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Cowpea, California Blackeye No.5

Short Description

Delicious flavor, either fresh or dried.

Full Description

Pods are 6" to 8" long, well-filled with large seeds with delicious flavor, either fresh or dried. Vigorous, productive vines are resistant to wilt and nematodes. GARDEN HINTS: Blackeye peas, like other beans, require warm days and warm nights to develop properly. Cultivate or mulch to control weeds. For fresh use, pick pods as soon as well-filled out with seeds.
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Product properties

Days To Maturity The average number of days from when the plant is actively growing in the garden to the expected time of harvest.

80 days

Fruit Size The average size of the fruit produced by this product.

6-8 inches

Sun The amount of sunlight this product needs daily in order to perform well in the garden. Full sun means 6 hours of direct sun per day; partial sun means 2-4 hours of direct sun per day; shade means little or no direct sun.

Full Sun

Spread The width of the plant at maturity.

10 inches

Height The typical height of this product at maturity.

16-18 inches

Sow Method This refers to whether the seed should be sown early indoors and the seedlings transplanted outside later, or if the seed should be sown directly in the garden at the recommended planting time.

Direct Sow

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  • Cowpeas

    Start Indoors Start Indoors Starting seeds indoors is called Indoor Sow or Indirect Sow and these dates are when to sow seeds indoors in the spring or summer
    Transplant Transplant When to transplant bulbs or roots in the garden for spring
    Start Outdoors Start Outdoors Starting seeds outdoors is called Outdoor Sow or Direct Sow and these dates are when to sow seeds outdoors in the spring or summer
    Start Indoors Fall Start Indoors Fall Starting seeds indoors in the fall called Indoor Sow or Indirect Sow and these dates are when to sow seeds outdoors in the fall
    Transplant Fall Transplant Fall Transplant Fall-When to transplant bulbs or roots in the garden for fall
    Start Outdoors Fall Start Outdoors Fall Starting seeds outdoors in the fall is called Outdoor Sow or Direct Sow and these dates are when to sow seeds outdoors in the fall
    S S Succession Planting This means that the plants have multiple harvests in a season
    First Date: May-16 - Last Date: Jun-13

How to Sow

Cowpea: Direct Sow Vegetable

  • Because cowpeas are members of the legume family of plants, they can benefit from an application of a soil inoculant designed for beans and peas, prior to planting. The inoculant will enable the plants to take nitrogen from the air to use as fertilizer, which can increase crop yield and quality.
  • Prepare the bed by turning the soil under to a depth of 8 inches. Level with a rake to remove clumps of grass and stones.
  • Sow in average soil in a sunny location after danger of frost from late spring to early summer. Sow after the soil has warmed, as seeds may rot in cooler soils.
  • Coat untreated seed with an inoculant.
  • Sow in rows 24 inches apart. Sow seeds 2-3 inches apart and cover with 1 inch of fine soil. Firm lightly and water gently.
  • Seedlings emerge in 10-14 days depending on soil and weather conditions.
  • Keep sowing bean seeds every 2 weeks for a constant supply of beans.
  • Thin gradually to stand 10 to 12 inches apart when seedlings are 1-2 inches high.

How to Grow

  • Keep weeds under control during the growing season. Weeds compete with plants for water, space and nutrients, so control them by either cultivating often or use a mulch to prevent their seeds from germinating. Avoid disturbing the soil around the plants when weeding.
  • In dry weather, keep soil well-watered. Plants need about 1 inch of rain per week during the growing season. Use a rain gauge to check to see if you need to add water. It’s best to water with a drip or trickle system that delivers water at low pressure at the soil level. If you water with overhead sprinklers, water early in the day so the foliage has time to dry off before evening, to minimize disease problems. Keep the soil moist but not saturated.
  • Do not work or handle plants when leaves are wet.

Harvest and Preserving Tips

  • For fresh use, pick pods as soon as well-filled out with seeds.
  • For dried bean use, harvest about 80 days after seeds sprout.
  • To dry: Allow the cowpeas to stay on the plants until they are partially dry. Then pull up the plants and hang them in a warm, dry place with good air circulation until the pods and seeds are thoroughly dry. Shell the cowpeas and save the pods and plants for composting.
Days To Maturity
80 days
Fruit Size
6-8 inches
Full Sun
10 inches
16-18 inches
Sow Method
Direct Sow
Planting Time
Spring, Summer
Sow Time
After Last Frost
6 inches
Life Cycle
Cowpea, California Blackeye No.5 is rated 3.9 out of 5 by 8.
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Easy to grow I planted these on the side of a flower bed that had been cleared out. I wasn't a great place for them, but they grew very well in spite of that. Shucking peas is tedious work though and in the end the taste wasn't much better than a bag from the grocery store. It was interesting to have them raw and fresh out of the pod.
Date published: 2018-03-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from California Blackeye # 5 How's it growing? Once again - we are very pleased! Even though we are located in Northern Vermont, not far from the Quebec border... for the 2nd year in a row the peas are doing very well. We plant these peas as a carry over from living in Texas, where blackeye peas are a good luck tradition, when included with a New Years day meal. Thank you!
Date published: 2017-07-15
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Love blackeyed peas, but not these! Pods and peas were very small. Were not as described, and not worth planting.
Date published: 2017-06-29
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Sweet Cowpea Well, not really. They're tasty, just not sweet in the sugary sense.
Date published: 2014-03-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from EXTREMELY PRODUCTIVE I purchased 2 packs of these blackeyes in 2011 from a Burpee rack in a grocery store . I have grown other strains of California Blackeyes before but this one beat them all for productivity. The peas just kept coming and coming. After several weeks of picking, freezing multiple quarts, sharing with family and neighbors, and eating lots of peas, we just finally got tired of peas and quit picking. Excellent germination, plant vigor, and good flavor. I am growing them again this year and the plants are beautiful and blooming. I am expecting another fantastic harvest. This blackeye will certainly have a permanent place in my garden.
Date published: 2012-05-14
Rated 4 out of 5 by from I a bit limited with this review. The Cowpeas have just now begun to bloom. They are loaded with blooms. I am looking forward to having these Blackeyed peas fresh.
Date published: 2012-05-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Very Productive Easy to grow, great taste, extremely productive - if you pick them carefully, they will keep producing for weeks. We freeze bags of peas and enjoy them all winter.
Date published: 2009-02-16
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Pretty Good. Grandma's are better. These cowpeas were easy to grow, produced a lot of food and were pretty tasty and fairly easy to shell. But...... This is probably not fair since Burpee (actually nobody!) sells the other cowpea that I grew that year - my Grandma's cowpea! She was a South Carolina farmer (tobacco, cotton, as well as the stuff you eat) way back when (she is 96 now). These cowpeas are passed on from family member to family member and kept going now by our family. Grandma's cowpeas are MUCH ***sweeter*** that the Blackeye cowpea. The peas are much smaller than your standard Blackeye cowpea. So unfortunately, the burpee cowpea is up against some stiff and unfair competition which beats them in sweet, sweet taste and matches them in productivity.
Date published: 2008-09-19
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