Lupin is a cottage garden favourite the produces bright blue and purple blooms on long, slender stalks. Used as a feed crop in some parts of the world, most people value these attractive flowers that blaze in a variety of striking blue colours during the late spring and early summer. Proper planting and care will ensure you get the most out of your lupin plants.
How lupin thrives
Lupin likes sandy dry soil and thrives in cooler areas. April or mid-spring is the best planting time. Make sure the area is well aerated; you could lose the entire crop if the water pools. Plant the seeds in narrow rows, digging an inch deep for the seeds. Lupin needs to be planted so closely together to avoid weeds taking over. If weeds start to grow, get rid of them.
What lupin needs
Keep a close look out for growth health. Lupins use their root nodules to absorb nitrogen, which is needed for plant survival. This adaptation also allows for soil fertilisation. It is not recommended to add extra nitrogen. Manganese, if inserted before the seed was planted, shows a higher yield.
More about lupin
Lupin loves water. Daily watering for up to 20 minutes will do the trick, making sure that the water drains wells. Lupin needs to be protected from fungus or viruses. Some methods used to avert this are the use of pesticides or herbicides, changing the seed variety and rotation.
Lupin as a crop
Lupin has many uses for consumption from livestock to human needs. It grows from Europe to South Africa to Australia. In Australia it is a major crop because of the acidity of the soil and the Mediterranean climate.