Cowpeas, also known as Black Eyed Peas, are one of the oldest grain crops known to man. They are easy to grow and can be used in many different ways, fresh, dried, powdered for flower and much more. Cowpeas are not a cold hearty plant, but they are very heat tolerant. Originally coming from the hot climates of Africa, Cowpeas make an excellent summer crop.
- Cowpeas, like many other legumes, will fix nitrogen from the air into the soil when young. The plant uses this nitrogen to develop the pods; so once the plant starts to flower.
- Heavy nitrogen fertilizers are not recommended. Watch for signs of nitrogen deficiencies after flowering and adjust feeding as needed.
- Cowpeas can cope, and even thrive, with a little more crowding than most other plants.
- Harvest young pods to be used like green beans, but the pods will get very stringy quickly.
- Harvest mature peas once they reach full size and the pod is still green for use in fresh dishes.
- Harvest dried pods and seeds for storage or use in recipes that call for dried peas.