Seed Count: Approx. 10 Seeds
Days to Maturity: 60-100 days
Bush variety, shelling/dry bean
Description: The Garbanzo Bean, also known as the Chickpea, has been a staple in Mediterranean and Indian cuisines for centuries. If you've had hummus, than you most likely have had these deliciously nutty, mildly sweet, and creamy beans. Even the sprouts are delicious! They are also tasty in other dishes like salads, protein bowls, soups, stews, and, of course, my favorite, curry. Sure, you can easily buy these beans at the grocery store, but eating these freshly picked is truly a treat. Garbanzo beans make for a great vegetarian/vegan protein source, plus they're one of the more nutritious beans in the legume family. They are rich in protein, iron, B vitamins, calcium, and other essential nutrients. Garbanzo beans, while regarded as beans, are actually neither peas nor beans. The plants have dark green, vetch like leaves, and are compact, growing to about 2 ft. tall. They produce lots of 1 inch pods that contain 1-2 seeds per pod. Garbanzo beans prefer cool weather, and are sown like you would peas early in the spring. These beans handle drought well, however, they do not do well in extreme Northern Climates.
How To Grow
Sowing: Sow in average soil, in a sunny location, early in the spring. Sow seeds 3 inches apart, in rows 24 inches apart, and cover with 1 inch of soil. Seedlings emerge in 10-14 days depending on soil and weather conditions. Thin to 12 inches apart when seedlings are 1-2" high. Beans do great companion planted with beets, carrots, and cucumbers. However, avoid growing near all members of the allium family, and sunflowers.
Growing: In dry weather, keep soil well watered. Plants need about 1 inch of rain per week during the growing season. Make sure foliage has time to dry in order to reduce disease. Do know that this plant can get scorched with intense heat. These beans grow in a bush habit, and shouldn't need support. However, you can support them if they grow too heavy for themselves.
Harvesting: To harvest, wait until the pods have fully swollen. You can pick and shell these fresh, or allow them to dry on the plant before harvesting. Check vines often since this is a very productive plant. Freshly shelled beans are best used immediately, but will keep in the fridge for several days. To save seeds or harvest dry beans, allow the pods to mature fully and dry on the vine. If frost or rainy weather threatens before your beans are dry, pull the plants and allow them to dry indoors. They should be completely dry 10-15 days later. Remove the seeds from the pods by hand, and store the seeds in a cool, dry place for up to 3 years. These beans will also freeze well, if blanched first.