Lentil is a grassy annual plant, belongs to the family of legumes. Genus Lentils includes five species, one of which is lentils ordinary or edible.
In wartime and in the famine years, lentils saved many people from starvation. In the elderly, it is still associated with difficult military times.
Now it is widely used in poor countries: India, Pakistan and some others. However, this crop is also grown in highly developed countries: Canada, Australia, etc. Small seed varieties of lentils are fed to animals. Moreover, grain, straw, and greens are used.
Lentils are valuable organic product, because it is especially useful. The plant does not accumulate in itself nitrates, radionuclides and toxic elements. Lentils contain folic acid, vitamin Bone and minerals (a lot of iron). Lentils contain 35% protein, 2.5% oil, more than half of starch, the amino acids lysine and isoleucine. Germinated lentils contain two more important amino acids: cysteine and methionine.
Description of lentils
Lentil is a herbaceous plant, reaches a height of 75 cm. The stem is erect, sometimes prone to lodging, branched, blackish, pubescent. The leaves are complex, pinnate, consist of two - eight pairs of oval leaves. Leaves end with a small branched tendril. Flowers are located on the peduncle of one - five. They are small, white, pink or blue-violet. Most often, the flowers have a white sail with blue veins. Vegetative period of lentil 75-115 days. The fruit, like all legumes, - bean. It can have one, two or three seeds. Color of seeds from greenish to black. They contain tannins, which provide a change in the color of seeds from harvest to the time of use (during storage).
Lentil varieties are relatively many. The most common are brown and red lentils, Beluga and Puy varieties.
- Brown lentilsout of all lentils in the first place. It is from it that in America (and not only) vegetable soups with various herbs are prepared.
- Red lentilsvery quickly boiled soft compared to other lentils. It is used when there is very little time for cooking. Also from the digested red lentils nutritious healthy porridge is obtained.
- Sort Beluga so named because of the small seeds. They resemble beluga caviar, the same round and black.
- Puy- the most fragrant of lentils. It is also called lentils French. The name "Puy" she received in the French city, which bred this variety. Boil puis need longer lentils. She is very good at salads. It has a bright taste and spicy aroma.
- Lentils ordinary cold resistant and whimsical to moisture. For cultivation is best suited chernozem, light loam or sandy loam, rich in lime. Lentil does not withstand heavy, saline and acidic soils.
- The best predecessorswinter crops will be served as well corn and potatoes. Lentil itself is a good predecessor for any crops (except legumes), as it enriches the earth with nitrogen.
- Do not recommend fertilizinglentil soilmanure - This leads to a decrease in grain yield. Fertilizing is necessary during the digging of the earth in autumn or early spring with phosphate and potash fertilizers.
- Lentils can be sown shallowly (5-6 cm), as it does not carry cotyledons to the surface of the soil. When seedlings appear, lentils are harrowed to destroy weeds.
- It is important to water the lentils well, she demanding of moisture. However, during the flowering period, the soil cannot be overmoistened, this can lead to diseases.
- Lentils required long light. Therefore, it is better to plant it on the southern and south-western slopes.
- Fruit ripening in lentils is uneven: first - the bottom, then - the top. Therefore, the cleaning is done separately, several times.
Lentil pests and diseases
Unfortunately, lentils have a lot of pests, it is subject to several dangerous diseases. All this can be avoided by properly caring for her, following the techniques of agricultural engineering. Lentils Astonished rust, gray and white rot, powdery and downy mildew, ascochitosis and anthracnose, with fading and bacteriosis of the roots.All this is better to prevent than to cure. Of the chemical preventive measures recommended treatment of green individuals with a 1% solution of Bordeaux mixture.
- Lentils are used as food and feed crops. Green parts of lentils, straw and fine grain are fed to cattle. Unripe grains can be eaten, they are even tastier than ripe ones.
- Lentils prepare different dishes: cutlets, soups, cereals, pies, mashed potatoes, jelly. And they differ little in nutrition and taste from meat dishes.
- Often grown and consumed lentils in monasteries. They eat it on fasting days. From English, lentils even translates as "post."
- Lentil cereals and lentil flour are very valuable. Lentils are made of flour biscuits. It is also used in the manufacture of cocoa, coffee, chocolate, cookies, candy, sausages.
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