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How to Grow Garbanzo Beans

Garbanzo beans, also called chickpeas, are cool-season legumes similar to beans and peas. They require a long growing season, so starting the seeds early in the spring ensures they have a chance to reach maturity before temperatures climb over 80 degrees Fahrenheit and stop production for the year. Garbanzo beans are frost-tolerant and do best when planted three to four weeks before the usually last expected frost date in your area. You can find garbanzo bean seeds at garden centers or from seed suppliers.

Prepare a garden bed that receives full sun the fall before you plant the garbanzo beans. Lay a 2-inch layer of compost over the bed and till it in to a 5-inch depth to aid drainage and add organic matter to the soil.

Sow seeds 2 inches deep and space them 6 inches apart in rows. Space the rows 18 inches apart.

Water as necessary in early spring to keep the soil moist but not soggy. Garbanzo beans require approximately 1 inch of water a week. Water at the base of the plant and avoid wetting the leaves once they sprout.

Spread a 2-inch layer of mulch over the soil once the plants are 8 inches tall. Mulching preserves soil moisture between waterings and prevents weeds. Use wood chips or straw mulch.

Harvest garbanzo beans once the pods have dried. Lay the pods out in a warm, dry room for one to two weeks then remove the dried garbanzo beans once the pods have split open.


Garbanzo beans take up to 100 days to reach harvest.

You can harvest the pods while they are still immature and green. The entire pod is edible at this stage.


Garbanzo beans must be inoculated with the proper bacteria prior to planting, otherwise they require fertilization. Purchase already inoculated seeds or purchase the proper inoculate from the seed supplier.

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