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Chickpea Planting

Field Selection & Preparation

Proper field selection and preparation for chickpeas provides seed with the best environment for rapid germination and emergence, allows roots to grow quickly and absorb nutrients, and provides the conditions necessary for good weed control.

Chickpeas requires warm, moist soil conditions for germination and emergence. The soil must be prepared so it warms rapidly, but still retains as much moisture as possible. Fall plowing is preferred because it conserves more moisture than spring plowing. Freezing and thawing during winter tends to reduce soil clods.

Consider these tips in your field selection for chickpeas.

  • Choose level fields that have good drainage.
  • Avoid saline soils and choose a field that has medium-textured loamy soils with a neutral to slightly alkaline pH of 7.0 to 8.0.
  • Avoid fields that have a history of weed problems, as chickpeas do not compete well with weeds or volunteer crops.
  • Chop any residue and straw from last year’s crop and spread it evenly.

Seeding

Chickpeas are relatively tolerant to spring frosts, but for optimal germination, seed chickpeas in warmer soil with good moisture content. As with other larger seeded pulse crops, chickpea is susceptible to seed damage when air velocity with air seeders is high. Seed drills and air seeders can, however, be used effectively when seeding chickpea if ground speed is kept low and air velocity is just high enough to avoid line plugging.

  • Seed Depth: 2–3 inches (5–7 cm)
  • Soil Temperature: 5˚ C (Desi) to 10˚ C (Kabuli)
  • Seeding Dates: late April (Desi) to early May (Kabuli)
  • Seeding Rates: 44 plants per square metre
  • 1,000 Kernel Rate: 200 (Desi) to 370 (Kabuli)
  • Seeds Per Pound: 3,300 (Desi) to 6,200 (Kabuli)

The Government of Alberta’s Seeding Rate Calculator can help you determine the proper dry bean seeding rate. To ensure the best results, use seed with both high germination and vigour.