Learn how to grow garbanzo beans in this article. Growing garbanzo beans is somewhat similar to other beans and doesn’t require any special care.
Garbanzo beans belong to the legume family but have a nutty flavor that lends itself well to dips, salads, and soups. Besides that garbanzo beans (chickpeas) are used to make delicious South Asian cuisines and curry recipes.
USDA Zones— Growing chickpeas is possible where the temperature stays in the range of 50 – 85 F, at least for 3 months.
Other Names— Chickpeas, gram, chana, Kala chana, Bengali chana, Kabuli chana
Soil pH— Neutral
Pollination— Self Fertile
Garbanzo bean is the word that used interchangeably in American English for chickpeas. It is a cool season crop from South Asia that is grown in winters in tropics. In cool and temperate climates, growing garbanzo beans is possible between spring to late summer. It requires at least 3 months of cool frost free days to get mature. In areas where summers are cool, garbanzo beans can take up to five-six months to get mature for harvest.
In cooler zones, getting an early start to the growing season is important, but starting too early will lead to despair. Bean seeds, especially garbanzo beans, require relatively warm and dry soil for germination. Wait to plant garbanzo beans when soil temperature becomes at least 50 to 60 F.
As it is hard to transplant “chickpeas” or “garbanzo” beans. Sow them directly on the planting site. If you are starting the seeds early, it is recommended to sow seeds in biodegradable pots so that you will be able to transplant them later without disturbing the rootball of seedlings.
How to Grow Garbanzo Beans
Growing Garbanzo Beans from Seeds
For growing garbanzo beans, select large and dry seeds that are free from mold and damage. Purchase seeds only from a quality source.
Planting Garbanzo Beans
Remove weeds and debris from the planting site. If the soil is heavy with a clay-like texture, add a top layer of sand and compost or manure to the soil to improve its texture.
Make holes 1 cm deep to sow seeds, space them three to six inches apart in rows. Water bean seeds abundantly until germination to stimulate the growth of seedlings.
Growing Garbanzo Beans
Planting garbanzo beans in a location with full sun is required, fast drainage and good air circulation is needed too. Remember that beans do not grow to full harvest in shaded areas, and rot in standing water or still air.
Amend the soil for quick and improved drainage. Turn six inches of organic compost into the top 12 inches of soil, mix it well to remove lumps. Throw away rocks or weeds. Also, add 5.10.10 fertilizer into the soil at a rate of 1 cup per 50 feet of row.
Sow garbanzo bean seeds one inches deep, space them every three to six inches apart in a row. Allow space of at least 18 to 24 inches between rows. Thin stems to at least 2.5 inches (approx. 6 cm) or more to space crops.
This plant doesn’t tolerate temperature below 60 F and does preferably well in temperature around 70 F – 80 F.
Moderate watering is required. If the drainage is good, keep the soil evenly moist. Measure the depth of water penetration with a finger or a popsicle stick and water only when the top layer of soil seems slightly dry. In any case, avoid overwatering as growing garbanzo beans require only average watering. Also, avoid overhead watering, this may lead to fungal diseases.
Place a thin layer of organic mulch on the ground to keep the beans warm and humid.
Garbanzo beans, like other legumes, are used for nitrogen fixation, which means that a nitrogen, which is in the air bring back into the soil. The addition of nitrogen fertilizer is not necessary.
Fertilize the plant with 5-10-10 fertilizer is recommend. However, an addition of fertilizer is better after the soil test as it gives optimum result and prevents over-fertilization.
Harvest chickpeas approx. 100 days after planting. You can pick chickpeas (garbanzo beans) green when pods swell. You can eat them fresh alone, they taste sweet. For dried chickpeas, allow the plant to turn brown before collecting the pods.
Pests and Diseases
Growing garbanzo beans require care from pests and diseases. Cutworms, aphids, chickpea leafminers, pod borers, grasshoppers and beet armyworms are the insects that attack it. Application of organic pesticides and neem oil is recommended to deter them. Ascochyta blight, root rot, and stem rot are common diseases, these diseases can be prevented by avoiding overwatering and overhead watering.