Purple Hull Pea Planting


The purple hull pea is a type of cowpea (Vigna unguiculata), also called southern pea. Native to India, purple hull peas are shade- and drought-tolerant and thrive in warm weather. The purple hull pea is a central ingredient in southern cuisine and, if you are a fan of the bean, you may enjoy the Purple Hull Pea Festival, held every June in Emerson, Arkansas. Plant purple hull peas in the spring or summer when the soil has warmed to 62 degrees Fahrenheit.

Step 1

Work the soil to remove any large clumps, weeds, and debris, such as rocks.

Step 2

Add 2 lbs. of 5-10-10 fertilizer for every 100-foot row that you're planting. Mix the fertilizer into the top 6 inches of soil, rake the seed bed and wait 10 days to plant.

Step 3

Plant the purple hull pea seeds 1 inch deep, five to seven seeds per foot, in rows 18 inches apart.

Step 4

Water the seed bed with a fine mist to avoid disturbing the seeds and keep the top 4 inches of soil moist during germination. Although purple hull peas are somewhat drought-tolerant, irrigation during dry periods can double or triple yields, according to agriculturists with Oklahoma State University’s Cooperative Extension Service.

Things You'll Need

  • Rototiller or shovel Fertilizer Rake


  • PurpleHull.com: Purple Hull Pea Festival
  • University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service: Southern Peas
  • Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service: Southern Pea Production
Keywords: purple hull peas, plant southern peas, plant field peas

About this Author

Victoria Hunter has been a freelance writer since 2005, specializing in gardening-related topics and the real estate industry. She is a former broadcaster and real estate agent who has provided audio and written services to small businesses and large corporations worldwide. She writes for Ancestry.com, GardenGuides and ProFlowers, among others. Hunter holds a Bachelor of Arts in English/creative writing.