Cicer arietinum L
Chickpea bushes grow up to approx. 60 cm (24 in) high. They need soft soil not to develop little roots with bacteria. Sow directly to the regular spot in the garden or grow seedlings and use with root clod when transplanting. Chickpea can use the garden bed for the whole year, and only winter lettuce or lamb’s lettuce can be planted there afterwards.
Distance between plants
At least 50 cm (20 in) between rows and at least 10 cm (4 in) between the plants in a row.
Approx. five plants per person.
Time of planting
Sow outside like fruit vegetables, in mid-May. The temperature of the soil has to reach at least 15 °C (59 °C), and the air temperature during night should not drop under 15 °C (59 °F) either. To cultivate seedlings, sow one month earlier. It germinates in approx. 9 days.
Fertilize with barn manure. It doesn’t need any other fertilizer.
It grows well even in drought and doesn’t need much watering. It only shouldn’t lack water in the period of blooming, when you should water 30 cm (12 in) deep once a week. Water only the soil around the plants.
Chichkpea’s good neighbors
Brassica vegetables, potato, zucchini, squash, melons, watermelons, tomato, cucumbers, sweet corn, asparagus.
Chickpea’s bad neighbors
Onion, leek, garlic, chives, shallot.
Diseases and pests
If you keep the soil soft and plant tagetes or Indian cress near, there will be no problems with chickpea. If lice attack the plant’s tips, clip them off.
The pods are small, light green, with 1 to 3 grains inside. To harvest more, pick the pods regularly when they turn brown. The grains can be frozen (blanch for 5 minutes beforehand, put in cool water shortly and dry). Store dried grains in pods.
Use young grains, fresh or dried. Soak overnight and cook for at least one hour to soften. Chickpea contains all the important amino acids and a lot of vitamins. It is very important in vegetarian diet. It serves as a good substitution for beans as it doesn’t cause flatulence.
Chickpea loves warmth and if sown too early the grains often don’t germinate. It is recommended to till the soil around the plants and wrap them.
It is a low, bushy plant that grows well in drought and heat.