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Georgia Gardening: Large Seeded Cowpeas

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MaypopLaurel
Cleveland,GA/Atlanta, GA
(Zone 7b)

May 3, 2012
8:26 AM

Post #9108481

I posted about these late last summer. Cindy shared some exceptionally large seeded cowpeas from the garlic festival we attended together and I dried all the seed to plant this year. I suspect they might be Mississippi Silver Hulls. Just a guess, but think I'm remembering the pods and seeds met the description online. Trouble is there's conflicting info about their ultimate height and I can't figure out whether they're bush or half runner (like purple hulls). Has anyone grown these? If these are not Mississippi Silvers what would be the best guess for planting this pea that looks like a purple hull pea only almost twice as large; fence line or open patch? Does anyone know if Mississippi Silvers are determinate or indeterminate? Thanks.
Laurel
Farmerdill
Augusta, GA
(Zone 8a)


May 3, 2012
8:51 AM

Post #9108568

Mississippi Silver is a large brown crowder, compact vine, minimal runners. It is not the largest brown crowder, Collossus and Hercules are larger. It will not look as a dried pea like pink eye purple hulls, but will look like Knuckle Purple Hulls or Mississippi Purple Brown Crowder. A big pea that resembles the pink eye purple hull is Big Boy. Hope I adequately added to the confusion. Purple hulls come in most of the shapes and sizes common to cowpeas. Note that the major difference between Mississippi Silver and Mississippi Brown is the pod color.
MaypopLaurel
Cleveland,GA/Atlanta, GA
(Zone 7b)

May 3, 2012
5:38 PM

Post #9109278

Dill, what I have does look like a large Knuckle Purple Hull. I don't have experience with pea varieties but that one has been in my garden for years. Lacking space for peas in the earlier part of the planting season, we plant to follow spring crops. Since we are drowning in vegetables all summer and fall these late planted peas are dried for winter use.

I didn't realize there were several other varieties of large brown crowders. That puts a kink in the ID. What I would like to know is if other similar varieties have the same growth habits? Would you describe a compact vine as 24-36 inches and then a few tendrils to five feet?

I'm asking these questions because we are having a weekend of events in N. GA. following our daughter's wedding and would like to have the garden as pretty as possible. A little different requirements here if you are not mainly a flower gardener. :) I'm wanting to know if I plant these crowders along the path are guests going to need a machete to traverse the garden or would these peas be better off to the rear or against a fence line? Your reply and help is appreciated.

One other vaguely related question. I read that two types of crowders make up 96% of all crops currently grown making other crowders relatively "rare" in production. Would you happen to know what those two types are and why they constitute such a large percentage of production?
Laurel
Farmerdill
Augusta, GA
(Zone 8a)


May 3, 2012
6:03 PM

Post #9109316

Laurel I only grow peas in the field, rainfall is all the water they get. Neither the Knuckle Purple Hulls or Collossus get more than two feet. http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/go/40750/ http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/go/70146/ The old Brown Crowder will run a bit. I have not the slightest idea. Crowders are not that popular commercially. That market is dominated by blackeye and pinkeye types. Most local feed and seeds simply have brown and/or black crowders. Knuckle purple hull and the two Mississippi s are relatively easy to find. The others take a bit of searching.
MaypopLaurel
Cleveland,GA/Atlanta, GA
(Zone 7b)

May 3, 2012
6:30 PM

Post #9109359

Yes, your knuckles in the link are like mine, Dill. I'm not sure Collosuss is the one Cindy and I have. Still, I now know what I need to know. I was wanting to plant something bushy along the garden path, which is about 6' wide now but closes down to about 4' once plantings mature and think these will be perfect. I've got a about a two foot swath and fifteen to thirty feet. Would you suggest double row or a larger block down a two foot strip?

Thanks for keeping up with me on this. I am always learning from you and value your help.
Laurel

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