Mississippi Purplehull Pea was developed by the Mississippi Ag Experiment Station in 1973. It is a crowder-type cowpea that is a favorite heirloom in southern climates. It has upright plants that produce pods on top of the plants. This makes harvesting quick and easy because you don’t have to dig through the foliage to find the pods. Mississippi Purplehull will grow well in late spring into early summer, and can be planted again in fall.
Mississippi Purplehull Pea pods are initially bright green, then mature to a reddish purple color. Each pod will contain up to 14 peas per pod. Peas are bright green when fresh and mature to a dark brown color if allowed to dry. Once mature and purple, pods are very easy to shell. Mississippi Purplehull is a great variety for fresh-eating and preserving for later. Simply blanch, dry and vacuum-seal to have delicious field peas throughout the year.
We recommend planting Mississippi Purplehull 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, or “crowder peas”, 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.
Mississippi Purplehull 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: 65
Disease/Pest Tolerance: Fusarium Wilt, Bacterial Blight, Nematodes