... growing and hybridizing all kinds of plants in zone 6b Maryland since the 1980's.

Saturday, July 7, 2012


I didn't notice any pods when Joseph T. was visiting, but found some today on 'Kala Chana', a dark brown chickpea that always grows pretty well here. So here's what the pods look like Joseph. And if you look close you can see the glandular secretions on the foliage. These are supposed to have a lot of malic and oxalic acid in them which deters insects, but reportedly can also cause a rash. I've weeded around them plenty and haven't noticed any problem yet - but usually I'll wash my hands pretty soon after weeding anyway. One of the good reasons to grow chickpeas, is that you probably won't be able to find them sold anywhere in the "green-shell" stage. And they're pretty tasty cooked at that stage.
There are some really cool ones [black, forest-green and these dark brown ones] that you can sometimes find for sale in seed catalogs. But if you're thrifty like me you can also buy a bag of dry chickpeas at the grocery store, and try planting those. I've had good luck with them too.


  1. Cool! The Asian grocer store near me sells several different colors and sizes. I'm going to have to get some and try them next year.

  2. Hey, that's a good idea - I'm gonna have to check out the Asian grocery stores around here to see if they have any cool chickpeas or anything else cool for that matter. I'll still send you some 'Kala Chana' seeds when they mature, because it's the most reliable one I've found so far.

    And you know, now that I think about it... I've never noticed any deer or rabbit browsing damage on the chickpea foliage. I wonder if those acid secretions are a deterrent to them also? If only they were a little more productive here, I'd consider planting a bigger patch. I'll have to work on that!