Basics

Ease of Growing
Moderate
Grown as
Annual
Days to Maturity
70 (Spring/Summer)
Growing Habit
Vine
Hardiness
Very Tender

Southern peas are very tender, so be sure to harvest before the first frost.

Crops
Spring
Growing Season
Long
Cultivar Type
-
Growing Conditions
Warm, Hot

Cowpeas are easy to grow anywhere there is plenty of heat. They grow fast and need very little care. Heat and drought tolerant but they will produce better if they receive regular water.

Outdoor Growing Temp
65°F - 95°F
Min Outdoor Soil Temp
65°F

Germination is rapid at temperatures above 65° F; colder temperatures slow germination.

Start Indoors
No
Start Outdoors
Yes
Light
Water
Low

Cowpeas are grown under both irrigated and non-irrigated regimes. The crop responds positively to irrigation but will also produce well under dryland conditions.

Cowpea is more drought resistant than the common bean. Drought resistance is one reason that the Cowpea is such an important crop in many underdeveloped parts of the world. If irrigation is used, more vegetative growth and some delay in maturity may result. Application rates should insure that the crop is not over-watered, especially in Northern latitudes, as this will suppress growth by lowering soil temperatures. The most critical moisture requiring period is just prior to and during bloom.

Feeder
Light

Do not apply nitrogen, which will result in poor yield and lush foliage. The ability of southern peas to grow in poor soil is quite remarkable.

Cowpea, like all legumes, forms a symbiotic relationship with a specific soil bacterium (Rhizobium spp.). Rhizobium makes atmospheric nitrogen available to the plant by a process called nitrogen fixation. Fixation occurs in root nodules of the plant and the bacteria utilize sugars produced by the plant. Although cowpea Rhizobium is normally widespread, seed inoculation with Rhizobium specific to the Cowpea would be beneficial in areas where it is not present. Always use Rhizobium of the Cowpea type.

Suitability
Drought tolerant, High heat, Needs lots of space
Small Gardens?
No
Containers?
No
Attracts beneficial insects?
No
Color
Reddish-green
Fruit Size
8.0-10.0"
Plant Height
100.0-144.0"
Plant Diameter
6.0-12.0"
Hardiness Zone
5-11
Disease Resistance
-
Taste Profile

Great fresh or dried.