Anybody growing chickpeas?

micronthecat(7, North Carolina)July 4, 2008

I decided to try sprouting some Goya dried chickpeas. They did sprout, so I planted them, but I don't know anyone who's ever grown any. Are they viney, or what?



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I grew them a couple times, in the 90s. They were bush in form. They don't look anything like a regular bush bean though. The leaves are very different.

Tahlequah, OK

    Bookmark   July 5, 2008 at 7:22AM
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zeedman Zone 5 Wisconsin

The chickpeas (a.k.a. garbanzos) that I planted this year were washed away in flooding. :-( These are the ones I grew last year:

The tiny blossoms develop into oval pods holding 1-2 seeds. When the pods begin to mature, refrain from overhead watering, since the ripening seeds are very susceptible to damage from moisture... they will rot or sprout within the pod. I grow chickpeas for preservation, and get enough between late Summer rains to be successful; but despite my best efforts, I lose over 50% of my seed to spoilage. If such rains are common in your area, it could be difficult to get a good harvest.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2008 at 11:02PM
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micronthecat(7, North Carolina)

THanks y'all. Zeedman, what do you mean you grow them for preservation? I went to your photobucket site and saw all your bean pictures; you must REALLY like beans, LOL. Thanks!


    Bookmark   July 6, 2008 at 12:26AM
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When I grew them, we lived on the high desert plateau in Hidalgo Mexico. We had flood irrigation. During those years I helped a school which catered to indigenous youth. In our Ag program our goal was not only to help supply the needs of the school, but also to help our students learn how to better meet their own needs, once they returned home.

For a while I did EVERYTHING possible with both garbanzo and soy. In fact, though the results differ slightly, we found that anything you can do with soy, can be done with garbanzo, ie. making milk, tofo, coffee substitute or meal for mixing into ground meat. Our son, who was at his peek growing years (always hungry) suffered through this time, often insisting that I take him out for some tacos ("real food"). To this day he wants nothing to do with either crop!

We never had to contend with wet rainy weather. So I did not know that they were sensitive to this problem.


    Bookmark   July 7, 2008 at 10:40AM
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I would love to grow them & make some homemade hummus.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2008 at 4:03PM
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zeedman Zone 5 Wisconsin

Micron, as a member of SSE, I try to preserve rare food crops. One of those is PI 374085, the popping chickpea mentioned in Carol Deppe's book. It is poorly adapted here... while it seems to have a good yield potential, it suffers too much from water-induced spoilage. Still, I am able to save enough seed to send some to others in drier climates, where they might have better success.

And yes, I am a Bean Freak (although I prefer "Legumaniac"). ;-)

    Bookmark   July 7, 2008 at 4:15PM
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micronthecat(7, North Carolina)

Zeedman the Legumaniac:

What is SSE? Are you still in Mexico? I am in NC. The chickpeas I planted have started to come up. I have them in a raised bed, four to a square foot, with a bush bean in the middle, LOL. We shall see what happens. I am very excited, as I also like hummus, but also an Indian dish made w/ chickpeas, spinach and spices. YUM!!!


    Bookmark   July 9, 2008 at 9:16PM
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zeedman Zone 5 Wisconsin

What is SSE?
SSE is short for Seed Savers Exchange, a non-profit organization of gardeners who grow seeds for preservation, and share them with other members. I share roughly 200 varieties through them... most of which I also exchange here, as listed on the trade list of my Member Page. Quite a few SSE members hang out on GW.

Are you still in Mexico?

I'm afraid you have me confused with George (Macmex), who also posts frequently in this forum. My location is in east-central Wisconsin.

As for the chickpeas... those in the photo above are in pairs, planted 12" apart. The bushes spread to well over 12" in width. Your variety may be a different size - hopefully not larger! The spacing you mention, Micron, could get a little crowded... but it might work. The plants will intertwine, so it might be a little challenging to harvest the beans without damaging the plants. I'm not sure the bush bean will like it there, though.

By the way... did I mention that chickpeas exude an acid over their entire growing surface? It feels oily & is fairly mild, but those with sensitive skin might find it irritating.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2008 at 4:49PM
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Hi there!

I am an infrequent poster, but I do have chickpeas and questions.

I planted chickpeas late last summer, and actually, only three came up. One died almost immediately, but the other two overwintered. One of these was nipped in an accident (not mine) with a weed wacker. However, the remaining plant is lovely and large and covered with both pods and flowers.

I am wondering what I should be doing from now on. Will the plant dry out on its own? Should I withold water at some point? When will it be ready to harvest?

I've grown dry beans here in Seattle, which can be a dicey thing if they aren't ripe by mid-September. I don't know of anyone in Seattle who has grown chick peas, however.

My plant is Red Channa, which I got through the SSE yearbook.

I would be grateful for any chick pea advice!



    Bookmark   July 13, 2008 at 4:40PM
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I was looking for information on growing chickpeas and came across this thread. I am also in east central Wisconsin, Zeedman.

Is there a chickpea or lentil that is adapted to this area?

    Bookmark   January 1, 2009 at 10:54PM
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zeedman Zone 5 Wisconsin

"Is there a chickpea or lentil that is adapted to this area?"

My guess would be no, but I am still conducting a few trials. There are numerous cultivars (the USDA holds over 6000), several of which are offered through SSE. I grew two last year, but as you know, it was a very bad year; I will be re-trying one of them (a red-seeded cultivar) again this year. There might be a chickpea that will grow here... it could be just a question of space & patience. The space I've got, not sure about the patience. ;-)

Despite what I have read elsewhere, the problem doesn't appear to be heat... mine set numerous pods in our Midwest summer. The problem is that they grow best where there is a dry season during the period when the pods are maturing. Late summer thunderstorms are frequent here during that period, and can be very damaging to the developing seeds.

I have been considering erecting some type of structure over the row when the seeds are maturing, to keep them dry. It would need to exclude rain while allowing air & light, and not be blown down by strong winds. Still working on that one... there are several other legumes that would benefit from such protection, for seed saving.

    Bookmark   January 3, 2009 at 3:43AM
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I sure would love to be able to grow them. Maybe I will try Black Kabouli Garbanzo Bush Beans from Seeds of Change. I don't think SSE has any? I get most of my seed from them.

I love Indian cooking and lentils are a large part of that. I may stop at the Indian grocery store the next time I am in Madison and see what whole beans they have that I might be able to plant.

At any rate, I am going to increase the amount of dried beans this year. They are so easy to grow, harvest, and store, not to mention the fact that they are such a great nutritional source for us vegetarians.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2009 at 8:35PM
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cabrita(9b SoCal)

I am trying to grow them. Planted common pantry chickpeas (the tan colored ones) and they have not done too well for me but they might still do something. Several died but this is probably because we had a heat wave in late fall and I had already sprouted them. None has flowered yet but I have a few that might. I will report on what happens. My weather might be too warm and maybe I should have planted later (like now?). Not sure but I really wanted to taste them in the shelly form, I hear they are wonderful.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2009 at 9:19PM
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Grew some chickpeas this spring and they are just about ready to harvest. I had been wondering about the acidic 'dew' these plants secrete. It's very unusual, the plants actually stay damp with this stuff. Should have known all i had to do was search this forum ; )

I planted in December, think i could go a little later next time. Winters are wet and the abundant rains may have delayed flowering and pod set. I have some black kabouli seeds that i might try planting now, even.

Has anyone tried making tea with the leaves?

    Bookmark   April 2, 2011 at 5:37PM
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