The term “legume” is a technical word known mostly to those who have immense knowledge about gardening or follow the practice of gardening at least some time. Ideally, a garden is considered to be productive and filled up only if it has a number of plantations in it following with a huge variety of them. Just like flowers, mosses, embryophytes etc legumes are also plants.
In specific, legumes belong to the family of Fabaceae. Some fruits, as well as seeds of the Fabaceae plants, are also known as legumes. Most commonly used legumes in daily life include peas, beans, peanuts, tamarind, and soybeans. In simpler words, a legume is just like any other normal dry fruit with a difference in only its developing source and way. One interesting fact to note is that there are nearly 18,000 species of legumes! Legumes are used widely all over the globe and nearly all of its species are in circulation but not all are edible. Apart from satisfying the eating needs legumes have a lot of other uses as well.
USES OF LEGUMES
Majorly, legumes are used as nitrogen fixers in agriculture. Legumes possess the ability to convert the pure form of nitrogen to its ammonia form which is extremely helpful in fixing the nitrogen in the soil. In reality, legumes just play a supporting role in converting the nitrogen to its ammonia form. For the conversion of nitrogen, a particular type of soil bacteria known as Rhizobium plays the major role. Rhizobium enters to the roots of legumes and then start to multiply at a rapid rate and starts converting nitrogen to its ammonia form in this process.
In any healthy soil, you will find immense amounts of Rhizobium bacteria. This is because without fixed nitrogen plants are unable to grow. For unhealthy soils or those who are in the middle range, it is often recommended to add a good amount of Rhizobium in the soil. This soil bacteria is easily available in the market in packets.
Rhizobium is a must for maintaining the fertility of the soil and ensure a healthy sprout. They add a lot of benefits to the soil and do not hurt the plants even a bit while performing the conversion of nitrogen into its ammonia form, which plants require for their growth.
HOW TO GROW LEGUMES?
Unlike many other plants, legumes are quite easy to grow. Furthermore, you can expect to have a large amount of harvest of legumes with a small amount input. Although many people don’t understand the term legume very well yet you will discover this plant in almost each and every garden that is maintained for some productive purposes.
Legumes serve double purposes at once. On one hand, they fulfill our needs and on the other end they also feed the soil. Legumes are grown just like any other plant. The only difference is that you don’t need to put in a big chunk of initial inputs. All you need is a small space (or a medium depending on your requirements and garden size) and a few legume plants. Just sow them like you would do for any other plant and let them grow. Make sure you provide daily care to the legume plants to ensure a healthy harvest.
BENEFITS OF GROWING LEGUMES
Legumes provide tons of health benefits as well as are a lot beneficial to the soil for maintaining its fertility and ensure healthy harvests. Some of these benefits are:
- Legumes are high in fibers and proteins so they act as a great substitute for daily use processed foods. It is highly recommended that those who eat processed foods on a regular basis should start eating legumes instead of processed food for fulfilling their daily dietary needs.
- For those who have a high focus towards gyming, workouts and weight loss legumes are a holy grail. Not only they are delicious but are extremely healthy too. They are low in fat and high in calcium, iron, zinc, complex carbs and proteins.
- Purchasing legumes is not a big deal. The highest quality of legumes are available for very cheap amounts in the market and are easily accessible as well.
- Until a certain point, legumes are a great substitute for meat with respect to the nutritional value. However, meat is a great source of saturated fats which legumes fail to provide.