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June 14, 2011

Growing cow peas or cowpeas or black eyed peas

As the name of this vegetable can be spelled in many different ways, as it is that useful to the gardener. Usually Florida gardeners are wondering what can they start in the summer. Regular beans do not do very well in the heat and humidity of our summers, but cowpeas do not care! I usually seed them throughout the whole summer, starting in May and finishing in August. I always have cow peas in different stages of development growing in my garden. I plant them in piles as I do everything else, whenever I have a free spot after pulling some plant that was done fruiting.

At any given time I have cowpeas that are dry and ready to be harvested as a dry bean:

Some others are fruiting or starting to fruit, and can be used as green bean:

And yet others are just starting to come up:

When I first started I just used the dry cow peas from a grocery store bag. Now I have my own seeds. Cowpeas produce in abundance. Usually, when I am done gathering them as a green bean, I leave a few pods on the plant to save as a dry bean. The yield of dry bean done this way is somewhere between twenty and forty seeds per plant.


  1. Nice to see another Florida garden blog. Your gardening skills are superb.

    I'm in Cape Coral and started a blog this year.

  2. Nice to meet you, Tim. My mother lives in Cape Coral and is so tired of scorching weather! We need rain!!!

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