a lentil soup.

In the Jewish religion, it is the main food during mourning for the deceased, since the round shape of the grains symbolizes the life cycle from birth to death.


Lentils were the main part of the diet of ancient Iranians, who used it daily.

In India, sprouted grains are still being offered in many temples, like the food of the gods.

In Italy, and now eat lentils on the eve of the New Year, as a symbol of prosperity - most likely because of a round, like a coin, the shape of the grains.

In the original version of the fairy tale Brothers Grimm "Cinderella" stepmother makes Cinderella choose the seeds of lentils from the ashes. If Cinderella can not cope, then she will not go to the ball. These facts once again prove that lentils are a popular food in many countries.

In Russia, this bean plant began to grow as an agricultural crop more than five centuries ago. In the Kiev annals of the XV century there is a mention of this. She was revered as bread.

The largest area under it was taken away in the XIX century in the Penza province. A lentil, grown in the Saratov region, derived in the 30 years of the XX century at the Petrovskaya selection-experimental station, was demonstrated at the International Exhibition of Products (Brno) - its taste was recognized the best.

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Lentil - useful properties

What is the use of lentils? It contains 35% of proteins (wheat, for comparison, only 13-18%). Lentil grains contain almost 60% starch% oil,% sugar, and also potassium, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, iron, vitamins B1, B2, PP, carotene, others. The protein is well absorbed by the body, contains a sufficient number of vital amino acids. Dishes from lentils reduce the level of cholesterol, sugar in the blood, prevent constipation.

It contains a large amount of fiber, dietary fiber. And fiber, dietary fiber is crucial for reducing the feeling of hunger, that is, lentils are useful to those who want to lose weight. Recommendations of dieticians: add to your diet three times a week dishes from legumes, also from lentils. Passing through the gastrointestinal tract, it forms gel-like substances, thereby helping to remove bile from the body.


Dishes from lentils are prescribed for diseases of the gastrointestinal tract, liver, heart diseases. It is believed that she makes a person patient, calm.

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Can lentils cause harm to health?

Of course yes. Any product that is used often enough or uncontrollably, will not benefit anyone. Do not eat dishes made of lentils for people suffering from urolithiasis, joint diseases, gout, as it contains purines. Their excess can lead to the accumulation of uric acid. That is, purines are compounds that can be harmful to people prone to gout or the formation of kidney stones. In addition, lentils contain substances that can contribute to... ah, meteorism.

To taste, nutrition, it is ahead of all grain legumes. How to cook lentils? It prepares faster, it boils better than other beans, it has a more delicate, pleasant taste. Soups, porridges, garnishes, stuffing for pies are made from it. Lentil flour is added to wheat flour to increase the amount of protein when baking bread, add to sausage products.

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Cultivation of lentils in the garden

Lentils are grown as an annual herbaceous plant of the legume family. Stem height of 20-35 cm, it depends on the variety, soil moisture, air. Leaves paired light gray or dark green with 4-7 pairs of narrow leaves with a twisted top with long antennae at the ends. The flowers are white, pink, violet-blue, located 1-3 on the peduncle in the axils of the leaves. Each flower produces one short flat pod with one or two seeds.

This is a spring, quite cold-resistant plant. Shoots can withstand frosts to -3 ° C and below. Lentils love sunny places, wet, but not boggy soil. Vegetation period - 75-115 days - depends on the variety, the region of cultivation.

The plant is self-pollinated. Lentil feels well on all types of soils, from sand to loam, but does not tolerate waterlogged or soils with high groundwater. It is best for her sandy loam soils with a high content of phosphorus, potassium.


Comfortable temperature for germination is + 3-5 ° С. Lentil is a plant of a long day, that is, it grows where the day is longer (for example, the non-chernozem belt). Like any beans, ripen quickly, but later than peas.

The seeding depth is 3-5 cm. Distance between rows 30 cm. In the row, seeds are placed every 10 cm. Lentil seeds germinate 10-12 days after sowing.

At first it grows slowly, but as soon as it blossoms, a period of active growth begins. This happens 40-45 days after it has risen. The first flowers appear below. The flowering period lasts 40-50 days.

Of all legumes, lentils are more thermophilic, roaster-tolerant, drought-resistant culture than, for example, peas. But our Kuban heat, beginning in June, and sometimes earlier, as well as eastern dry winds, is bad. Therefore, lentils must be sown early.

I sow in the beginning or the middle of March (it depends on the weather), when the soil warms up to 5-6 ° C. Before the beginning of flowering, lentils require a lot of moisture, so do not delay with sowing.

Suitable air temperature for the formation of stems, fruits - 17-22 degrees, and in the Krasnodar Territory the temperature in summer is twice as high, so plant earlier, which would have already reached the heat, and you could harvest.

Because of the uneven maturation of the fruits of lentils, the harvest begins when the beans mature in the lower and middle parts of the plant. If you are a little late, the lower ripened beans will split - the whole crop will be on the ground.

Eat lots of lentils completely ripe or immature: unripe even tastier.

After drying, the seeds are dried immediately, so that they do not become rotten as a result of self-warming. But here too it is very important not to overdo it. With high humidity or prolonged exposure to sunlight, seeds quickly darken, lose their taste.

The site for planting lentils is prepared as follows: dig the soil to a depth of 25-30 cm, fall fertilizers per 1 sq. Km. a meter of potassium - 25-30 g (1 st.lozhka without a slide), superphosphate 30-4 g (1 tbsp. spoon with a slide). In the spring before planting, add nitrogen fertilizer. Manure, organic fertilizers do not contribute to lentils, since while it is "fattening" - a lot of leaves, and few beans. The yield of beans decreases. This also applies to other beans.

Care for lentil crops is the same as for peas.

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Pests and diseases of lentils

Lentils are quite resistant to diseases, when compared with other legumes. But nevertheless, they are.

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This disease is expressed in the form of gray spots on leaves, stems, pods. The disease is caused by the fungus Ascochyta. Basically, it affects peas, but it can also affect other legumes. The infection begins at the bottom of the stem, rises to the top, causing the leaves to fall off, the appearance of spots on the pods. This fungus appears on legumes in excess moisture or in very hot weather. Treatment of anthracnose requires the use of fungicides.

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The disease is caused by the fungus Ascochyta fabae. On the leguminous plants, white or violet spots appear on the leaves, which then turn black if the disease progresses. This fungus weakens the plant, leads to the dropping of flowers, seeds, pods darken. To avoid this, you must use good seeds. Among the existing ways to eliminate this disease without the use of fungicides, the use of crop rotations every four years can be recommended.

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Gray rot

This disease is caused by the fungus Botrytis cinerea, which can infect pods, leaves. They become gray, then fall off. The stems are covered with a gray bloom. This leads to the death of the plant. Seeds on plants infected with gray rot become wrinkled. Spores of the fungus spread by the wind, so they can infect huge areas. This disease is very difficult to eradicate, because the fungus spores are always in the soil, can develop at high humidity or, conversely, at high air temperatures. This disease affects plants such as peas, lentils, sunflowers, beans, etc. The best way to deal with it is to use for planting seeds, which varieties are resistant to gray rot.

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Pea aphid

Disease (lat. Acyrthosiphum pisum) - the main pest of legumes, including lentils. Pea aphids damage the leaves of the plant, feeding on the upper tender leaves. This weakens the plant and can lead to its death. Protection from pea aphids - processing legumes with insecticides, preferably before tying pods.

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Snails and slugs


These mollusks can also cause great damage to leguminous crops, especially if rainy wet weather keeps, when plants rise. If there are many pests, then overnight they can significantly "thin out" the shoots of lentils, leaving plants without tops, and sometimes even without stems. With snails and slugs you can fight with natural and chemical means. As a natural remedy for these pests, sand or crushed egg shells can be used. They do not like rough surfaces, they do not climb where row rows are sprinkled with sand or something else rough. You can use traps - containers with beer or sweet soda water. From chemicals from snails and slugs on garden sites the "Thunderstorm" helps well.

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