Black-eyed Peas Farming
Black-eyed peas more closely resemble beans than peas and can be harvested as either a dry bean after approximately ninety days after germination or as a snap bean at around sixty days. Black-eyed peas are vulnerable to cold, so they must be sown after the season’s last frost.
If you are interested in black-eyed peas farming, here’s what you need to know.
When to Plant
Early summer or late spring is the best time to plant black-eyed peas. Plant only after the soil temperature is at least 60˚ F as various pests and diseases can attack plants sown in cooler soils.
Choose a location with good drainage and receives a good amount of sunlight. Black-eyed peas flourish in fertile loams with pH levels reaching 5.8 to 7.0. Get rid of all weeds. It is important to control the growth of weed early on as the pest plants compete with the black-eyed pea seedlings for water and soil nutrients.
How to Plant
Use a garden hoe to create a ¾" to 1 ½" deep row. Rows should be spaced 3' to 4' apart to ensure proper plant growth. Plant the black-eyed pea seeds approximately 2" apart. Cover the seeds evenly with soil and softly pack down the soil using your hands. Use a garden hose to irrigate the newly planted seeds with a slow flow of water.
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Apply a fertilizer before or after planting the seeds to maximize plant growth. Read and follow the instructions provided on the manufacturer’s label. Set down a band of fertilizer approximately 3" to 4" deep. The band should be kept 2" to 3" away from the seeds. Irrigate the treated area after applying the fertilizer in order for the soil to completely absorb the nutrients.
Black-eyed peas should be watered only during long-drawn-out dry conditions. Water the plants until the water douses the top 2" to 3" of soil. Let the soil dry completely before watering again. Add a 2" to 3" layer of organic mulch to maintain soil moisture. As much as possible, the leaves should not get wet as this can promote the growth of fungus or other conditions that can damage the plants.
Black-eyed peas are usually ready to be harvested once the beans swell up to fill up the pods. Harvesting is a continuous process. While you can harvest the beans anytime, it is usually best to wait until the beans start to firm up and can be easily snapped. The beans are usually are thick as a pencil by that time. On the other hand, you should not too long as the beans can become very tough and thick almost overnight. When harvesting, gently pull every bean from the vine. You can also snap off the vine end if you want to use the beans at once.
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