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Legumes

Name for one of the largest plant families with over 13,000 species. Colloquially, these plants are usually called "legumes". Because of their high protein content and large yields on small areas, the fruits and seeds are an important part of the human diet worldwide. They include beans, peas, peanuts, broom, clover and lentils. In organic viticulture and its special forms, legumes (mostly clovers, alfalfa, lupins and vetches) are used in the form of a green manure by deliberately sowing them between the rows of vines. They bind and store atmospheric nitrogen during their growth. By ploughing up the soil or dying, they add nitrogen to the soil. This is done as an alternative to mineral fertilizer, especially in lean, nitrogen-poor soils. See also under cover crop as well as a complete list of all activities and aids in the vineyard under vineyard care.

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