How to Grow Lentils

Lentils belong to the legume family. They have seeds that grow in pods that you can cultivate at home.


  • Step 1: Support the plants with a low trellis. When mature, they will reach 18 to 24 inches tall.
  • Step 2: Harvest the lentil pods when they are mature and hard. Dried lentils are ready for harvest about 110 days after sowing.
  • FACT: Lentils may have been one of the world's first crops, grown more than 8,500 years ago.
  • TIP: Apply compost tea when the plants are 5 inches tall, and again when they flower.
  • Step 3: Sow lentil seeds in the the spring, as early as 2 weeks before the last frost. Plant the seeds 1/2 to 1 inch deep, spaced 1 inch apart. When they sprout, thin the seedlings so that they are 4 to 5 inches apart.
  • TIP: Do-it-yourself pH test kits are available at most garden stores.
  • Step 4: Add aged compost to the garden bed before planting. It will give the lentils nutrients when they're planted.
  • Step 5: Choose a suitable growing location. Lentils prefer lots of sunlight and loose, well-draining soil with a pH level between 6.0 and 6.5.

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