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Purple Hull Pea Planting

By Bridget Kelly

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.

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

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.

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

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.


About the Author


Based in the American Southwest, Bridget Kelly has been writing about gardening and real estate since 2005. Her articles have appeared at Trulia.com, SFGate.com, GardenGuides.com, RE/MAX.com, MarketLeader.com, RealEstate.com, USAToday.com and in "Chicago Agent" magazine, to name a few. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English with a concentration in creative writing.