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Although chickpeas need a lot of sun and warmth, you can also grow them yourself in this country, provided you can provide the plants with a location in full sun. Because this is the be-all and end-all for successfully growing the annual legumes, which can be harvested about eight to twelve weeks after sowing.
At the beginning of the cultivation there is the question of the seed. This is in chickpeas, bot. Cicer arietinum, very easy to get because you can use (organic) chickpeas from the supermarket to grow yourself. Make sure that these are dried, unpeeled and unroasted "peas".
location and soil
Before you start sowing or planting out early plants, you should choose the right location in the garden, because legumes don't like to move at all. Since Cicer arietinum not only loves warmth, but also needs it for its development, the temperature at the site should be between 20 °C and 28 °C during the day and over 18 °C at night. You can only meet these requirements in this country on one sunny location. This means a place that offers at least six hours a day of blazing sun. A semi-shady location is also possible, but not recommended. In addition to the right location, attention must also be paid to the soil, because chickpeas are picky about soil quality. So you have no chance of a high-yield harvest with loamy, heavy soil, because the legumes need soil
- easy to moderate
- low in nutrients
- evenly moist
is. You should also pay attention to the crop rotation, because Cicer arietinum are incompatible with themselves. Therefore, they may only be grown again at the same location after four to five years.
sow or prefer
When growing chickpeas yourself, you have the choice between two variants, direct sowing or growing them inside.
While Cicer arietinum is a low-maintenance plant, it needs a lot of warmth. Therefore, it may only be sown when no night frosts are to be expected, and the temperature does not fall below five degrees Celsius, even at night. In this country, these conditions are usually only given from mid-May, i.e. after the ice saints. When sowing, follow the instructions below:
- Loosen the soil thoroughly with a rake or cultivator
- pull seed furrow
- Sowing depth: three to eight centimeters
- Distance between rows: 30 centimeters
- Spacing within the row: 20 centimeters
- Cover chickpeas with soil
- pour on
The second way to grow chickpeas yourself is to cultivate them. With this method, young plants or seedlings are grown indoors, which then move to the garden from mid-May. As the plants, as already mentioned, do not like to move, compostable pots or containers should be used for the cultivation, because these have the advantage that the plants can be planted out in the garden together with the pots. But until that happens, the “peas” must first grow into young plants or seedlings. To achieve this goal, follow the instructions below:
- Fill compostable pots with potting soil
- Depending on the size, place one or two chickpeas in each pot
- Sowing depth: two to three centimeters
- cover with earth
- pour carefully
Place the pots on a bright and sunny windowsill. The room temperature should be between 20 °C and 22 °C. When caring for the next two weeks, you should make sure that the substrate on the surface is always slightly damp. However, it must not be completely soaked. After about 14 days you should be able to see the first seedlings.
Early-grown chickpeas may only be put into the garden bed when there is no longer any threat of frost and the temperature no longer falls below ten degrees Celsius during the night. This is the case in Germany after the ice saints, from mid-May. Since early chickpea plants are only allowed to grow outdoors when they are about ten centimeters tall, the calculation is as follows:
- two weeks of germination
- two weeks of growth
This calculation puts the time for the start of cultivation in the second half of April.
When the young plants have reached the right height, it is time for them to move. Since the weather in our latitudes is no longer as reliable as it used to be, you should harden off the young plants before planting them out by placing them outside for a few hours during the day, on a warm day. In this way, the chickpeas can slowly get used to the new conditions. When actually planting out, proceed as follows:
- Plant young plants 12 to 20 centimeters apart in the row of beds
- Distance between the rows: about 50 centimeters
- Planting depth: about 5 centimeters
- pour on
If you have put two chickpeas in the pot, only the stronger plant will go outdoors. Use sharp scissors to cut off the weaker plant at ground level. Under no circumstances should you pull them out, as you will damage the delicate root system of both young plants.
Once the chickpeas are planted in the garden, they require very little care. When growing chickpeas, it is important that the soil never completely dries out. Although the plants prefer drought to wetness, which they also do not tolerate, complete dryness is harmful to them. It is recommended to water the plants once or twice a week during flowering and pod formation during dry periods. When watering, be careful not to get the leaves wet. This is how you prevent diseases like powdery mildew. Once the pods are mature and the plant begins to sprout, you should reduce the watering. Here it should be sufficient if you water the legumes weekly to bi-weekly.
tip: The plants react particularly sensitively to too much moisture shortly before harvest. For example, the pods can begin to mold.
The plants do not need additional fertilizer. A nitrogen-rich fertilizer is even counterproductive, as it promotes the growth of Cicer arietinum but reduces the crop yield.