I've only grown 'em once before - I grew a row of pinkeyes a few years ago, and we enjoyed those but I only planted enough for a meal or two so we ate them right after picking.
Now I've ordered enough Texas Cream 40 seeds to plant a couple of long rows. I think I know how to grow them OK - wait until the soil warms up before planting and raise them through the heat of summer (make them think they're in Texas). I can do that, but maybe there are some growing tips I don't know. Would they like a little shade, like in among the corn rows - or do they need full sun even in the hottest part of summer?
I'd like to harvest them with the pods as "snap peas", and hopefully I'll have a whole bunch to freeze. How about sharing some Southern secrets about how to grow, harvest, freeze, and fix Cow Peas aka Crowder Peas - because I sure do like them. Thanks!
In general southern peas demand little. They were the fall back crop when all else failed. They will grow among corn, but not in todays dense planting. In the 40's and 50's when corn was planted with 42 inch spacing and low fertilization, peas were commonly planted in the cornfields. But in nitrogen rich soil, they will produce more vine than peas. Here Texas cream peas ( both 40 and 8) do not yield comparitive to pinkeyes, crowders, blackeyes etc. Cowpea varieties have wide variation in size and flavor, I use them mostly as green shellies, but are also suitable dried. They freeze well.
I am also trying for the first time to grow Quickpea, following Farmedill info. http://willhiteseed.com/products.php?cat=54&pg=2
I am planning to direct seed them at the beginning of June, under my tomatoes.
By the time the tomatoes are finished the Cowpeas will be taking over.
I selected a short/bush variety with purple pods (so I can easily see them)
I've grown purple-hull and pink-eye peas as summer crops with almost no work. The only thing I did was plant, then weed the middles with the hoe blade on my push plow. I did water a time or two when it was really dry. I always pick green, like Farmerdill, shell, and cook fresh. These ore the peas I planted last year, before any thinning.
PS-- the first row on the left is okra, before any thinning too.
Very nice, David. And - it's good to see what dirt without so many big rocks looks like. Here on this limestone Ozark Plateau, if my garden tiller didn't jump around and try to break my hipbone with the handles, it just wouldn't seem right. :>)