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Garbanzo (Chickpeas, Cicer arietinum) and Kidney Beans

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Garbanzo (Chickpeas, Cicer arietinum) and Kidney Beans

Post  landarch on 2/17/2012, 2:16 am

Has anyone grown garbanzo or dark red kidney beans?

My family would acutally eat plenty of these (hummus, salads, chili, etc) if I could grow/ harvest/ store them.

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Re: Garbanzo (Chickpeas, Cicer arietinum) and Kidney Beans

Post  Lavender Debs on 2/17/2012, 1:26 pm

I grew black garbanzo's last year (the only one that I can grow in the PNW as far as I know). A cranberry bean too.

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Chickpeas, Garbanzo beans, Cicer arietinum

Post  BeetlesPerSqFt on 10/6/2016, 6:52 pm

As I was looking through Bakers Creek catalog online last year (winter 2015, before the 2016 catalog), I saw black chickpeas. "Fascinating... I must try to grow these," I thought. The 2016 catalog came out... minus the chickpeas. Cue internet searching and I found black kabouli chickpeas at:
www.saltspringseeds.com located at Salt Spring Island in Canada. :canada:

I ordered the chickpeas, zepplin delicata squash, Ugandan Bantu beans, bachelor's button, herba stella (=minutina =buck's-horn plantain, a cold-hardy green), and Swedish red peas. Ordering from over the border was a little harrowing for me. I didn't want to leave the seeds sitting in the freezing cold mailbox, but there was no tracking number. (Dan was patient with my worried emails and explained tracking was too expensive. And the financial state of the US Postal service means I don't feel I can say anything negative about how Canada or any other country does shipping/tracking!) My order arrived later than I expected, but it did arrive, with only a few crushed seeds, and I was able to retrieve it from my mailbox promptly. 

Here's a summary of my experience:

I humidified my chickpeas to pre-germinate them and carefully sowed them, rootlet down, with bacterial inocula that said it was suitable for chickpeas. I sowed some in my ANSFG, and some in my dirt, both at 4/sq. I sowed on May 2nd (which is about a week before average last frost in my area, but actual last frost was 4/24.) I think I could and should have sowed them sooner. Like black lettuce seeds, the dark color of these seeds is said to help them germinate in cool soil.

Although the plants in the ANSFG survived better (due to the end of the dirt section having poor drainage,) the yield per surviving plant was the same between the two. Next year I will try some at 9/sq. The plants were fairly short 10-16", and prone to leaning. They don't climb, but a surround of pea fencing might help contain them. I had no problems with insect pests, and nothing I recognized as a disease.

The young plants look rather like young multiflora rose plants (an invasive species in my area), but of course without the thorns.

The flowers are beautiful little maroon-colored things.

Each flower yields a green pod that houses 1 or two chickpeas.



I let my plants grow until they were dead/almost dead mid-August (17th - which is 108 days I think) and then cut them off at ground level (leaving the roots with their nitrogen fixing nodules to degrade/fertilize.) I took the plants off to the shade, and pulled off all the pods. I brought the pods inside and shucked the dried peas out while I watched TV. I bit tedious, and more difficult than dry soup peas, but not bad.


I should have harvested a little sooner because I few pods opened and were already germinating. I put them into my runty winter squash squares where they are now growing. I don't expect to get a second harvest, but I do hope to be able to determine how sensitive to frost the young plants are relative to figuring sowing time next year.

I admit, I haven't eaten any yet. My yield wasn't huge and I'll be saving some of what I harvested for planting next year. I think I have enough to try some hummus, and maybe a small batch of stew. They weren't very productive but I plan to grow them again next year because they get points for not needing to use the grow lights inside, and not having bug, mildew, or weather problems (i.e. like cracked tomatoes.)

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Re: Garbanzo (Chickpeas, Cicer arietinum) and Kidney Beans

Post  Mimi2 on 10/6/2016, 8:54 pm

Thanks for sharing. I was thinking about planting chick peas. I love to eat them. Also, fun fact: chick peas are great carbon sinks. They put carbon back into the earth and reverse the effects of climate change.

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Re: Garbanzo (Chickpeas, Cicer arietinum) and Kidney Beans

Post  BeetlesPerSqFt on 12/6/2016, 5:20 pm

@BeetlesPerSqFt wrote:I should have harvested a little sooner because I few pods opened and were already germinating. I put them into my runty winter squash squares where they are now growing. I don't expect to get a second harvest, but I do hope to be able to determine how sensitive to frost the young plants are relative to figuring sowing time next year.
Results - the little chickpea plants grew to about 6-8" tall. They didn't seem to mind the light frosts, but repeated colder weather did them in. Based on what I saw, I'm going to say 28*F uncovered is ok, and maybe down to 25*F with a cover. So I'll probably start looking to plant late March to mid-April, depending on the soil temperature and the forecast.

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Re: Garbanzo (Chickpeas, Cicer arietinum) and Kidney Beans

Post  Scorpio Rising on 12/6/2016, 8:15 pm

Curious about yield per SF?

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Re: Garbanzo (Chickpeas, Cicer arietinum) and Kidney Beans

Post  BeetlesPerSqFt on 12/6/2016, 10:50 pm

@Scorpio Rising wrote:Curious about yield per SF?
At 4 plants per square = 25 chickpeas per plant = 100 chickpeas/square
I suspect higher yields if I'd started them sooner.

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Re: Garbanzo (Chickpeas, Cicer arietinum) and Kidney Beans

Post  sanderson on 12/7/2016, 3:27 am

Thank you for providing an update.

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Re: Garbanzo (Chickpeas, Cicer arietinum) and Kidney Beans

Post  llama momma on 12/7/2016, 5:18 am

I'm very interested in growing garbanzo. In the 2017 Baker Creek catalog there is one offering called 'Golden Garbanzo'.  Disappointed in the price of $4.00 for 25 seeds  Sad  when I can buy a ready to use can of beans for around a dollar.

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Re: Garbanzo (Chickpeas, Cicer arietinum) and Kidney Beans

Post  CapeCoddess on 12/7/2016, 11:37 am

Can't you just buy a bag of dried ones from the grocery store for a buck and plant those?

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Re: Garbanzo (Chickpeas, Cicer arietinum) and Kidney Beans

Post  BeetlesPerSqFt on 12/7/2016, 7:08 pm

@CapeCoddess wrote:Can't you just buy a bag of dried ones from the grocery store for a buck and plant those?
Maybe.
I can think of two reasons for maybe not. First, the ones at the store weren't harvested, treated, or stored with viability in mind, so they might have low germination, or poor/slow growth due to damage. Or they might not. Second, the variety may not be great for your climate. I could have sworn I read that certain varieties weren't good for Northern climates, or that some were remarkably better than others, but I cannot find the reference again!
If someone wants to cheaply test a square or two, I say why not try it - let us know what happens. You could even try a germination test now by keeping the seeds moist for a few days (not soaking them underwater) and see if how far they get.

And if you use grocery store beans you can blame the seeds rather than your gardening skills if they don't do well. rock on
Hm. Can I plant 16 bean soup mix plants? smiles


Another comment on yield -- Salt Spring Seeds is offering an additional variety, different than the Black Kabuli chickpea I grew, called Winnifred's Garbanzo. On their page they say that it usually yields >300 seeds per plant. Not sure if that means it's a particularly high-yielding variety, or if it means I did poorly, but it's nice data to have.

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Re: Garbanzo (Chickpeas, Cicer arietinum) and Kidney Beans

Post  Scorpio Rising on 12/7/2016, 9:52 pm

Still trying to do math on the ROI.  Even if you buy nothing but the Simple Truth brand (Kroger version of non GMO, organic, non BPA canning) they are 10 for $10 right now. 

I just don't have a lot of SFG to give to stuff that I can get at the store.  I try to grow   stuff that doesn't exist there, or doesn't ship.  Which is most great stuff!

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Re: Garbanzo (Chickpeas, Cicer arietinum) and Kidney Beans

Post  BeetlesPerSqFt on 12/7/2016, 11:28 pm

They are probably pretty low on the ROI front - to the degree that it's probably not worth trying to calculate. Partly because they keep and ship dry and you can throw them around -- not like fresh vegetables that need special care and handling.

I can grow more 'fresh' vegetables during the main season than I can keep up with eating, so I use the other squares to grow things I can keep for winter. I don't have an extra freezer, and I... respect the work involved in safely canning food. So things that store dry, or can be dehydrated easily, appeal to me: winter squash, ground cherries, ('sundried') cherry tomatoes, garlic, onions, herbs, chili peppers -- and dry beans/peas including chickpeas.

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Re: Garbanzo (Chickpeas, Cicer arietinum) and Kidney Beans

Post  Scorpio Rising on 12/9/2016, 8:33 pm

@BeetlesPerSqFt wrote:They are probably pretty low on the ROI front - to the degree that it's probably not worth trying to calculate. Partly because they keep and ship dry and you can throw them around -- not like fresh vegetables that need special care and handling.

I can grow more 'fresh' vegetables during the main season than I can keep up with eating, so I use the other squares to grow things I can keep for winter. I don't have an extra freezer, and I... respect the work involved in safely canning food. So things that store dry, or can be dehydrated easily, appeal to me: winter squash, ground cherries, ('sundried') cherry tomatoes, garlic, onions, herbs, chili peppers -- and dry beans/peas including chickpeas.
Makes complete sense.  I don't can, yet.

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Re: Garbanzo (Chickpeas, Cicer arietinum) and Kidney Beans

Post  AtlantaMarie on 12/10/2016, 7:01 am

One of the things I'm planning to do next year is to try & grow out some market-bought beans. I've got a few different varieties. But I made sure to get organic. And I got the majority from one of our larger farmer's market that imports from around the world rather than the grocery store.

I'll let you know what happens...

Hey, SR - when you get ready to learn about canning, let me know. I'll walk you thru it.

LM - I saw that same garbanzo... And feel the same way!

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Re: Garbanzo (Chickpeas, Cicer arietinum) and Kidney Beans

Post  llama momma on 12/10/2016, 1:59 pm

@AtlantaMarie wrote:
LM - I saw that same garbanzo...  And feel the same way!

Atl M

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Re: Garbanzo (Chickpeas, Cicer arietinum) and Kidney Beans

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