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How to Grow Chickpeas, Garbanzo Beans

Posted Apr 04 2009 11:12pm

The chickpea or garbanzo bean is a tender annual that requires 100 frost-free days to reach harvest. Sow chickpeas in the garden 2 weeks after the date of the average last frost in spring. To get a head start on the season, sow chickpeas indoors 3 to 4 weeks before the average last frost date for transplanting out when all danger of frost has passed.


How to prepare and serve chickpeas: click here.


Description. Chickpeas, also called garbanzo beans and gram, are regarded as beans, but botanically are neither beans nor peas. The chickpea is a tender annual legume, a bushy plant that grows to about 18 inches tall and has pairs of dark green, compound leaflets that look like vetch. Chick peas have swollen, oblong pods to about 1 inch long and nearly as wide that contain one or two large, cream-colored, pea-like seeds each. Flowers may be white or violet colored depending on the variety.


Yield. Grow 4 to 8 chickpeas plants per each household member.


Site. Plant chickpeas in full sun. Chickpeas will grow in partial shade but the yield will be reduced. Grow chickpeas in loose, well-drained soil rich in organic matter. Add aged compost to planting beds in advance of planting. Avoid planting chickpeas where green manures have just grown or in soil high in nitrogen; this will result in green leafy growth, not seed production. Add potassium and phosphorus to the soil.

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