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Guaranteed to Grow
Easy to Grow
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California Blackeye No. 5 Cowpea

Quick Facts:

  • The most popular of all cowpeas
  • Vigorous, 18" tall vines
  • 6-8" pods; Peas great fresh or dried
  • Subtle sweet flavor & meaty texture
  • 60-70 days to harvest

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Quantity: Packet (50 Seeds

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We ship to all areas of North America including the United States, its territories and outlying islands, and Canada. International orders may incur an additional charge to cover the handling of customs paperwork. Returns are accepted within 30 days of receipt. Full warranty information can be found here.

California Blackeye No. 5 Cowpea

More about California Blackeye No. 5

Vigna unguiculata

The most popular of all the cowpeas, California Blackeye No. 5 produces vigorous, 18” tall, semi-running vines that are early and prolific producers of well-filled 6-8” pods.  Medium-large black-eyed peas can be shelled out fresh or left to dry on the plant.   Peas have an excellent, subtly sweet flavor and a meaty texture. 60-70 days to harvest.  50 seeds per packet.

Vigna unguiculata

The most popular of all the cowpeas, California Blackeye No. 5 produces vigorous, 18” tall, semi-running vines that are early and prolific producers of well-filled 6-8” pods.  Medium-large black-eyed peas can be shelled out fresh or left to dry on the plant.   Peas have an excellent, subtly sweet flavor and a meaty texture. 60-70 days to harvest.  50 seeds per packet.

Bucket of heirloom beans
Bucket of heirloom beans

How to Grow Cowpeas

Cowpeas are a warm-season crop that prefer well-draining soil with a pH between 6.0 and 6.5. They prefer full sun and require at least six hours of sunlight per day for optimal growth. The soil should be kept consistently moist, but not waterlogged, throughout the growing season. Cowpeas are relatively tolerant of drought conditions but may require supplemental watering during prolonged dry spells. Additionally, cowpeas are nitrogen-fixing plants and can benefit from the addition of nitrogen-fixing bacteria to the soil.

After danger of frost has passed, sow seeds 1" deep, 2" apart in rows 36" apart. Provide support for vining varieties. Many non-vining varieties will exhibit some degree of vining if given support.

Not recommended

Insect Pests

Cowpeas are susceptible to various insects, including aphids, thrips, leafhoppers, and bean beetles, which can cause significant damage to the plants. Using insecticidal soap or neem oil can help control insect infestations, while using disease-resistant cultivars and rotating crops can reduce the risk of disease.

Diseases & Other Problems

Diseases such as root rot, bacterial blight, and powdery mildew can occasionally affect cowpeas, especially in warm and humid conditions. To prevent these issues, it is important to maintain good garden hygiene, avoid overcrowding, and provide adequate air circulation.

Cowpeas are typically ready to harvest 70 to 90 days after planting, depending on the variety and growing conditions. The pods should be firm and plump and should snap easily when bent. The ideal time to harvest cowpeas is when the pods are still green and tender, before they become too tough and fibrous. To harvest, simply pick the pods from the plant by hand or use scissors or pruning shears. Cowpeas can be eaten fresh or dried for later use. If harvesting for dry beans, wait until the pods have turned brown and dry on the vine before harvesting.

CONSIDERATIONS:

Cowpeas are typically self-pollinating and do not require isolation. However, to prevent rare cases of cross-pollination, plant different cowpea varieties 20 feet apart or stagger planting times. Use physical barriers to isolate plants for seed-saving purposes or in areas with high cross-pollination risk.

HARVESTING SEED:

To save seeds from cowpeas, allow the pods to dry on the vine until they are brown and crispy. Remove the pods from the plant and break them open to reveal the seeds. Separate the seeds from the pod debris and spread them out in a single layer on a tray or screen to dry completely. Once the seeds are dry, store them in an airtight container in a cool, dry place until you are ready to plant them the following season.

SEED LONGETIVITY:

Cowpea seeds can maintain viability for up to 3 to 5 years if stored properly in a cool, dry, and dark place.

Girl holding cowpeas

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