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Growing Your Own Southern Favorite-Black-Eyed Peas


This vegetable can be called many things.  One is the black-eyed pea, which describes a white bean that has a black spot.  But they can also have a pink or purple spot.  In other cultures, they are referred to as cowpeas.  Regardless of what you may call them, they are delicious and easy to grow.

When selecting ones peas, the first step is to decide where you plan to plant them.  While they work wonderfully in the garden, they do just as well in a container.  For those you plan to plant in a traditional garden space, pick varieties that are indeterminate.  These are the types that produce all season long and grow to an undetermined height.  In doing so, they will require a trellis.

On the other hand, if you want to grow your black-eyed peas in a container you will need the determinate variety, which fruits at one time and grows to a certain height.  You will also need a container that is at least 12-inches in diameter.

Black-eyed peas like to be in a well-drained soil that is exposed to slight shade.  If you have no shade in your garden space, do not worry.  They will grow but will require additional water.

Once you have your seeds, prepare the garden soil by mixing in well seasoned manure and/or compost.  Then, make a trench that is 1 ½-inch deep and add black-eyed pea inoculants, which will help the plant to fix nitrogen.  Once that is done, space your seeds out every 4-inches and cover with soil.  Water in thoroughly.   In five to eight days, you will begin to see your peas breaking the soil.

If you planted an indeterminate variety, make sure to place your trellis in the garden space during your planting time.

On the other hand, if you want to plant your beans in a container start this process by cleaning and sterilizing the pot.  After that is done, place a drainage material in the bottom and fill with a well-drained potting soil mix that has been enhanced with well-seasoned manure and/or compost.  Plant as above but utilize the determinate variety.  If you insist on using the vine type, then make sure to install a trellis in the container at the time of planting.

In both planting techniques, make sure to monitor the soil moisture and water when very dry.  

Regardless of where you plant your beans, you will be able to harvest your crop of black-eyed peas in 85 to 100 days.


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