Great fresh or dried, very drought tolerant
Once the standard for southern peas, this variety is drought-tolerant and will grow in almost all soils. 5' vines produce loads of 7-8" green pods with a purple tinge. Mature seeds are small and light brown with black speckles. Seeds are good eaten green or dried. Brought to the Americas from Africa during the slave trade, grown by Jefferson at Monticello.Fabaceae Vigna sativum
Southern Peas, or "Cowpeas" as they are commonly known by the Yankees, are thought to have originated in Africa. They were brought to the United States in early Colonial times during the slave trade. They became a staple food in the Southeastern U.S. where they are eaten as green shelled peas or left to dry on the vine for later use.
- Ease of Growing
- Grown as
- Days to Maturity
- 85 (Spring/Summer), 85 (Fall/Winter)
- Growing Habit
- Very Tender
Southern peas are very tender, so be sure to harvest before the first frost.
- Growing Season
- Cultivar Type
- Growing Conditions
- Warm, Hot
Cowpeas peas 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
Germination is rapid at temperatures above 65° F; colder temperatures slow germination.
- Start Indoors
- Start Outdoors
- Sun: min. 6 hours daily (Warm, Hot)
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.
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.
- Drought tolerant, High heat
- Small Gardens?
It is possible to grow peas in fairly deep containers (at least 8"), but they won't be very productive. To increase productivity, increase the amount of compost tea you give your plant, especially during flowering and fruiting.
- Attracts beneficial insects?
- Fruit Size
- Plant Height
- Plant Diameter
- Hardiness Zone
- Disease Resistance
- Taste Profile
Great fresh or dried.