California Blackeye Pea is an heirloom, open-pollinated cowpea variety that produces heavy yields of delicious peas that can be eaten fresh or dried. As with most field pea varieties, blackeye peas are extremely tolerant of high heat and humidity. They can be planted later in the spring compared to English peas or bush beans.
California Blackeye Pea plants have a bush growing habit, with some moderate vine production. Although they do produce some vines, a trellis is not needed to grow these. Harvest the peas fresh as soon as pods fill, or allow the pods to dry on the plant for a dry bean harvest.
We recommend planting California Blackeye Pea using a walk-behind planter like our Hoss Garden Seeder. Use a #5 seed plate, but always check the hole size and modify if necessary. Because it has a semi-vining growing habit, allow 3-4′ of growing space for each row. Field peas generally have slightly lower germination that traditional bean and English pea varieties. As a result, we recommend planting them thick and thinning later if necessary.
Field peas or cowpeas do very well when planted on double rows. Plant two rows about 6″ apart, then skip over 3-4′ and plant another double row. This will allow you to maximize garden space and produce more vegetables per square foot of garden. Peas should be harvested when pods are full and shelling is easy. If the pods do not shell easily, they likely need to stay on the plant longer.
California Blackeye Pea Planting Information
Planting Method: direct seed
When to Plant: after last frost
Planting Depth: 1″
Seed Spacing: 3-4″
Row Spacing: 3-4′
Days to Maturity: 70
Disease Resistance: None