Chickpeas is one of the delicious legumes that is widely grown as vegetable. It is simple to grow. However, you need to have a good space of you want to grow a reasonable amount of chickpeas. This is because chickpeas doesn’t do well in containers. To grow, sow chickpeas seeds 1.5-2 inches deep. Leave about 3-6 inches of space between plants. And space rows about 18-24 inches apart. Chickpeas requires a long growing season, which usually takes 100 days to reach harvest.
For details about growing, caring, and harvesting chickpeas, read on.
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What is chickpeas?
Chickpeas, scientifically known as Cicer arietinum, is a member of the legumonosae (legume family), which is commonly grown for it’s edible pods. It is commonly known as Egyptian bean, gram, or garbanzo bean.
The largest producers of chickpeas are indians. About 80-90% of chickpeas are produced in India. The remaining 10-20% goes to other parts of the world. In U.S for instance, California was ranked as the number one producer of chickpeas, follow by other states such as Washington, Idaho, and Montana.
Chickpeas can be eaten green as vegetable or as dry crop. Chickpeas contains high amount of folate, protein, fiber, and manganese.
Chickpea is the key additive in hummus and chana masala, and it can be processed into flour to make falafel. It is also enjoyed in salads, soups and stews, curry and other meal products such as channa. Chickpeas is an important food crop in Indian, Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisine.
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Where do chickpeas grow best?
Chickpeas grows best in well-drained soil with pH that is near neutral. The soil be moderately fertile without much nitrogen. The daytime temperatures requirements for chickpeas heathy growth is between 70-80°F while the night time temperatures requirements is between 60-65°F.
Do chickpeas need a trellis?
Yes, chickpeas needs trellis when the plants started growing. They will need to be supported with sticks or canes and strings. If you are growing chickpeas in garden, place stakes around the rows and tie with strings. And if you are growing in pots, place one stick at each pot to support to support the growing plants.
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How many chickpeas does one plant produce?
Chickpeas plants produce their seeds in pods, which are oblong in shape. The pods are about 1 inch long and 1 inch wide. Each chickpeas plant produces a minimum of 3 pods. And each contains 1-2 seeds. To feed a family, grow 4-8 chickpeas plants per each family member.
Chickpeas growth stages
The developmental stages of chickpea growth may be broadly classified as germination stage, seedling stage, flowering stage, pod set, and physiological maturity. Chickpeas is considered as indeterminate crop. So, the last three growth stages of chickpeas occur simultaneously in different parts of the chickpeas plant along with vegetative growth.
With this basic information about chickpeas, let us look at how to grow chickpeas at home in both garden and pots.
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How to grow chickpeas in the garden
There are basically two ways to grow chickpeas. The first way to grow chickpeas in the garden while the other one is growing chickpeas in the pots. Growing chickpeas in the garden is best way to grow chickpeas. This is because chickpeas doesn’t do well in containers. In this article, I will show how to grow chickpeas both in the garden and containers.
How to grow chickpeas in the garden
Here is the step by step instructions:
1. Choose the right variety of chickpeas: before you start to perform any gardening task, you need to first choose the best chickpeas variety. The best chickpeas variety is that one that is well adopted to your climatic conditions. A good variety is also resistant to common pests and diseases.
Common variety is widely grown is kabuli black. However, the best way to good variety of chickpeas to grow is to ask your local gardeners. These are people are reliable than the online stories and grocery stores. This is because they have grown the seeds in your local climates, and they found or selected and saved seeds of high quality.
2. Choose the right planting time for chickpeas: chickpeas is good legume that tolerates frost. However, the optimal temperatures required for healthy growth is between 70-80°F for daytime and 60-65°F for night time. Plant chickpeas seeds 2-3 weeks before the last frost in spring.
To have a an early harvest, you can start chickpeas seeds indoors in peat pots, and then transplant the seedlings when they are about 3-4 inches tall. If you are transplanting, transplant together with the pots because chickpeas usually die after uprooting. So, bury the seedlings together with the pots in the soul.
3. Choose the right garden spot: after you have found a good variety of chickpeas, the next step is to choose a good garden spot. Do not start your garden in poor soil. Chickpeas loves averagely fertile soil with pH that is near neutral. Choose location that is in full sun. The soil should be well-drained and well-ventilated.
4. Prepare the garden spot: the next step after choosing the garden spot, is to prepare the garden. Chickpeas do well in loosened soil. So, use your garden rake and fork to loosen the top 10 inches of the garden soil.
Use your hand or garden rake to remove large rocks, stones, and other off plants. Mix in 2-5 inches of well aged multi purpose compost. Water gently to moisten the soil if it is dry. Make rows and space them about 18-24 inches.
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5. Plant your chickpeas seeds: sow chickpeas seeds 1.5-2 inches deep. Leave about 3-6 inches of space between planting holes. It is recommended that you don’t soak chickpeas seeds. Just sow them like that. Water immediately after planting to encourage faster germination.
Tip: learn more on how to choose a good garden spot
Now, we have learned how to grow chickpeas from seeds in the garden, let us look at how to grow them in pots.
How to grow chickpeas at home in pots
Despite this method of growing chickpeas is not recommended, however, sometimes you can be Left with only small space and the last option is to grow chickpeas in pots.
Here is a step by step instructions:
The first thing you need to do is to choose a good pots that are well-drained and biodegradable. The pots should be at least 8 inches deep and 8 inches wide.
Fill the pots with good potting mix. You can also use garden soil. But, make sure you amend the garden soil before adding it to the pots. Sow chickpeas seeds 1.5 to 2 inches deep. Water immediately after planting to encourage quicker germination.
Keep pots in full sun where is enough ventilation. You need to also stake them when they started growing. This helps support the plants.
How to take care of chickpeas
Chickpeas just like any other legumes do not require much gardening care. However, timely watering is required. Avoid flooding your chickpeas garden. Watch for weeds and weed them. Weeding helps reduce competition for nutrients and water.
If the soil is lacking nutrients, consider feeding the plants with aged multiple purpose compost. Do not feed your chickpeas with nitrogen riched fertilizer. Feeding your chickpeas with nitrogen riched fertilizer will only result to production of too many leaves not pods. Mulch the garden if the temperatures is too high or low.
Chickpeas companion plants
The following are chickpeas companion plants:
- Summer savory
Common pests and diseases of chickpeas
Common pests of chickpeas include chickpeas aphids, flea beetles, bean beetles, leafhoppers, and mites. Common diseases of chickpeas include chickpeas blight, mosaic, and anthracnose.
Pests and diseases prevention and management
Pests can be prevented by planting resistant varieties. Planting of companion plants and practicing crop rotation. Pests can also be removed with hand when their population is not much.
On the other hand, diseases can be prevented by avoiding handling of chickpeas plants they are wet. Debris and infected plants should also be removed. Plant resistant varieties.
How to harvest chickpeas
Chickpeas is ready for harvest about 100 days after planting. If you are growing Chickpeas for fresh eating, you can pick when the pods are still young and green; they can be consumed like snap beans. If you want to harvest when they are fully dry, harvest the entire chickpeas plant when the leaves have withered and turned brown; put the plant on a flat, warm surface and leave the chickpeas pods to dry. Collect the chickpeas seeds when the pods split. Seeds that fully dent when touched indicate they are fully dry.
In this article, I looked at how to grow chickpeas at home in pots and garden. I hope you will find this article helpful. Let me know if you have any questions.