Growing Chickpeas: A Step-By-Step Guide
September 18, 2023
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.
Growing Chickpeas: A Step-By-Step Guide
1. Choose the Right Variety
Select a chickpea variety suitable for your climate and soil conditions. Some popular options include Desi, Kabuli, and Bengal gram.
2. Prepare the Soil
Ensure your soil is well-drained and fertile. Remove any weeds and break up clumps of soil. Add organic compost or manure to improve nutrient content.
3. Sowing Seeds
Sow the chickpea seeds directly into your prepared soil after the last frost date. Plant them about 1-2 inches deep and 3-4 inches apart.
Provide adequate water to the chickpea plants, especially during dry spells. Water deeply and regularly, but avoid overwatering to prevent root rot.
5. Weed Control
Regularly remove weeds from the chickpea bed to minimize competition for nutrients and water. Be cautious while weeding to avoid damaging the delicate roots.
Apply a balanced organic fertilizer during the growing season to support healthy plant growth. Avoid excessive nitrogen fertilizer as it can promote excess foliage instead of pod development.
7. Pest and Disease Management
Monitor your plants for common pests like aphids and caterpillars. Use organic pest control methods such as neem oil or insecticidal soap if necessary. Practice crop rotation to prevent diseases.
Chickpeas are ready for harvest when pods turn yellow and dry. Gently pull the whole plant out of the ground and hang it upside down in a well-ventilated area to fully dry the pods.
9. Threshing and Storing
Remove chickpeas from the dried pods by hand or using a thresher. Store them in a cool, dry place in airtight containers to maintain their quality and prevent moisture damage.
10. Important Tips
- Provide support for tall varieties using stakes or trellises.
- Monitor soil moisture regularly and adjust watering accordingly.
- Avoid harvesting in humid or rainy weather to prevent molding.
- Save some seeds from your harvest for future planting.
Chickpeas are a type of legume that have been enjoyed in culinary dishes for centuries. They have a nutty, earthy taste that complements a variety of vegan and vegetarian dishes. Growing chickpeas is not complicated and can be achieved even in a small garden. If you’re looking to spice up your cooking with this nutritious, delicious legume, read on to learn how to plant your own chickpeas.
The first step to growing chickpeas is to obtain the seeds. These can be found at most garden stores or online. It’s important to note that Chickpeas need full sun, so make sure the location you’ve chosen to plant them will get enough sunlight. Ideally, it should receive 6-8 hours of direct sunlight daily.
Preparing The Soil
Once you’ve chosen the location and have your seeds, it’s time to start preparing the soil. Chickpeas prefer light soil with good drainage and a slightly acidic ph level between 5.5 and 6.5. if your soil is too heavy, consider adding some compost to improve its quality. water the soil to ensure it's moist and keep it that way during the entire planting process.
Planting The Seeds
now it’s time to get the seeds in the ground! plant the seeds an inch deep and 4-6 inches apart in rows. water the seeds before covering them with soil. make sure to keep the soil moist so the seeds can germinate. you should see sprouts emerging in as little as four days. water frequently (2-3 times a week) to maintain the moisture level in the soil. also be sure to weeds away when they start appearing.
your chickpeas will be ready to harvest in 10-12 weeks. the pods should be dry and brown when ready. cut the stems of the pods and hang them upside down to dry for a few days. when the pods are completely dry, you can open them and remove the dried chickpeas for use in cooking.
once you’ve harvested your chickpeas, it’s time to enjoy! you can use them in salads, curries, dips and much more. not only are chickpeas a nutritious and delicious addition to any meal, you can’t beat the satisfaction of eating something you grew yourself. have fun and experiment with different dishes using your home-grown chickpeas!
Growing Chickpeas: FAQ
Q: When is the best time to plant chickpeas?
Chickpeas are warm-season crops and thrive in temperatures between 60°F and 70°F. The best time to plant chickpeas is in the spring, around 2 to 3 weeks before the last expected frost date. This allows the seeds to establish strong roots before the hot summer arrives.
Q: Do chickpeas require a lot of water?
Chickpeas do not require excessive amounts of water, but it is essential to provide consistent moisture during the growing season. Watering once every week, ensuring the soil remains moist but not saturated, is usually sufficient. However, during dry periods, increasing the frequency of watering is necessary to keep the plants hydrated.
Q: How long does it take for chickpeas to mature?
The time required for chickpeas to reach maturity depends on the variety and growing conditions. Generally, it takes approximately 90 to 110 days from planting to harvest. Regularly monitoring the plants for signs of maturity, such as yellowing foliage and dried pods, will help determine the ideal time for harvest.
Q: Can chickpeas be grown in containers?
Absolutely! Chickpeas can be successfully grown in containers, making them suitable for those with limited space. Choose a container at least 12 inches deep to accommodate the plant's root system and ensure proper drainage. Be sure to use a nutrient-rich potting mix and place the container in a sunny location for optimal growth.
Q: What are common pests and diseases that affect chickpeas?
Chickpeas are relatively resistant to pests and diseases. However, some common pests to watch out for include aphids, thrips, and leaf miners. Planting companion plants such as marigolds or using organic insecticides can help control these pests. As for diseases, root rot and fungal infections can occur if the soil is too wet. Proper soil drainage and crop rotation can prevent most issues.
Q: How do I harvest and store chickpeas?
Chickpeas should be harvested when the pods have turned brown and dried completely on the plant. Remove the entire plant and hang it upside down in a dry, well-ventilated area. Once the pods are fully dry, gently thresh them to release the chickpeas. Store the dried chickpeas in airtight containers in a cool, dark place to maintain their quality and prevent moisture absorption.
Q: Can I save seeds from my chickpea plants?
Absolutely! Saving seeds from your chickpea plants is not only cost-effective but also helps preserve heirloom varieties. Allow a small number of pods to fully mature and dry on the plant. Once dry, collect the seeds and store them in a cool, dry place in a labeled envelope or jar. Remember to choose seeds from healthy and well-developed plants for the best results in future plantings.
By following these guidelines, you can successfully grow and enjoy your own nutritious and delicious chickpeas. Happy gardening!
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.