Before jumping deeper into sprouting beans, it makes sense if you know your beans. For now, let us tell you something about chickpeas. While not required, we will break it to you anyway - chickpeas are not beans. And nor they are peas.
Most beans are warm-season crops but chickpeas grow best in the cold season. Their growth is optimal when the daytime temperatures range between 7o and 80 degrees. At night, they can tolerate temperatures as low as 65 degrees.
Plant dried garbanzo beans 2-4 weeks before the end of the frost season. This increases the chance of sprouting more seeds as chickpeas are cold-season plants. You might find it difficult to get garbanzo seeds in grocery stores but your best bet is to order online.
Before tilling the soil, check that its temperature is in the ideal range for growing chickpeas. It should be around 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Next, till the soil to break up large chunks and add organic matter such as compost to improve the nutritional value. Water the soil before planting the beans.
Plant the seeds half an inch deep in paper pots and transfer once the seedlings are 4 inches tall or have at least 4 true leaves. If planting on the garden bed, you will need to thin the seedlings later, allowing at least 6 inches of space in between. Rows should be 2 feet away from each other.
Water after sowing and consistently keep the first inch of the soil moist on the succeeding days. Your beans should begin to germinate within 7-15 days.
Remember to feed your chickpeas with fertilizer that has potassium and phosphorous but does not contain high nitrogen value. Avoid giving too much fertilizer though as this can lead to burning. Cultivate the soil around the chickpeas to allow air to circulate but be careful not to touch the roots.
You would probably wonder if it's all possible to grow beans and chickpeas from fresh beans. The answer is yes. While most plants need their seed to be dry before sowing, some perennials and cold season crops grow even from fresh beans.
With optimal growing conditions, you should be able to harvest your chickpeas in just 100 days. To harvest chickpeas is simple. On a household scale, you can just use bare hands to harvest the pods. Separating the beans from the pods is what takes some time though.
Each chickpea plant produces 3 pods on average. Within each pod, the yield could be 1 or 2 beans. To calculate how many chickpea plants you need to feed the household, allocate at least 4 chickpea plants for every household member.
It is best to start chickpeas indoors as the plant is tender during its early life. The shallow root system is another concern, which needs delicate care. However, their ideal environment until full maturity is outdoors. Chickpeas need full sun, at least 6 hours a day for optimal growth and yield.
Chickpeas do not need a trellis. They are flexible and will most likely bend as they grow taller, but in general, they do not require a trellis. Planting the chickpeas with a 6-inch spacing is the recommendation so they could provide support for each other as they mature.