•American grown seeds
•Sow early spring to fall
•USDA Zones: 3-12
The most popular of Southern pea varieties, ‘California Blackeye’ produces peas with rich, gently sweet flavor and good, meaty texture, to be enjoyed fresh or dried. Cowpeas seeds were first domesticated in Africa where sixty six percent of the world’s production still occurs. These garden vegetables are very tolerant of and do well in dry, sandy soil and hot temperatures. In addition to not needing much water, cowpea plants can regulate nitrogen in the soil making this a very self-sufficient garden vegetable.
This food is low in Saturated Fat and Sodium, and very low in Cholesterol. It is also a good source of Protein and Niacin, and a very good source of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Potassium, Copper and Manganese. Blackeyed peas have been shown to improve heart and brain health when eaten regularly.
Start 2 to 4 weeks before your average last frost date when soil temperature is at least 40°F (ideally over 50°). Successive sowing can be done every 2-3 weeks until 4 to 6 weeks before your average first fall frost date. In mild climates, you can sow in the fall for a winter harvest.
To start growing cowpeas, prepare the bed by turning the soil under to a depth of 8 inches. Sow the seeds directly outdoors, 1" deep in sandy soil. Leave 2-3" between plants with 24" between rows. Gently firm the soil, and lightly water. Be sure not to overwater the seeds as roots that stay wet can become rotted. 1" of water each week will be enough. Maintain the weeds that may grow around the plant; these will compete with the plant for nutrients, so it’s best to regularly remove these. When the pods are well filled out they are ready to be picked. Matures in 60-90 days. Keep sowing bean seeds every 2 weeks for a constant supply of beans.
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