The Gardener's Network
Nav Menu

Holiday Insights







Deck boxes:






Amazon.com
Search for:
Flowers
Annuals
Perennials
Bulbs

How to Grow Cowpeas, Black Eyed Peas

Cowpeas, also called Black Eyed Peas, are a favorite southern bean. Although the young leaves are edible, most gardeners grow them for the bean inside. Cowpeas are native to Africa, where it is an important food crop. The plant thrives in warmer climates. There are vining and non-vining varieties.

Cowpeas grow in a slender pod which looks like a green bean. Six to ten inch pods contain tan colored beans.  "Black Eyed Peas" have a black circle on it with a beige spot in the middle of the circle. Can you guess the color of the circle on the "Pink Eye" variety?


Days to Maturity:

Ranges from 80 to 90 days depending on variety.


Sowing Cowpea Seeds:

Plant outdoors after the last frost date, and when the soil has warmed. Sow seeds directly into the garden. They germinate best at a soil temperature of 65 degrees or higher.

Follow the spacing directions on the packet. Seeds germinate in 7-10 days.


How to Grow Cowpeas:

Growing Cowpeas is easy.

Grow cowpeas in full sun. They prefer rich, well draining soil. Add compost prior to planting. Apply a side dressing of fertilizer to give these plants a fast start as soon as they germinate.

Thin seedling to proper distance, as noted on the seed packet. If there are no directions, space plants three inches apart in rows three feet apart.

Cowpea plants are tolerant of heat and dry weather conditions. However, for maximum growth and harvest, water frequently, especially during dry periods. Try to keep the leaves dry as you water. This will help avoid fungus diseases.

Apply a general purpose fertilizer once a month during the season.


Harvesting Cowpeas:

Young, tender leaves are edible. Pick as needed for salads. Or, cook them like spinach.

Many gardeners who are new to cowpeas, do not know that the young pods are edible, too. Pick when very young, as the pods get tough and stringy early. Most people harvest Cowpeas for the bean inside. If harvesting "green" pick, when young. For dried shell beans, pick after the pods have dried. The beans can be allowed to dry right on the vine.


Insects, Pests, and Plant Disease:

A variety of insects enjoy cowpeas. Use insecticides or repellents as needed.

Deer and rabbits like this vegetable,too. They will eat the young plants, and nip tender leaves. Deer will forage for the young beans. If you have wild turkeys in your area, you may find them munching on your Cowpeas. They eat the young plants and enjoy the insects that the plant attracts.

Pest netting is effective for rabbits and deer.

Rabbit Control

Deer Control


Bacterial and wilt diseases are common among the Bean family. This plant disease arrives with summer heat and humidity. This often occurs just before, or during, the ripening of the crop. Fungicides are recommended in areas of high heat and humidity.


Hardiness:


Cowpeas are a warm weather crops that grows best in warmer, more southerly areas of the country. Cowpeas are not a hardy plant. They are susceptible to cold and frost.


More Information:

Our Garden Recipe Collection

Buy Garden Seeds on Sale - top quality, brand name flower, vegetable and herb seeds, at discount sale prices. The best quality at the lowest prices...anywhere!

Pest Netting - Keep rabbits, deer, and other foraging animals out!

Garden composters make the best dirt.

Buy a Composter now

More on Composters

Shop For:

Gardening:
Flower Seeds
Vegetable Seeds

Heirloom Seeds
Herb Seeds
Organic Seed / Supply

Cold Frame
Composters
Garden Fertilizers
Greenhouses
Houseplants
Planters
Raised Beds
Garden Supplies

Yard & Deck:
Grills
Hammocks
Hose Carts/Reels
Outdoor Storage
Solar Lights
Pest Control

Other:
Food Processing
Kitchen/Party Supply


| Home | How to Grow | Flowers | Fruit | Bulbs | Vegetables | Lawn Care | Pumpkins | Houseplants |
| Shopping |
Herbs | Organic | Plant Problems | Bushes 'n Shrubs | Trees | 4 the Birds | Garden Recipes |


Copyright 1999 - 2014 © Premier Star Company