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Growing Chickpeas At Home – Bengal Gram/Chana

Growing Chickpeas At Home

Hello gardeners, we are back with a new and very interesting topic today and the topic is all about growing chickpeas at home. Are you interested in growing chickpeas at home? Well, this article may help you to know about all the requirements for growing chickpeas at home. This information may help you to grow chickpeas in pots indoors, in the balcony, on the terrace, and even in a Greenhouse or Polyhouse.

Introduction to Growing Chickpeas At Home from Seed

Chickpeas belong to the family of Fabaceae and the subfamily of Faboideae. Chickpeas are very possibly the tastiest complete protein out there, with very easy growing and lots of health benefits. They contain lots of fibre and are well known to balance your appetite. They fuel the many cells that line your intestinal wall. They even contain large amounts of Vitamin B3, potassium, Omega 6, and many other good things in them.

A Step By Step Guide for Growing Chickpeas At Home from Seed

Guide for Growing Chickpeas At Home
Guide for Growing Chickpeas At Home (image credit : pixabay)

These tasty beans have a very long growing season, they require up to 100 days to reach their harvest season from the date of planting or sowing. The plants themselves are fairly very easy to take care of, though, as long as you protect the shallow root system and better avoid over-watering them.

Varieties/Types of Chickpeas to Grow At Home

There are two types of chickpeas and they are listed below:

  • Desi

Desi contains very smaller, darker seeds and has more of a rough coat on them.

  • Kabuli

Kabuli is a very larger, lighter-colored bean with a smoother coat on them.

Chickpeas will come in as many different varieties of colours like green, black, brown, and even red, though the most popular and most recognized colour is beige.

Suitable Container for Growing Chickpeas At Home

Better to use biodegradable pots or containers. Chickpea seedlings will not transplant well, so you need to use paper or peat seedling pots that can be planted directly into the ground when transplanting instead of using plastic or ceramic pots or containers. These biodegradable seedling pots or containers can be purchased at any online store and most gardening centers nearby your house.

Suitable Soil for Growing Chickpeas At Home

To improve the quality and condition of the soil and ready it for your plants, chop in a few handfuls of aged compost a day to a week before transplanting them. Also, consider mixing in a fertilizer very rich in potassium and phosphorus to encourage a higher yield of the plant.

If the soil is too heavy, better to mix in agricultural sand, fine gravel, or even a soil perfected to make it very less dense and to improve the drainage system. Better to avoid mixing in mosses, since these may tend to trap too much water.

Suitable Location or Site for Growing Chickpeas At Home

Choose the right and perfect location. Chickpeas survive very well in full sun conditions, so you should choose an area or place that receives at least six hours of direct sunlight. Ideally, the soil should also have loose, very well-drained soil already packed with high organic material. You can grow chickpeas in little or partial shade, but doing so will dramatically decrease the eventual yield of the plant.

Do not plant chickpeas in areas or places where green manures have grown or in soils that have a very high nitrogen content. Nitrogen may cause the leaves to get very large and bushy, but the overall yield of your plant may end up decreasing if nitrogen levels are too high. Avoid using heavy clay soils or areas that are especially very shady.

Suitable Temperature for Growing Chickpeas At Home

The ideal and optimum temperature for maximum germination is between 10 and 15°C. Low-temperature ranges are a serious constraint for improving the yield of Chickpea in numerous regions of the world. In one study, all Chickpea seeds were ready to germinate on a good thermal range of about 15–35°C.

When And How to Plant Chickpea Seeds

In case if you miss this: Hydroponics Questions.

Chickpea Sprouts
Chickpea Seed Germination (pic source: pixabay)

Sow the chickpea seeds indoors, by putting them a quarter of an inch into the soil. Better to start the seeds roughly four weeks before the date of your last expected frost. Since chickpea seeds are somewhat fragile, you need to sow them indoors instead of planting them in the cold or cool ground.

If you do intend or are interested to plant chickpea seeds outdoors, wait for one to two weeks before your last expected frost, and then cover the area at night with a very light mulch or with old sheets to help insulate the seeds.

Chickpeas have a very long growing season and they may take 90 to 100 days until they are ready to harvest. Just because of this reason, you will need to plant them as early as possible.

It is better to plant one to two seeds per pot or container. Fill the seedling pots with very little potting soil, then plant one seed in each pot or container, positioning it 1 to 2 inches or 2.5 to 5 cm deep inside.

Planting one seed per pot or container is recommended or suggested, but you can even plant up to two. When the seedlings sprout out, though, you will need to thin them down to one per pot or container. If you do need to thin out the seedlings, you just need to cut the weaker seedling away at soil level using very sharp scissors. Do not dig it out since doing so may disturb the roots. Sprouting or germinating usually takes nearly about two weeks.

Water Requirement for Growing Chickpeas At Home

Water the soil very gently every day. If it gets hot or warm, water them twice a day. Place the seedling pots or containers near a window that receives plenty of direct sunlight to survive well and keep the surface of the soil evenly moist until the seedlings sprout or germinate out.

You should not soak the seed before sowing it. You should also avoid heavy watering after sowing the chickpea seeds since they may cause the seeds to crack. The surface of the soil should be slightly moist always, but do not drench the soil beyond that.

Transplanting the Chickpea Seedlings

Chickpea seedlings are considered frost tolerant but they still survive best when transplanted outdoors after the threat of frost passes. The seedlings should also be about 4 to 5 inches or 10 to 12.7 cm tall at the time of transplant.

The plants will grow best when daytime temperatures range from 21°C to 27°C and when night temperatures stay above 18°C.

Spacing Required for Growing Chickpeas At Home

Space the seedlings nearly about 5 to 6 inches or 12.7 to 15.25 cm apart. The holes you dig need to be as deep as the seedling pots.

As the plant grows, they will start crowding into each other. A very little crowding can be a good thing, though, since the plants may help to support each other as they cross into each other. If you are planting the chickpea plants in rows, space the rows 18 to 24 inches or 46 to 61 cm apart.

How to Mulch Chickpea Plant Growing At Home?

Once the weather or climate warms up, you should add a very light coat of mulch around the stems of the plant. Doing so may retain an adequate amount of soil moisture, which is especially very important if your plants are receiving full and direct sun. Mulch can also help to prevent weeds from invading the plant.

Suitable Fertilizer for Growing Chickpeas At Home

You can add a little amount of aged compost or similar high organic material to the soil around the chickpeas mid-season. As before, though, you should avoid adding high nitrogen-rich fertilizers.

Chickpeas work well with microorganisms in the soil to produce their nitrogen, so they will receive all the nitrogen they need. Any excess nitrogen may cause the leaves to grow bushier and they may dampen the eventual yield.

General Care for Growing Chickpeas At Home

When you are removing weeds or adding anything to the soil, you need to work very carefully to avoid disturbing the plant’s root system. The root system of a chickpea plant is quite very shallow, so working too close or near to the base of the plant may cause damage to its root system. You should even avoid handling the chickpea plants when they are very wet since doing this may cause fungus spores and spread quickly throughout the plant.

Common Pests and Diseases of Chickpeas

  • Common pests of the chickpea plant are listed below:

Chickpeas are very vulnerable to attacks by a range of different pests. First avoid pre-treating the plant for pests, though, and instead wait until you spot or observe pests before taking action against them.

Adult aphids, leafhoppers, and mites can be controlled or regulated with a blast of water from the hose or even with insecticidal soap.

After noticing the adult pests, look for their eggs and crush them between your fingers. Alternatively, simply you can cut away any leaves with egg cases on them.

For notably bad infestations, try a very natural and food-safe pesticide containing pyrethrins.

You should even keep the garden free of debris to reduce the number of pests.

  • Common diseases of the chickpea plant are listed below:

These plants are also very vulnerable to a few different diseases, that includes blight, mosaic, and anthracnose. If possible plant disease-resistant varieties.

To avoid the spread of disease on the plant, keep the planting bed free of debris and avoid handling the plants when they are very wet.

Remove diseased plants and discard them to prevent or control the disease from spreading. Burn off them or put them in the trash bin, but do not use them for compost.

How and When to Harvest Chickpeas

Harvesting includes two things. They are harvest fresh and harvest dried.

Harvest fresh: If you would like to eat the chickpeas fresh, you’ll pluck off the pods while they’re still green and immature. Eat fresh chickpeas like snap beans.

The pods only reach a length between 1 and a couple of inches or 2.5 and 5 cm, and every pod only contains one or three beans.

Harvest dried: The more popular thanks to harvest chickpeas is to reap them once they’ve matured, as dried chickpeas. To do so, you’ll get to harvest the whole plant once the leaves wither and switch brown. Place the plant on a flat, warm surface and let the pods air dry naturally during a warm, well-ventilated location. Collect the seeds because the pods split open.

Mature seeds are going to be very hard. When bitten into, they ought to barely dent.

If the weather is getting damp, bring the harvested plant or pods indoors to end drying them. Otherwise, mould can develop on the pods and ruin the chickpeas inside.

Also, note that mice and other rodents may threaten your yield if you permit the plants to dry outdoors.

Commonly Asked Questions about Growing Chickpeas At Home

How long does it take to grow the chickpea plant?

It takes nearly about 100 days to grow.

The chickpea plant is a very cool-season annual and that requires about 100 days to reach a complete harvest. Sow the chickpeas in your garden about the date of the average last frost in spring or slightly earlier.

In which season chickpea plant is grown?

Chickpea is a very cool-season plant and it is grown as a winter plant in the tropics and as a summer or spring plant in temperate environments. It likes very cool, dry, and bright weather or climate. Temperature, day length, and availability of moisture are the three major and important abiotic factors affecting flowering.

Are chickpeas perennial plants?

Chickpea plants will grow up to 2 feet tall and form a very dense mat of lacy, gray-green foliage with very small, pea-like flowers in the shades of white, purple, or pink emerging in mid-summer. As such, they will make a very pretty edge along with a perennial garden.

Which type of soil is best for growing chickpea?

They prefer loam soil for growing well.

Chickpea plants are best and well suited to well-drained loam and clay loam soils that are neutral to alkaline which means pH 6.0 to 9.0 and they have good water holding capacity.

How much water do chickpeas need to grow?

The seeds should sprout for nearly about 10 to 14 days. Water them regularly and evenly throughout the growing season to keep the soil completely moist. In very cooler areas or places, chickpea plants will need about an inch of water per week and in warmer climates, they will need the double amount of water.

How to germinate chickpeas?

Cover the jar again with cheesecloth bound by an elastic band and laid the jar on its side during a dark spot. Rinse and drain the chickpeas 2 times every day, placing them back within the jar, until they sprout. This usually takes 2 to three days, but the hotter your home is, the quicker the beans will sprout.

Can I sprout dried chickpeas?

Rinse the dry chickpeas in lukewarm water. Rinse and drain the chickpea seeds two times every day, by placing them back in the jar, until they sprout out.  This takes nearly about 2 to 3 days, but the warmer or hotter your house is, the quicker the beans will sprout.

How many chickpeas does one single plant produce?

Grow 4 to 8 chickpeas plant for one household member. It is a cool-season plant.

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