Have you ever heard of Cowpeas before? You may have seen it before but didn’t recognize it as Cowpea. Don’t worry, in this post, I’ll discuss what you need to know about it and how to grow it in a container.
Its botanical name is Vigna unguiculata, an annual plant from the Fabaceae family, cultivated for its edible legumes, and commonly called black-eyed peas or southern peas.
Every plant has its favorable climate condition, however, cowpeas prefer warm weather and light, fertile soil to thrive. Additionally, they look like beans. They’re whitish all over except for the black eye they got.
There have been questions on whether to grow it in a container or not. Will it yield more or less in a container when compared to cultivating it in the ground? The answer is no. It wouldn’t yield more compared to the ground though suitable.
However, if you want to grow cowpeas in a container, the container must be at least 12 inches deep to hold the roots and stakes of the plants, then expect a harvest of 2-3 months if you nurture them well. Learn how to harvest cowpeas here.
Requirements For Using Container For Cowpea Cultivation
1) Sunlight and Temperature
These fragile annual plants need a temperature between 70 and 95 degrees Fahrenheit to survive. Anything below that is death. However, partial sunlight isn’t a threat to their growth neither.
2) Soil Preparation and Planting
Preferable containers for growing cowpeas are those made of plastic, clay, or wood with bottom drainage holes. Fill each 12-inch or higher container with potting mix until the top of the mix is about 2 inches above the container’s top. On top of the potting mix, spread a 1-inch thick layer of seasoned compost to supply nutrients.
Sow the seeds in the compost approximately 1 inch deep and 2 inches apart. Place two stakes in the soil of each container, arranged so that they are opposite each other on the container’s sides, and properly secured in place. Some seedlings must be plucked once they sprout so that the leftover seedlings are spaced 4 inches apart.
3) Water Requirements
If you want optimum results for your cowpeas, then you must provide them with consistent moisture, however, avoid overwatering them as that may lead to their demise. At a depth of 1 inch, the soil in each container should feel damp.
It should be watered if it seems dry, but avoid wetting the leaves so fungus won’t surface or death of the flowers. It’s better to wet the base of each plant instead.
4) Fertilizer Requirements
Fertilizer applications aren’t a cowpeas thing, rather, they prefer an application of old compost at planting time throughout the season.
If watering your plants consistently is compulsory due to your findings, then fertilize them once about 30 or 40 days after planting with nitrogen fertilizer. But, avoid feeding with too much nitrogen especially during flowering. Water the soil immediately after sprinkling 1/2 teaspoon 33-0-0 fertilizer around the base of each plant.
5) Controlling pests
Cowpeas, just like most plants are also vulnerable to pests. Aphids, spider mites, bean beetles, and leafhoppers are all pests that attack cowpeas. Here’s how you can deal with these pests before they ruin your precious cowpeas.
- Spray all portions of each plant with a premixed insecticidal soap till it drips from the plant to control all of those pests.
- Apply the insecticidal soap once a week until the pests are gone, preferably in the morning or evening to avoid the substance drying out too quickly in the sun.
The following are ways to identify which pests are preying on your Cowpea:
- Aphids come in a variety of colors and have soft, pear-shaped bodies.
- Spider mites resemble very little spiders and can form webs on the plants they attack.
- Bean beetles are bronze-colored and resemble ladybugs.
- Leafhoppers are little, green insects that jump when disturbed.
I hope this article provides useful information on how to grow cowpeas in the container. I would like to hear from you. So, let me know if you have any questions about growing cowpeas in the container.