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Germination tested on March, 2023
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Cowpea is a herbaceous annual legume. is a major food crop in the semi-arid regions of Africa and Asia, due to its ability to grow in sandy soil and receive low rainfall It requires few inputs because the plant's root nodules can fix atmospheric nitrogen, making it a valuable crop for resource-constrained farmers and well-suited to intercropping with other crops. The entire plant is used as forage for livestock, and its use as cattle feed is most likely responsible for the plant's name. Cowpea is an annual herbaceous legume that grows in the warm season. Plants are sometimes classified as erect, semi-erect, prostrate (trailing), or ascending. Cowpea is a taproot plant in general. Cowpea seed can range in size from very small wild types to nearly 14 in. long, with 1600 to 4300 seeds per pound. Crop form is an important factor in seed growth in the pod. If the seeds are not contained inside the pod, they form a kidney shape. When seed growth is stifled by the pod, the seed becomes increasingly globular. When the seeds reach the green-mature stage and are ready to be used as a vegetable, the pods can take on a distinctive color, most commonly green, yellow, or purple. When the seeds dry, they are tan or brown in green and yellow colour.
Benefits/Uses of Cowpea Seeds – Open Pollinated
- The leaves and shoots can be harvested as a vegetable.
- Used as a meat alternative, the leaves can be air-dried and reconstituted. One kilogram of cowpeas provides the required calories for a meal.
- The green seeds are sometimes roasted in the same manner as peanuts and then used as a substitute for coffee.
- Ground dried seeds can be fried in oil with onions and spices.
- Additionally, the seeds can be fried.
- It is suitable for use as green manure.
- It can be used to grow hay.
- Green leaves can be combined with sorghum or maize to make silage.
- Cowpeas can be planted to produce hay, which can then be sold.
Specifications of Cowpea Seeds – Open Pollinated
Black-eye pea, china pea, cowgram, southern pea
Grow best in full sun
65 degrees or higher
5.5 to 6.5.
Premium Fish Amino Acid 100% Organic Concentrated - Growth Promoter or Azospirillum Nitrogen Fixing Bio Fertilizer and Phospho Bacteria Bio Fertilizer
10 to 14 days.
80 days or more
|No. of seeds||25+|
Planting and care for cowpea seeds – open pollinated
Sowing cowpeas seeds – open pollinated
- Cowpeas can be sown once the soil temperature at the sowing depth reaches 18°C or higher for three or four consecutive days. Generally, earlier sowing yields the most feed.
- The majority of gardeners specifically plant cowpea seeds in grow bags. Water seeds thoroughly to expedite germination.
- Turn the soil to a depth of 8 inches to prepare the bed. Rake the area level to clear grass clumps and stones.
- From late spring to early summer, sow in average soil in a sunny position after the danger of frost has passed. Sow seeds after the soil has warmed, as seeds in cooler soils will rot.
- Directly seed them into the develop bags. Sow seeds 2 inches deep and 3 inches apart in 3 foot-long rows.
- Sow the seeds with the seed's eye looking downward.
- Cowpea seeds should not be planted more than once every four years in the same grow bags.
- Cowpeas grow well in close proximity to corn, strawberries, and cucumbers, but not near fennel or onions.
- Depending on the soil and weather conditions, seedlings emerge in 10-14 days.
- Continue sowing bean seeds every two weeks to ensure a steady supply of beans.
- When seedlings reach a height of 1-2 inches, progressively thin to a spacing of 10 to 12 inches.
Growing cowpea seeds – open pollinated
- Maintain weed control during the growth period. Weeds compete for water, space, and nutrients with plants; therefore, monitor them by cultivating frequently or by using a mulch to prohibit the seeds from germinating. When weeding, avoid damaging the soil around the plants.
- Maintain enough moisture in the soil during dry weather. During the growing season, plants need approximately one inch of rain each week. Utilize a rain gauge to determine if additional water is needed. It is preferable to use drip or trickle irrigation solutions that deliver water at a low pressure to the soil level. If you use overhead sprinkler systems, water soon in the day to allow the vegetation to dry before evening, which will help prevent disease problems. Maintain a moist but not saturated soil.
- When the leaves are muddy, avoid working with or handling them.
- Cowpeas thrive in full sun in fertile soil.
- While cowpeas are heat tolerant, they should be watered regularly. When watering, avoid getting water on the plant's leaves.
- Cowpeas mature in 80 days or more.
- If they are growing on a vine, they will need some form of support during their development, such as a pole or fence.
- Cowpeas thrive in poor soils and do not need nitrogen fertilizer.
Harvesting cowpea seeds – open pollinated
- In three separate stages of growth, cowpeas can be harvested: green, green and dry.
- New (green-mature) peas can be collected 16-17 days after flower, depending on temperature at 60 to 90 days after planting.
Precautions while growing cowpeas seeds
The most effective method of eliminating beetles and other insects that may consume the leaves of your crops is to grab them off and place them in a jar of soapy water. Cut down and compost plants that have reached the end of their useful life to disrupt the life cycles of pests and disease. Crops should be rotated with plants from a different family. Avoid handling wet plants. Compost contaminated plants immediately. Maintain phosphorus levels in the soil above 10 parts per million.
Common Problems affecting cowpea seeds – open pollinated
Cowpeas grow more quickly when fertilized immediately after planting. If created, most plants do not need regular fertilization. However, if the plant's green leaves turn pale, it indicates a nitrogen deficiency. They can then be fertilized with Premium Fish Amino Acid 100% Organic Concentrated - Growth Promoter or with nitrogen-rich fertilizers such as Azospirillum Nitrogen Fixing Bio Fertilizer or Phospho Bacteria Bio Fertilizer. Cowpeas are vulnerable to a variety of diseases and viral infections. Since some of these bacterial and fungal diseases can persist in the soil for many years, rotate your cowpea plantings each year. Avoid working in your beans patch when the foliage is wet to avoid the growth of bacterial and fungal diseases among plants.
The Common Bean Mosaic Virus results in mottled yellowish foliage with downward curling leaves. Plants become stunted, and yields are decreased. Aphids will spread the disease. Remove and discard contaminated plants.
No. of Cowpea Seeds - 25+
- Mix 10 grams of pseudomonas powder in water and make it as a loose paste.
- Add the seeds to the solution and soak it for 30 minutes.
- Take a seedling tray and fill it with our potting soil.
- Sow the seeds at 1/2 inch (small seeds) or 1 inch depth (big seeds) and water them using our watering can.(Rough watering or exposure to rain may dislocate the seeds and affect germination).
- The soil should be wet and it shouldn't get dry or soggy. Water when the top soil dries out.
- Place the seedling tray in a warm spot (15°C - 21°C) until germination (it will take 4 to 21 days).
- After germination seedlings need a lot of sunlight. Transfer the seedlings to the grow bags when they have 1 - 2 sets of true leaves.
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