Red Ripper Pea is an heirloom, open-pollinated cowpea variety works great as a food crop or cover crop. This field pea produces long, trailing vines that can be trellised to save space in the vegetable garden. They grow great on our Hortonova Trellis Netting!
The vigorous plants produce loads of 10″ pods that are initially green and turn purple as the peas mature. The peas are a dark red to brown color and can be eaten fresh or allowed to dry on the vine. Red Ripper performs great in sandy soils that may be nutrient-deficcient. It works well as a dual purpose food crop and cover crop in the summer to replenish nitrogen supplies in your garden soil.
Red Ripper Pea is a heat-tolerant variety that performs well in drier growing conditions. When planted in spring, it will continue to flower and set new pods into the summer months. It also can be grown as a fall crop when planted in late summer or early fall.
Red Ripper Pea produces pods that are initially green and turn yellow once pods are ready to be harvested and shelled. Pods average 7-8″ long with 14 peas per pod. Once cooked, peas will have a dark brown color with a rich, nutty flavor. These are delicious when prepared fresh, but also hold exceptionally-well when blanched and frozen or canned.
We recommend planting field peas 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 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.
Red Ripper 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