In this article, I’m going to show you how to grow legumes from seeds at home.
Before we go deep into the detailed guide, here is what you need to know about growing legumes:
While growing legumes, ensure that the legumes you want to grow is adopted to your climatic conditions. Most Legumes do well in moist soil with average fertility. Legumes love full sun. So plant them in an unshaded area. Sow seeds 6-12 inches apart. However, some legumes may need less or more space than the one I stated here.
For details about growing legumes, follow along with this handy guitar to the end.
What are Legumes?
Legumes are plants that are grouped together in one family known as legumonosae or fabaceae. Legumes are among the most important crops that are widely utilized as an immediate source of protein in many developed and developing countries.
Legumes include many edible nuts and vegetables such as peanuts, green beans, black-eyed peas, broad beans, and white clover. There are also other legumes that are grown not for the sake of own personal consumption or for livestock feeding but they are cultivated mainly to improve as oil quality.
Read also: How To Grow Artichokes From Seeds And Crowns
Types of Legumes
Legumes are generally classified into three main types. They include beans, peas, and clover. However, they are other legumes that are not these categories. But, these three types are the most commonly encountered legumes.
Clover: examples include red clover, white clover, sweet clover.
Beans: mung beans, green beans, kidney beans, and broad beans.
Peas: examples include garden peas, cowpeas, pigeon peas, green peas, black-eyed peas, and chickpeas.
Planting legumes for nitrogen
Growing legumes to increase soil nitrogen is great and inexpensive way to naturally improve soil fertility. This method of improving soil quality by planting Legumes is known as cover cropping.
Basically, Legumes store nitrogen in the root nodules. This nitrogen is obtained when legumes abosorb atmospheric nitrogen from the air. The nitrogen that is absorbed from the air will combined with hydrogen to form ammonia.
Later, this ammonia will be further converted into nitrate by special group of soil bacteria to form nitrates. The nitrate is the form of nitrogen that can be used by other plants or release into the soil.
The release of nitrogen occurs when legumes decompose into the soil. They release the nitrogen compound into the soil as they decay. This addition of nitrogen to the soil helps level up the nitrogen in the soil and then improve it’s fertility. Common legumes that are frequently used to improve soil fertility include alfafa, cowpeas, clovers, and beans.
With this basic information about legumes in our minds, let us look at how to grow legumes from seeds at home.
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How to grow legumes from seeds at home
Here is a step by step instructions to grow Legumes from seeds:
1. Choose the right planting time: the first step to growing successful legumes is to plant your legumes at the right time. Legumes have different planting time. For instance, peas do well when planted in Spring and harvested before summer. While beans grow well in temperatures between the range of 65-85°F.
2. Choose the right garden spot: do not start your garden in a wrong spot. This is because your Legumes won’t do well. Find a well-drained garden spot that is located in an unshaded area. Legumes love fertile and moist soil.
3. Choose the type of Legumes you want to grow: the next step is to choose the type of Legumes you want to grow in your garden. While choosing the legume, choose one that is well adopted to your climatic conditions. Do not plant a Legumes that is adopted to your area. Different legumes have different clamatic requirements. The best way to find legume that is adopted to area is to ask you local growers. You need to also choose heirloom or organic varieties. Do not buy GMO and hybrid seeds. These types of seeds do not produce true legumes. Learn how to buy good seeds.
4. Prepare the garden spot: after you have find the right garden spot. The next step is to prepare the garden spot. Most Legumes do well in trenches.
5. Sow the legume seeds: after you have finished preparing the garden spot, it is now time to sow your seeds. Sow seeds 1+1.5 inches deep. Space plants in row about 2-5 inches apart. And between rows, leave about 18-36 inches apart.
6. Water your legume plants regularly: After you also have finished planting the seeds, water the ground surface gently to keep the ground and seeds moist. After germination, continue to water regularly. But, avoid over watering or flooding.
7. Feed your legumes: legumes are not heavy feeders. So, with s small amount of compost and good soil, you can grow healthy plants.
8. Take care of your legumes: take care of your garden. Watch for weeds and weed them to reduce competition. Water regularly. Avoid leaves surface irrigation as this may attract pests and diseases. You can learn more on how to take of your garden here.
9. Harvest your legumes: when your legumes mature harvest. For instance, if you are growing beans, you can harvest them before or during the early summer if you planted your seeds in spring. However, most legumes have different seasons, planting and harvesting time. So, check your seeds pack or ask your local growers for best advice. Learn more on how to harvest seeds from your garden.
Frequently asked questions
Are legumes easy to grow?
Yes, legumes are crops that you can easily grow almost everywhere in the world. This is because most legumes can tolerate moderate to high temperatures and they thrive well in averagely fertile soil. The gardening care is not more than timely watering and weeding, as legumes do not require much feeding.
What increases legumes growth?
Timely watering, weeding, and pests and diseases control can help increase legumes growth. Planting and growing legumes in the soil helps improve the soil biological, physical, and chemio nature.
When can you plant legumes?
Most legumes such as the beans and peas groups sprout well in the cooler weather of fall. Legumes such as fava beans and winter field peas are cold Hardy and grow slowly into winter, and sometimes spring.
Can legumes be grown indoors?
Yes, you can grow legumes indoors. Legumes such as beans can be grown indoors. Growing legumes indoors helps you save space for other vegetables. It is also good of you don’t garden space.
In this article, I looked at how to grow legumes from seeds at home. I hope you will find this article helpful. Let me know if you have any questions.