How to Grow White Acre Peas
Plant a vegetable garden this spring and save money on your grocery bills. White acre peas and other southern peas grow quickly and produce high yields in warmer climates. Cow peas of all varieties produce peas in shells that you can cook immediately or dry for long-term storage. Found mainly in Florida, white acre peas have a soft texture and delicate creamy taste.
Prepare the soil for your peas by tilling a 3-inch layer of compost into the soil. White acre peas need well-drained, loamy soil. They prefer a moderately acidic soil with a pH between 6.0 and 6.5. For best results have your soil tested and apply garden sulfur in amounts recommended by your soil test to correct the pH, if needed.
Wait until all danger of frost has passed before planting white acre peas. Sow seeds every 3 to 6 inches in rows that are at least 20 inches apart. Sow multiple seeds per hole to ensure germination. Sow additional rows of seed two weeks apart so that the harvest continues throughout the summer.
Water your rows every day for the first week, and reduce to twice weekly once germination is complete. While growing, white acre peas need an inch of water every seven to 10 days. When your peas are beginning to flower, water them gently near the base of the plant.
Thin your seedlings when they begin to sprout new leaves. Reduce the population to only one plant every six inches. Either pull the seedlings from the earth by grasping them near the roots or clip them with a pair of garden shears.
Fertilize your peas with bone meal and wood ash, 1/2 tbsp. each per plant. White acre peas need plenty of phosphorous and potassium but self-fertilize the soil with nitrogen. Adding nitrogen from conventional plant food causes low pea pod production but bigger bushes.
Harvest your white acre peas 75 to 90 days after planting. If you plan to eat your peas fresh, pick your peas when the pods plump but have not yet begun to dry. For long-term storage, allow the pods to dry on the vine. Shell the peas and complete the drying process spread on screens.
Diane Watkins has been writing since 1984, with experience in newspaper, newsletter and Web content. She writes two electronic newsletters and has a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry from Clemson University. She has taken graduate courses in biochemistry and education.