Planting chickpeas is also possible in Europe with a little background knowledge. Here you can read about what you should pay attention to so that you can successfully grow the legumes in your garden.
Chickpeas, like beans and lentils, belong to the legume family. The protein-rich vegetable needs a lot of time and warm climatic conditions to form fruits. Therefore, it is not yet very widespread in Europe. Chickpeas often come from India or North Africa, but they are also grown in Australia.
What you should consider if you want to plant chickpeas in your garden, you will learn in this article.
Planting chickpeas: The preparations
Even though chickpeas are accustomed to warmer climates, you can also grow the legumes here in Europe. Here’s what you should keep in mind before planting chickpeas:
In Europe, chickpeas are usually planted in a greenhouse. In warmer regions or on a sunny south-facing wall, you can also plant chickpeas outdoors.
Chickpeas require a sunny location.
Chickpeas need a sandy, nutrient-poor soil.
The plants are particularly sensitive to waterlogging.
Loosen the soil before planting chickpeas and enrich it with some sand.
After planting chickpeas, do not plant chickpeas or other legumes in the same location for four years.
How to plant the chickpeas
Chickpeas need about 100 days from sowing until you can harvest the ripe fruit. Therefore, it is important that you sow the peas as early as possible. From April you can grow the plants indoors. Only when it stops freezing at night, you can put the cold-sensitive plants outside.
How to plant chickpeas:
- You don’t need special seeds to plant chickpeas. You can simply use dried chickpeas. However, it is important that they have not been heated or even roasted beforehand.
- Soak the chickpeas overnight. Rinse the soaked chickpeas several times a day until they begin to sprout.
- Place one seed two to three inches deep in each small pot and place them in a warm, sunny spot.
- When the danger of frost has passed, place the young plantlets in the open or in a greenhouse. Be careful not to damage the roots. Keep a distance of 30 centimeters between the rows. Within the row, 20 centimeters to the next plant is sufficient.
Chickpeas are very easy to care for:
- Chickpeas belong to the so-called legumes. They enter into a symbiosis with nodule bacteria. These provide the plant with sufficient nutrients, so no further fertilization is necessary. After you plant chickpeas, the soil is well enriched with nutrients and well prepared for heavy growers.
- Keep the bed free of weeds and be careful not to overwater the plants.
- Only chickpeas are very sensitive to cold. You should therefore protect them from impending cold spells with fleece or mulch.
When the pods turn yellow, the fruits are ready for harvest. Cut the plants close to the ground and hang them upside down. This allows the fruits to ripen and dry.