Growing Chickpeas up north? (Zone 5a)

Pulsegleaner

Garden Master
Joined
Apr 18, 2014
Messages
3,333
Reaction score
6,396
Points
306
Location
Lower Hudson Valley, New York
I tried kabouli type a few years ago, and won't grow them again. I found them to be large sprawling plants with very few pods per plant...just not enough yield for the space they hogged.
I might try the Carol Deppe variety that's supposed to have 300 pods per plant, but so far I've had zero luck getting seed here from Canada.
Soup peas can be a great sub in everything including hummus and they are much more prolific...I grow them instead..
Small favas can work as well, if you are not allergic. In Egypt fava flour is used to make falafel, not chickpea.

Most of the chickpea I grew I either discarded for not working well (most of the kaboulis, and a lot of desis that proved to be so small and hard you couldn't actually split them). The only halfway decent one I had (sort of a borderline one between the two types) I passed on to someone who grows more chickpeas than I do.

At this point, I think the only chickpea seed I still have around are the ones with the "velcro" trait (a trait that makes the seed coats extra rough and bumpy, so they will stick like velcro to things like flannel and burlap) and I keep those for mostly a curiosity, since no one in their right mind would want to choose them as their main eating chickpea (those extra rough skins also catch dirt and mud like velcro, and make cleaning the seed if it get's dirty all but impossible.)

To be honest, most of the chickpea growing I did was experimental, to do thing like figure out if green chickpeas were all regular ones picked early and dried in the shade (like the web said) or if there are ones that genuinely do have green cotyledons when they are fully ripe (there are).

Other things I learned.

Desi plants are smaller than Kabouli plants, and stiffer.

Desi's tend to have purple flowers, Kaboulis tend to have white ones.

Despite what some people tell you, as far as I can tell, one seed per pod is the normal state for ALL chickpeas (with the odd two seeded pod with both seeds squashed together). Those theoretical three or four seed per pod ones do not appear to exist (which means there HAVE to be types that produce dozens of pods, or growing the things would not be economically possible.)

Despite the name, Black Kabouli is actually a desi type. I imagine most to nearly all other black skinned chickpeas are as well.
 

nune

Attractive To Bees
Joined
Dec 12, 2022
Messages
74
Reaction score
172
Points
65
Location
myaamionki (central indiana)
Thanks for the useful info! I've seen the image of the Rarámuri type, and it seemed to have lots of chickpea pods, but that might be because it's adapted to the environment.

With all I've heard about Kabouli-type chickpeas, I feel like I might have made a mistake by buying them. However, I still want to try and grow them, to see how it goes.
 

nune

Attractive To Bees
Joined
Dec 12, 2022
Messages
74
Reaction score
172
Points
65
Location
myaamionki (central indiana)
Okay, this seems like I might be oversimplifying things, but I have an idea.
If any of the Chickpea plants perform well, I might save seed from those plants.
And I'll keep growing out and then saving seed from good plants again and again until the Rarámuri variety is more northern-adapted. It could take a few years, but honestly I like to be optimistic.
 

Branching Out

Deeply Rooted
Joined
Dec 2, 2022
Messages
1,425
Reaction score
4,522
Points
175
Location
Southwestern B.C.
You are doing well if you got sprouts! And thank you for the timely reminder. I will try to get my chickpeas started today too.
 

Latest posts

Top