Purple hull and black eye peas are
of the same family. They are all called cow peas and are best
planted in the warmer times of the year. I usually plant them when
the ground has warmed up to around 60 to 65 degrees are even warmer.
They like a soil that is a little higher in nitrogen than most plants.
I find that rotted chicken manure is the best fertilizer you can use on
I plant in wide beds, and the plants are planted 6 inches apart. Be sure
to keep them watered, but not soggy. The seeds will rot if the
ground is either to wet or to cold.
When the young plants start to come up, be sure to pull the weeds or
grass from around them as they compete for the moisture and fertilizer.
Other than that, they pretty well make it on their own. I like to
start picking them when the seeds are starting to fill out, but before
the pod gets tough.
They make excellent green snap peas to eat fresh or freeze. We blanch
ours in boiling water for about 30 seconds, then plunge them in an ice
water bath to stop the cooking process, and store them in freezer bags
in the freezer. They keep very well for up to 9 months this way.
For dried peas, just let them dry on the vine. You can tell when
they are dry enough because the pea will rattle in the hull when you
move it. The hull will also turn brown.
You can either leave them in the hull and put them in the freezer or you
can shell them and then place them in the freezer. This kills any
bugs that may be in them. They will keep fine until you want to
use them for wonderful black eye or purple hull pea soup, or if you
would like to use them for planting the next year.