How to Grow Chickpea Seeds

Grow Guide #2494
Family: Fabaceae
Binomial name: Cicer arietinum
Life Cycle: Annual

This 'How to Grow' guide details everything a home gardener needs to know to plant, grow and care for Chickpeas (Cicer arietinum).

When to Sow Chickpea Seeds

Use the table below to identify the best time of year to sow chickpea seeds in your climate.



Chickpea plants are best grown in full sun. Choose a location that will receive at least 6 hours of full sun each day.

Chickpea plants need a well drained soil enriched with plenty of organic matter. Prepare soil by weeding it thoroughly, digging it over to loosen it and adding aged animal manure or compost. Keep the area free of weeds until planting. Learn more about preparing soil for planting here.

Recommended: Crop rotation can help to reduce the chance of pests and diseases becoming pervasive in your garden. In a simple crop rotation system, carrots can follow leaf crops and precede fruit crops for improved plant health and yields. Read more about crop rotation here.

How to Sow Chickpea Seeds

Chickpea seeds do not require any treatment (eg soaking, stratification) before sowing.

Chickpea seeds can be sown directly into the garden OR seedlings can be raised in trays or other containers and transplanted to the garden once established.

Sow Direct

  1. Sow seeds directly in the garden 20mm deep and 20cm apart, with rows 60cm apart.
  2. Keep soil moist but never wet or dry.
  3. Seeds should germinate in around 7-30 days at a soil temperature of 10-15°C.
  4. Young seedlings will need protection from pests, pets and weather until they are established.

Raise Seedlings

  1. Fill trays, punnets or jiffy pots with a good quality seed-raising mix, or use soil starter pellets.
  2. Sow seeds 20mm deep.
  3. Keep soil moist but never wet or dry.
  4. Seeds should germinate in around 7-30 days at a soil temperature of 10-15°C.
  5. Transplant seedlings to the garden once they have their first true leaves and are large enough to handle (usually 5-10cm tall).
  6. Plant out, spacing plants 20cm apart, with rows 60cm apart.

Chickpea is a hardy crop but flowers and fruit may drop if they are exposed to frost.

Tip: Seeds of this variety can be slow to germinate. Take note of the expected germination time, be patient and follow the recommended depth and temperature guidelines closely for the best chance of success.

How to Grow Chickpea

Chickpea plants may need watering during the growing season. Water when the soil is dry about 5cm below the surface (test this by scratching away a little soil with your finger). Water deeply in the early morning or late afternoon. Avoid watering the leaves of plants to avoid fungal diseases. Learn more about watering here.

If soil was well prepared no extra fertiliser should be necessary. In poor soil or to give your plants an extra boost, application of a balanced fertiliser or one formulated for fruit and vegetables can be beneficial:

  • Apply slow release fertiliser at the recommended rate when transplanting or when seedlings are 5-10cm tall.
  • Apply liquid fertiliser at the recommended rate and frequency while plants are fruiting or flowering.

How to Harvest Chickpeas

Chickpeas should be ready to harvest in approximately 100 days.

Chickpea pods can be eaten fresh like snowpeas or the seeds can be dried for longer term storage.

Chickpea pods for fresh eating are ready to harvest when they are large enough to eat. Harvest pods by cutting with snips/secateurs. Harvest regularly to encourage more pods. Fresh chickpea pods can be stored short term in a perforated plastic bag in the fridge.

Chickpea pods for drying are ready to harvest when the leaves have dried and turned brown. Harvest the whole plant and place it on a wire rack to dry. Collect the seed as the pods dry and split. Store dried seeds in an airtight container; soak before using.

Common Problems when Growing Chickpeas

Like all plants, chickpea is susceptible to some pests, diseases and other problems. Below is a list of the most common problems gardeners encounter when growing chickpea plants:

  • Aphids
    Aphids are small (2-4mm long) sap-sucking insects that congregate on the new shoots or the undersides of leaves. They can cause leaves to wilt or become discoloured, and also excrete honeydew which can attract ants and other insect pests. To manage aphids, remove them by spraying with a garden hose, apply a soap or alcohol spray, or encourage predatory insects to your garden. Read more about aphids here.
  • strawberry with botrytis
    Grey mould (Botrytis sp.) is a fungal disease that causes flowers to become mouldy and fruit to rot. Spores are transported by wind and can survive in soil or on green waste. The fungus spreads most in cool, damp weather. Prune off affected flowers and fruit, water plants at soil level (not on leaves) and if necessary spray with an appropriate fungicide or homemade spray.
  • Downy Mildew
    Downy mildew is a fungal disease that causes yellow to grey-brown patches on leaves, especially the undersides. Water plants at soil level (not on the leaves), remove and destroy affected leaves and do not overcrowd plants to ensure adequate air flow. If problems persist, spray with a homemade milk spray or fungicide.
  • Spider mites
    Spider mites (Tetranychus urticae), also known as two spotted mites, are sap-sucking arachnids that cause dry, wilted or discoloured leaves. The undersides of leaves may feel dry and a little like fine sandpaper. Prune plants to allow good air flow or spray with eco-oil or wettable sulphur. Learn more about managing spider mites here.

Browse Chickpea Seeds



Packet 30 seeds