Lentils are more than just good soup! Lentils fill an important role in the Cover Crop world. A winter annual, cool season, broadleaf, legume, they thrive in low moisture areas and grow upright and spreading making them good ground cover. Lentils are very cold tolerant and can germinate when average soil temperatue is 40 F.
Lentils are a relatively large seed and can be planted at depths of up to an inch. Lentils are able to emerge through thick cereal stubble due to strong seedling vigor. With rapid seed germination, seedlings generally out grow the threat of insects or disease pressure during establishment. Throughout its life cycle, lentils provides a higher quality forage. Mature lentil straw is much higher in protein, digestibility and palatability when compared to cereal straws.
Draw in the early season pollinators with lentils, since flowering occurs within just 60-70 days after planting. Within 3-4 weeks nodulation will begin on the roots and you will be well on your way towards producing an early season green manure crop.
C:N ratio: Leaf 11-21, Stem 25 – 49, Root 22 – 30
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