Harvested from the gardens at Monticello.
In 1798 Thomas Jefferson wrote that the cowpea (also called southern, crowder, or field pea) "is very productive [and an] excellent food for man and beast." He also praised the species' ability to improve the tilth and fertility of the soil. Cowpeas, first brought to the southeastern U.S. by African slaves, were sowed in the South Orchard at Monticello between 1806 and 1810. Whippoorwill Cowpea, a bush variety with short runners, purple flowers, and 7-9" pods, was popular in the 19th century.
Direct sow seeds 4 weeks after the last spring frost and provide support. Hardy and resistant to drought, heat, and cool temperatures, cowpeas thrive in adverse conditions. Approximately 25-30 seeds per packet.
|Exposure||Planting Method||Planting Depth||Plant Spacing||Days to Maturity||Size at Maturity|
|Full Sun||Direct Sow||1"||Plant 2" apart, thin to 4"; rows 3-6' apart||70-85||3-5'H|