Chickpeas:  Is that it?

Homegrown chickpeas
Homegrown chickpeas

In the heady days of spring when the seed trays yawn open wide, demanding to be filled, I try ever so hard to stick to my plan.  There is only limited space in the garden and so I need to choose the occupants wisely.  But I also have a deep sense of curiosity within me.  I can’t help myself as I fill my pots with warm, moist soil and think to myself – oh one more won’t hurt.  This is usually immediately following the thought “hmmmm…..I wonder…..”

Chickpea foliage
Chickpea foliage is so lush

It is because of this weakness that I set aside a spot in my garden for the weird and wonderful, the new and exciting and the things I just must have, but can’t fit them into the plan anywhere else.  This is my odds and sods bed and filling it up is loads of fun.

Chickpea pod
Isn’t this chickpea pod the cutest thing?

Last spring – a good 6 months ago I was staring into my pantry and the large bag of dried chickpeas that I’d picked up at the store relatively inexpensively and I figured I’d see if I could grow some.  How hard could it be?  If they were difficult they’d be expensive to buy, right? And I popped some seeds into an empty seed tray in the greenhouse and waited and hoped for the best.

Chickpeas dried on the plant
Chickpeas dried on the plant

Before I knew it some ferny looking seedlings had emerged and were duly planted in their place in the mixed bed once the risk of frost was all but gone.  Life in the garden begun to pick up with the craziness of the full season and almost unnoticed the chickpeas grew strong and bushy.  The bright green foliage added a vibrancy to the landscape.

I'm not hopeful for a bountiful harvest
I’m not hopeful for a bountiful harvest

The sweetest yellow flowers soon appeared and the bush looked so healthy and robust.  It seemed like the ultimate take care of itself crop and I could hardly wait for an abundant harvest from this low maintenance plant.    However, it would seem it would be more fragile than first appeared as a storm whipped through and parted the bush like the Red Sea.     Ever so carefully I tied it back together and held it in place with strong bamboo posts, but it was never quite the same and lolled about the place draping itself over my peanuts.

Two chickpeas per pod
Two chickpeas per pod… if you are lucky!

Bright green fuzzy pods appeared and I was a little concerned.  Where was the abundance?  The pods weren’t exactly large.  But I was committed to the harvest now so I watched as the brightness faded to gold and the pods began to rattle on the plant.    Just looking at the plants revealed what I already knew – there wasn’t going to be a big batch of hummus anytime soon.  Undeterred, I pushed through and shelled the crop.

harvested chickpeas
And that’s it!

I suppose I should be grateful.  I now know how chickpeas grow and if I’d planted a dollar and got back a yield like that I’d be over the moon.   And now I have a space in my odds and sods bed for next season.  “Hmmm….  I wonder……”

Come again soon – autumn isn’t such a bad season.

Sarah the Gardener  : o)

12 thoughts on “Chickpeas:  Is that it?

    1. Hi Linda. That might work in your favour – if you are the only one who likes chickpeas then you may be able to grow enough just for you! All the best.
      Cheers Sarah : o)

  1. I have had the same experience with Southern peas. They’re not the green little orbs, but include varieties like black eye peas cowpeas. They take forever to shell, but can be eaten before they dry. In the South, the shelled peas are cooked along with some of the immature pods (snaps) with ham, onions, and peppers. I like that dish, but those peas are definitely not worth the space for the yield, especially when they are so inexpensive. They do love the summers here, though, and so thry make a good cover crop.

  2. How interesting! I love my legumes, but having handled broad beans for many seasons and gotten frustrated at getting one feed out of a batch, I decided that they werent for me – a $5 bag of dried will suffice! Very cool to see how they grow though!

    1. Sometimes you just have to try something to see how it works – sometimes you end up with a winner and other times not so much. But the fun is in the trying.
      Cheers Sarah : o)

  3. Hi Sarah, I can join the clan too as I have grown lentils, mung beans and chicpeas and they all fit into the same category but I had still tried again this year as they sprout so easily when I am making hummus. I just can´t help my self and threw a few into the garden too.
    As to the broad beans, did you know the leaves are very nutritious which makes up for the few pods you get. I use the Bb leaves in my smoothies along with the dandelion, plantain, chickweed, lambs quarters and aloe vera gel, superfood goodness.
    Thanks for the great article and reminding me not to grow them again.

    1. Thanks for you comment. I always like to try everything once and the fun things twice, but sometimes you grow something and it just doesn’t work for you. I love the thought of growing chickpeas but the yield is so little. But the only way to learn these things is by giving it a go. All the best with your garden. Cheers Sarah : o)

  4. Thanks for sharing! I planted my first chickpea seed 3 weeks ago and am planning to plant one a week. Might be a bit of a waste, as we’re no where near the end frost date, but it’s fun.

Leave a Reply