Technically a bean,
Southern cowpea or black-eyed pea grows in conditions similar to, or slightly
warmer and more humid than snap beans (unlike real peas). Very high in
protein (20%), low in fat, and high in Vitamin B1. Plants are upright
and semi-spreading with 6" - 12" pods produced at the top (crown)
of the plant. Southern home garden favorite variety.
When to sow outside: RECOMMENDED. 1 to 2 weeks after average last frost and when temperatures are warm. NOTE: In very hot summer areas such as the South and Southwest, sow in March for June harvest, and August for late September harvest.
When to start inside: Not recommended
Harvesting: For fresh, tasty blackeye peas, shell seeds out of pod when pod is green or is just barely turning yellow. Seeds will be developed but not hard at this point. For dried beans, wait until pods are dry. Pods can also be picked and eaten whole like a snap bean when black-eyed peas are immature. At seasons end, plants are great compost material if not diseased.
Artist: Marjorie Leggitt