The lentil (Lens culinaris) is an edible pulse. It is a bushy annual plant of the legume family, known for its lens-shaped seeds. It is about 40 cm (16 in) tall, and the seeds grow in pods, usually with two seeds in each.


The sprouts are rich in bioavailable vitamins, minerals, proteins, amino acids, phytochemicals and energy.


Lentils prefer well drained soil planted on south or east exposures to better utilize the sun’s warmth and get the little seedlings to erupt. Good drainage is of primary concern, as even short periods of flooded or waterlogged soil will kill lentil plants.


A temperate climate is required for summer crops or lentils can be grown as a winter annual in subtropical climes. The garden should be tilled and raked, removing stones and other debris as lentils propagate via seed dispersal.

A cool season plant, growing lentil plants are tolerant of spring frosts but not of drought or high temperatures, which will reduce yield.

Plant Care

In summary, lentil plant care requires good drainage, cool temperatures (but not cold), a minimum of irrigation, and a soil pH of near 7.0.

Troubleshooting Growing Problems

As lentil plants thrive primarily in areas of low humidity, they do not tend to suffer from many diseases. Blight, white mold and root rot are, however, a few possible disease issues whose most effective method of prevention is crop rotation. Corn is the best options for crop rotation.

Lentil plant care is minimal with regards to predation. Lentils can be attacked by aphids,Lygus bugs, maggots, wireworms and thrips; however, this predation is rare.


Lentils can be harvested for use as dry beans or when still green, like snap peas. To use them as dry beans, wait the entire maturation period (about 110 days) and harvest the pods once they are hardened. Keep them unshelled until ready for use. If you intend to use them like peas, they should be ready after 70 – 80 days.

Crop Rotation

Companion Planting


Beets, lettuce, okra, potato, spinach, dill, cabbage,  carrots, chards, eggplant, peas, tomatoes, brassicas, corn, cucumbers, grapes

Helped By

savory, beets, cucumbers, borage, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, corn, larkspur, lovage, marigolds, mustards, radish, potato, peppermint, rosemary, lettuce, onion, squash 


Colorado potato beetle


Tomatoes, chilli peppers, alliums, gladiolas


Lentils do not need much fertiliser if planted in rich, fertile soil. Side dress them with a little compost tea when they reach 12cm high and again as they begin to flower.


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