Material usesThere are no material uses listed for Lens culinaris.
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Lentils are widely cultivated in warm temperate and tropical zones for their edible and very nutritious seed, there are many named varieties. The plants are much hardier than is commonly supposed and many of these varieties can succeed in Britain, particularly in warm summers. There is at least one, called 'WH2040', that can withstand temperatures as low as -23°c in the seedling stage. 'Chilean' is a low-growing plant that can be grown in the winter in areas where winter vegetables can be grown. 'HarLen' tolerates temperatures down to -10°c and performs very well in gardens. The plants take the same time as peas to mature, so lentils are a potential commercial crop for Britain. Yields of up to 2 tonnes per hectare are possible. The main problem with growing them as a commercial crop is that they are produced by using cheap labour in many countries which makes it very difficult for British farmers to compete on prices. However, this does not preclude their being grown in the garden and allotment.Lentils are also beneficial to grow as part of a rotation on the farm or garden. They have a symbiotic relationship with certain soil bacteria, these bacteria form nodules on the roots and fix atmospheric nitrogen. Some of this nitrogen is utilized by the growing plant but some can also be used by other plants growing nearby and, if the roots are left in the ground when the seeds are harvested, this will provide a source of nitrogen for the next crop.
Problems, pests & diseases
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Polycultures & Guilds
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