If you’ve recently planted legumes or are considering doing so, you’re on the right track to a rewarding harvest. But what comes next after planting legumes? In this week’s blog, we explore five (5) crucial steps you must take to ensure your legume crops thrive and reward you with a successful harvest.
Each of these practices apply to all legume crops be it beans (cowpea), groundnut, lentils, or other legumes; and are guaranteed to work to your advantage if properly followed.
Ready? Let’s get to it…
After you have planted your legume seeds, the first step is to closely monitor germination. Depending on the legume variety and environmental conditions, germination typically occurs within a week. Look for those telltale signs of life—tiny sprouting seedlings breaking through the soil and ensure they receive adequate sunlight to promote healthy growth from the very beginning.
Weeds are unwelcome competitors in your legume field, as they vie for nutrients, water, and sunlight. Managing weeds early is key to a successful legume crop, as such, it would have been ideal if you have taken proactive steps at the beginning such as the application of pre-emergence herbicides to clear the land and rid it of all weed seeds that may sprout later and affect the crop. Howbeit, you can still curtail weed growth using physical methods such as hand weeding or mulching, or via chemical methods such as judicious use of post-emergent herbicides (like Twig or Gallant Super) to keep the weed population in check and create an environment where your legumes can flourish.
Legumes have moderate water needs, but they thrive with consistent moisture, especially during dry spells. Deep watering encourages robust root development. However, be cautious not to overwater, as legumes can be susceptible to root rot in waterlogged soil. Tailor your irrigation to local weather conditions to ensure optimal hydration.
While legumes are renowned for their nitrogen-fixing ability, it’s essential to evaluate your soil’s nutrient levels. Conduct a soil test to determine if additional fertilization is required. In cases where your soil lacks essential nutrients, consider providing a balanced fertilizer with phosphorus and potassium. This step ensures your legumes have all the nutrients they need for robust growth.
Pests and diseases pose a threat to your legume crops, therefore it is important to regularly inspect your plants for signs of trouble. Common legume pests include aphids, bean beetles, and leafhoppers. Implement integrated pest management techniques to address these issues, additionally, insecticides like Captor, Cypertex, Kombat, Solitex, Sting, Termex, and Vanguish are healthy, environmentally friendly options for diverse kinds of insect pests. Additionally, be vigilant for any signs of fungal or bacterial diseases, such as powdery mildew or rust, and take prompt action against them with fungicides like Mackecknie Extra whenever detected.
Growing thriving legume crops requires attention to detail and a commitment to proper care throughout the growing season. From the moment your legume seeds sprout to the final harvest, these five essential steps will set you on the path to a successful legume harvest. Remember, healthy legumes not only benefit your farm but also contribute to sustainable agriculture and a healthier environment.
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