Do you want to learn how to grow chickpeas at home and produce your own supply? You can grow your own chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, right in your own garden. Growing your own is not only easy but incredibly nutritious and fun. This amazing food is full of vitamins, minerals, and plenty of fiber, which makes it an excellent addition to any diet.
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Steps on How to Grow Chickpeas
If you follow these simple steps, you will have a thriving garden of these healthy beans in no time at all. From planting your first chickpea seeds to watching them go through the growing stages, you’ll find joy in every step along the way. Grab your gardening tools and let’s get started!
Pick a Location
The first step in how to grow chickpeas is to decide where you want to grow this plant. Chickpeas do best in well-draining soil that gets a lot of sunlight. This plant needs at least six hours of sun per day, with more being even better. You can grow this plant in the garden or even in a container.
The second step is to find chickpea seeds, which you can find at many gardening stores, nurseries, online seed retailers, or home improvement stores. Choose a variety of seed that fits your needs based on what the packet says. One really unique aspect of chickpeas is that you can also attempt to grow them from dried chickpeas that you find at the grocery store since the chickpea itself functions as the seed!
Prepare Your Soil
Chickpeas like slightly acidic soil that has a pH of 6 or 7 and is well-draining. You can add compost or fertilizer to the soil to help your chickpeas grow faster and healthier. This plant also loves soil that drains well and is loose.
Plant Your Chickpea Seeds
An important part in how to grow chickpeas is to plant the seeds at the correct time for optimal growth and harvest. Your chickpea plant will typically be planted after the last frost for your area, which is usually in the spring. You will want to make sure the soil temperature has warmed to about 50 degrees Fahrenheit, for they thrive in 70-80 degrees Fahrenheit. If you want to speed up the growing process, you can start your seeds indoors four weeks before the last frost but be very careful not to damage the roots while transplanting. You will want to plant your seed about 1.5 to 2 inches deep in the soil. Make sure that you space your seeds roughly 4 to 6 inches apart from each other to give them enough room to grow and thrive.
Figuring out an ideal watering schedule is vital for allowing your chickpeas to thrive because they require consistent moisture to grow well. You will want to water these plants deeply and thoroughly once a week or more often if the soil is dry. If the temperature outside is very hot, you can expect to water them even more often.
Fertilization is an important factor in the process because chickpeas are heavy feeders. This plant is a nitrogen fixing legume, which means that the plant converts nitrogen in the air into usable nitrogen for the plant. High levels of nitrogen in the soil can delay plant maturity. You will instead want to fertilize your chickpeas with phosphorus. You can choose to use a nutrient balanced store-bought fertilizer or add compost to the soil.
Controlling pests is a handy addition to your knowledge on how to grow chickpeas. Aphids, beet armyworms, leaf miners, cutworms, and pod borers are some of the common pests that you need to look out for. You may or may not experience a problem with these pests, depending on your environment and location. If you do experience issues with pests, you can use organic or vegetable safe pest control methods. Companion plants that can help keep some these pests away include marigolds and cilantro.
The chickpea plant takes a while to fully mature to the point that it produces edible pods for you to enjoy. The time to maturity takes about 100-120 days, so you can expect to start getting a harvest in the late summer. The pods will begin to turn brown and start to dry out once they are ready to be harvested and picked. To harvest the pods, you should either cut them off the plant or pull them off gently. Make sure to avoid cutting any other part of the plant, especially the stem if you are cutting with scissors.
What’s even better is that chickpea plants will continue to grow and produce until they experience stress, which is usually frost. This is because this plant is indeterminate, like some types of tomatoes, peppers, and beans! These plants will keep producing food until they are physically stopped. How amazing is that?
Store Your Chickpeas
Once you harvest some of the pods from the plant, gently open the pod and remove the chickpeas. You will typically get about one or two chickpeas per pod. You can either eat them immediately or choose to store them in an airtight container in a cool, dry location.
Rotate Your Crops
Remember to rotate your crops each year for the new growing season. This is because plants tend to deplete the soil of certain types of nutrients that they use more of. This helps the nutrients return to the soil without the need for chemical fertilizers. This can also stop any disease transmission that may be in the soil from the previous year.
Overall, growing chickpeas at home is a pretty easy process that can be a very rewarding and enjoyable experience. With the correct environment and maintenance, you will be well on your way to a bountiful harvest of these healthy beans. Now that you know how to grow chickpeas, you can enjoy them right out of your own garden!