CERTIFIED ORGANIC! Cicer arietinum. The humble Kabuli chickpea is a staple food crop all over the world, and has been in cultivation for over 7,500 years. Its subtle flavour makes and excellent vehicle for garlic, herbs, and spices and it is an excellent source of protein, fibre, and minerals. The relatively dainty plants grow 20-50cm (8-20") tall, with feathery leaves and white flowers that may be streaked with pink or blue. The pods each contain two (occasionally three) edible seeds. The pods themselves can be steamed and eaten whole with the seeds inside, but the seeds are usually extracted and dried. The seeds can be sprouted, dried, eaten fresh, and even pounded into gram flour (besan). As a legume, the plant fixes nitrogen in the soil, which makes it suitable as a cover crop or companion plant. Note that each plant only forms a few pods, so numerous plants are needed for large production.
Matures in 100 days. (Open-pollinated seeds)
Grow chickpeas as a garden vegetable, as a cover crop, or for sprouting seeds. To produce mature chickpeas, just follow these simple directions.
Season & Zone
Season: Warm season
Zone: 3 and warmer
Chickpeas require 90-100 days to mature. Start them indoors approximately 4 weeks before the last average frost date. Optimal soil temperature: 10°C (50°F). Seeds sprout in 14-21 days depending on conditions.
Avoid disturbing the roots. Sow seeds 1cm (1/2”) deep, one seed per cell or in peat/coir/paper pots that can be transplanted into the ground. Do not soak the seeds prior to planting.
Ideal pH: 6.0-8.0. Transplant when the seedlings are at least 10cm (4”) tall, taking care to leave the roots undisturbed. Grow in full sun in rich soil with good moisture retention. Space plants 15cm (6”) apart - they will eventually support one another. The plants have shallow root systems that are easily damaged by cultivation, so take care to hand weed around plants as they establish. Avoid overhead watering.
Use fresh pods when they are still green. For dry seeds, wait until the plants turn brown and then allow them to dry completely on a flat surface. Harvest the seeds as the pods split when completely dry.
In optimum conditions at least 65% of seeds will germinate. Usual seed life: 3 years. Per 100’ row: 200 seeds, per acre: 100M seeds.
Chickpeas fix nitrogen in the soil. Plant with beets, Brassicas, carrots, celery, chard, corn, cucumber, eggplant, peas, potatoes, radish, and strawberries. Avoid planting near chives, garlic, leeks, and onions.
More on Companion Planting.