Chickpea Information – Learn how to grow chickpeas at home

Tired of growing the usual vegetables? Try growing chickpeas. You’ve seen them at the salad bar and eaten them as hummus, but can you grow chickpeas in the garden? The following information about chickpeas will help you start growing your own chickpeas and learn how to care for them.

Can you grow chickpeas?

Also known as chickpeas, chickpeas ( Cicer arietinum ) are ancient crops that have been cultivated in India, the Middle East and parts of Africa for hundreds of years. Chickpeas need at least 3 months of cool but frost-free days to mature. In the tropics, chickpeas are grown in winter and in cooler, temperate climates they are grown between spring and late summer.

If summers are particularly cool in your area, it can take up to 5-6 months for the beans to be ripe enough to harvest, but that’s no reason to avoid growing these nutritious and delicious chickpeas. Ideal temperatures for growing chickpeas are between 10-29°C.

Information about chickpea

About 80 to 90% of chickpeas are grown in India. In the United States, California is the largest producer, but parts of Washington, Idaho and Montana also grow the legume.

Chickpeas are eaten as a dry crop or as a green vegetable. The seeds are sold dry or canned. They are rich in folate, manganese, protein and fibre.

There are two main types of chickpeas that are grown: kabuli and desi. Kabuli is most often planted. Among those resistant to disease are Dwelley, Evans, Sanford and Sierra, although Macarena produces a larger seed and is still susceptible to ascochyta blight.

Chickpeas are indeterminate, which means that they can flower until frost. Most pods have one pea, but some have two. Chickpeas must be harvested before the end of September.

How to grow chickpeas

Chickpeas grow like peas or soybeans. They reach a height of 30 to 36 cm (76 to 91 cm) and pods form on top of the plant.

Chickpeas do not lend themselves well to transplantation. It is preferable to sow the seeds directly when the soil temperature is at least 50-60 F. (10-16 C.). Choose an area of the garden that is exposed to sunlight and drains well. Add plenty of compost to the soil and remove rocks and weeds. If the soil is heavy, correct it with sand or compost to lighten it.

Sow the seeds to a depth of 2.5 cm, spaced 7.5 to 15 cm apart, in rows of 46 to 61 cm. Water the seeds well and continue to keep the soil moist, not soggy.

Chickpea care

Keep the soil uniformly moist; water only when topsoil is dry. Do not water plants to prevent them from contracting a fungal disease. Cover beans with a thin layer of mulch to keep them warm and moist.

Like all legumes, chickpeas draw nitrogen into the soil, which means they do not need additional nitrogen fertilizer. However, they will benefit from a 5-10-10 fertilizer if a soil test determines the need.

The chickpeas will be ready to be harvested 100 days after planting. They can be harvested green to be eaten fresh or, in the case of dry beans, wait until the plant turns brown before picking the pods.

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