Introduced to the United States from Ethiopia, this warm-season annual legume is known for its viny, weak stems, large triangular shaped leaves, yellow bloom, and curved pods. Cowpeas are often referred to as ice cream for deer! Cowpeas are so platable to deer it is often immediately overgrazed by deer in small and medium-sized plots. Plot fencing may be the solution. However, once the peas get past 30 - 45 days it is somewhat resistant to grazing pressure and will show resilient regrowth.
A suggested combo mix for planting in August / September is cowpeas (40 lbs / acre) and cold-tolerant oats (40 lbs. / acre) and either red clover in the north (10 lbs. / acre) or arrowleaf clover in the south (10 lbs. / acre).
Cowpeas thrive in warm soil such as central and southern United States but will grow everywhere. Plant May to August and expect maturity in 90 - 100 days.
Cowpeas are moderately tolerant of drought, low fertility and soil acidity but do better in the pH range of 5.5 - 7.0. Cowpeas need good drainage and produce better if inoculated when planted and fertilized at 200 lbs. / acre with fertilizer such as 19-19-19.
Cowpeas can also be mixed with sunflowers (25 lbs. / acre) or Buckwheat (25 lbs. / acre).
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Iron Clay Cowpeas / Black-Eyed Peas
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A 19-19-19 fertilizer type, or similar 200 - 300 lbs / acre and 1 - 2 times per year & inoculant on all pea & bean varieties.