Let’s Celebrate the International Year of Legumes

comments (5) January 18th, 2016

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WesternGardener Jodi Torpey, contributor
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Legumes, like these colorful dry beans, are being recognized by the United Nations for their value to people around the globe,Click To Enlarge

Legumes, like these colorful dry beans, are being recognized by the United Nations for their value to people around the globe,

Photo: Jodi Torpey

Legumes are one of the most important food crops in the world. These members of the plant family called Leguminosae are known to gardeners as pod-bearing plants like peas and beans. Besides being nutritious and delicious protein-rich foods, legumes help build healthy soils.

That's why 2016 is the United Nations international year of legumes. So let's celebrate by planting more of these wonderful fruits in our vegetable gardens this year.

Start early in the season by planting several kinds of peas. The familiar sweet green peas are easy to grow and they're rich in vitamins, too. An added bonus is that peas can be planted in cool weather to get a head start on the vegetable garden planting.

Besides growing fresh green peas, why not plant peas for drying, too? Soup peas grow like fresh peas, but they're allowed to dry on the vine so they can be stored for winter.

Beans are another excellent legume for planting and celebrating. Whether you like to grow tall pole beans or need bush beans for a small-space garden, there are plenty of kinds to choose from.

There are snap beans grown for their fresh pods, green shelling beans (like fava beans) and colorful dry shelling beans.

The key to growing great beans to wait for the soil to warm before planting. Unlike peas, beans need warmth to germinate, so wait until the soil and air temperature warm sufficiently. Some gardeners get a head start on their bean growing by warming the garden bed with black plastic before planting.

Whichever legumes you decide to grow this season, be sure to plant plenty, and keep planting them every few weeks to ensure continuous crops of these incredible edible seeds.

posted in: beans, peas, legumes

Comments (5)

luizamodel writes: very nice
Posted: 2:14 am on May 3rd
stewardMblake writes: They have a holiday for legumes! Neat! You should make a post about every holiday related to plants! Would absolutely love to read it!
Posted: 4:26 am on March 10th
tpmike writes: awesome post, thanks for sharing
Posted: 1:32 am on March 10th
Thomascook342 writes: I just love your posts
Posted: 4:05 am on February 20th
barbybrown writes: thanks for information...
Posted: 5:06 am on January 22nd
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