Red Ripper Pea is an heirloom, open-pollinated cowpea variety that works great as a food/cover crop or wildlife pea. 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 pods at foilage level, location scattered, and that is initially green and turns maroon in color at the dry stage. The peas are a dark red to brown color and can be eaten fresh or allowed to dry on the vine. Pods average 6″ in length. Red Ripper performs great in sandy soils that may be nutrient-deficient. It works well as a dual-purpose food crop and cover crop in the summer to replenish nitrogen supplies in your garden soil. A non-crowder pea with a slight curvature, smooth testa, and maroon color at the dry stage.
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. A highly bushy, cover crop that is considered as “late maturing”.
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 the 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