Ariana Marisol of REALfarmacy.com writes:
Chickpeas are regarded as beans but botanically they are neither beans nor peas. A chickpea is a tender annual legume, that grows up to about 18 inches tall and produces pairs of dark green, compound leaflets. Chickpeas have swollen, oblong pods that are about 1 inch long and wide. These pods contain 1 to 2 large, cream-colored, pea-like seeds. Flowers can be white or violet depending on the variety.
Sow chickpeas in the garden about the date of the average last frost in spring or slightly earlier. Chickpeas require a long growing season so if you would like to get a head start on the season, you can sow your chickpeas indoors in a peat or paper pot several weeks before transplanting. You can set the chickpea and biodegradable pot whole in the garden when the plant is about 4 to 5 inches tall.
Grow 4 to 8 chickpea plants per each household member.
Plant chickpeas in full sun. Chickpeas will grow in partial shade but they will have a low yield. Grow chickpeas in loose, well-drained soil that is rich in organic matter. Add aged compost to planting beds before planting. Avoid planting chickpeas in soil that contains high amounts of nitrogen because this can result in green leafy growth with no seed production. Add potassium and phosphorus to the soil.
Chickpeas are frost tolerant but grow best where daytime temperatures range between 70 and 80 degrees F, and where night time temperatures do not get below 65 degrees F. Sow chickpeas in the garden as early as 2 to 3 weeks before the average frost in spring. Chickpeas require a long growing season, to get a head start begin by sowing them indoors.
Planting and spacing
Sow chickpeas 1 1/2 to 2 inches deep, spacing them about 3 to 6 inches apart. Thin successful plants until they are about 6 inches apart. Cut away thinned plants at soil level so the roots will not be disturbed. Space rows 18 to 24 inches apart. Do not soak before sowing and avoid heavy watering after sowing to keep seeds from cracking.
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About the Author
Ariana Marisol is a contributing staff writer for REALfarmacy.com. She is an avid nature enthusiast, gardener, photographer, writer, hiker, dreamer, and lover of all things sustainable, wild, and free. Ariana strives to bring people closer to their true source, Mother Nature. She is currently finishing her last year at The Evergreen State College getting her undergraduate degree in Sustainable Design and Environmental Science. Follow her adventures on Instagram.