Growing Chickpeas: A Step-By-Step Guide

Written by: Lars Nyman

Growing Chickpeas

Growing Chickpeas

Chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, are a type of legume that is a dietary staple in many parts of the world. This high-protein vegetable is an excellent source of fiber, B vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, and is enjoyed cooked in a variety of dishes from hummus to falafel. Nutritionally, chickpeas are a healthy, affordable, and versatile ingredient for both vegan and non-vegan eaters alike.

Cheatsheet for Growing Chickpeas

1. Ideal Climate and Soil:

🏜️ Chickpeas thrive in warm climates and well-drained soil.

2. Planting:

🌱 Sow chickpea seeds 1-2 inches deep, 4-6 inches apart.

3. Watering:

💦 Keep soil moist, but avoid waterlogging to prevent root rot.

4. Fertilizing:

🌿 Apply a balanced fertilizer at planting and during flowering.

5. Support:

🌾 Provide stakes or trellis to support tall-growing varieties.

6. Pests and Diseases:

  • 🐛 Watch for aphids, cutworms, and fungal diseases.
  • 🔍 Regularly inspect plants and take necessary control measures.

7. Harvesting:

⏰ Harvest chickpeas when pods turn dry and brown.

8. Drying and Storage:

🌞 Sun-dry harvested chickpeas for a few days before storing.

9. Health Benefits:

💪 High in protein, fiber, and essential nutrients.

10. Self-Sufficiency:

🌱 Grow your own chickpeas to decrease reliance on store-bought versions.

Growing Chickpeas: A Step-By-Step Guide

One of the most rewarding experiences for a gardener is growing your own vegetables. Today, I want to share with you my step-by-step guide on how to grow chickpeas successfully. These little legumes pack a punch when it comes to flavor and nutrition, and they are surprisingly easy to grow. So let's get started!

1. Selecting the Right Variety

When it comes to chickpeas, there are several different varieties to choose from. Some popular options include 'Desi', 'Kabuli', and 'Garbanzo'. Each variety has its own unique characteristics and flavor profile. For my own garden, I prefer the 'Garbanzo' variety because of its versatility in the kitchen. Whichever variety you choose, make sure it is suitable for your climate and soil conditions.

2. Preparing the Soil

Chickpeas thrive in well-draining soil with a pH level between 6 and 7. Take a moment to prepare your soil by removing any weeds or debris and loosening it with a garden fork or tiller. If your soil is heavy or prone to poor drainage, consider adding some organic matter like compost or well-rotted manure to improve its texture and fertility.

3. Planting Chickpeas

Chickpeas are best sown directly into the ground in early spring after the last frost has passed. Make sure to sow the seeds about 1 ½ to 2 inches deep and 3 inches apart. Cover the seeds gently with soil and water them well. Remember to leave enough space between rows to allow for proper air circulation.

4. Watering and Fertilizing

Watering is crucial during the germination period, but once your chickpeas have sprouted, they are relatively drought-tolerant. Avoid overwatering, as chickpeas don't appreciate soggy soil. As for fertilizing, chickpeas are nitrogen-fixing plants, which means they have the ability to convert atmospheric nitrogen into a form that plants can use. However, a light application of balanced organic fertilizer can give them a little boost.

Did you know? Chickpeas have been cultivated for over 7,000 years and are one of the oldest known crops in human history. They were even found in the tombs of ancient Egyptians!

5. Supporting Your Plants

As your chickpea plants grow, they may need some support to keep them upright. You can use stakes or a trellis to help them stand tall. Be sure to install your support system early on to avoid damaging the plants later. Taking this proactive step will ensure your chickpeas grow strong and healthy.

6. Pest Control

Like most legumes, chickpeas are relatively pest-resistant. However, they can still fall victim to common garden pests such as aphids, leaf miners, and caterpillars. Inspect your plants regularly and take action at the first sign of trouble. A mild soap solution or organic insecticides can help control these pesky intruders.

7. Harvesting and Storage

Once your chickpea plants start to flower, it won't be long before the pods begin to form. Harvest when the pods are dry and the seeds inside are hard. You can either handpick the pods or cut the entire plant and hang it upside down in a cool, dry location to fully dry before shelling. Store your chickpeas in an airtight container in a cool, dark place to ensure they stay fresh for months to come.

By following these simple steps, you'll soon have a bountiful harvest of homegrown chickpeas to enjoy. Whether you use them in soups, salads, or hummus, there's something deeply satisfying about cooking with ingredients you've nurtured from seed to plate. Happy gardening!

Frequently Asked Questions

1. When can I start growing chickpeas?

You can start growing chickpeas in early spring once the soil temperature reaches around 60°F.

2. What type of soil do chickpeas prefer?

Chickpeas thrive in well-draining soil with a pH level of 6 to 7.

3. How deep should I plant chickpea seeds?

Plant chickpea seeds about 1 to 2 inches deep in the soil.

4. How much sunlight do chickpeas need?

Chickpeas require full sun for at least 6 to 8 hours a day.

5. How often should I water chickpea plants?

Water chickpea plants regularly, keeping the soil moist but not waterlogged.

6. Do chickpea plants need support?

Yes, chickpea plants benefit from support structures like trellises or stakes.

7. How long does it take for chickpeas to grow?

Chickpeas typically take 90 to 100 days to reach maturity.

8. Can I grow chickpeas in containers?

Yes, you can grow chickpeas in containers with adequate drainage.

9. Are there any common pests or diseases that affect chickpeas?

Chickpeas can be susceptible to fungal diseases and pests such as aphids and leaf miners.

10. When is the best time to harvest chickpeas?

Harvest chickpeas when the pods turn yellow and dry and the seeds are firm.

Chickpeas are an incredibly beneficial food to grow, as they are packed with essential nutrients. Chickpeas are a great source of fiber, as well as protein, magnesium, phosphorus, iron, and zinc. They are low in fat, cholesterol-free, and contain many vitamins and minerals. Additionally, they are easy to cultivate, making them great for home gardens and larger farms. The nutritional benefits of chickpeas make them a great addition to any meal.

Want to know more about Growing Chickpeas? Check out these posts:

You might also like:

Your perfect garden awaits!

Launch your garden