Texas Big Boy Pea is an open-pollinated cowpea variety that originated in the 1950s. This variety produces larger peas than other “cream pea” varieties. The pods are long and average 14-15 peas per pod. This is a “purplehull” variety with pods that turn purple when they are ready to harvest. The peas are green at maturity and will dry to a light tan color if left on the plants.
Texas Big Boy 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.
Texas Big Boy 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.
Texas Big Boy 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