Row by Row Episode 141: Growing the Best Field Peas in the Garden
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Row by Row Episode 141: Growing the Best Field Peas in the Garden

Row by Row Episode 141: Growing the Best Field Peas in the Garden

English Peas vs. Field Peas

What's the major difference between English peas and field peas? Field peas are more commonly known to be called either southern peas or cowpeas. In the South, field peas are a popular cuisine that most individuals grow in their gardens. However, in the North, field peas are not really popular and most people do not grow them in their garden area. Field peas actually originated in African and were bred to tolerant hot and humid climates. Unlike field peas, English peas do not like warm weather therefore we plant these peas during the cooler months in the garden. Another difference between English peas and field peas is the flavor profile. Field peas tend to have more of a nutty flavor profile, while English peas have a sweeter taste to them.

Types of Field Peas

Crowder - darker, brown to red pea

Cream - light green pea

Blackeye - tan pea with black spot

Growing Field Peas

When it comes to growing field peas they tolerate sandy soils the best and growing regions that have dry and hot weather conditions. In order to get germination your soil temperatures need to be at least 65 degrees, in the South we wait till around early or the middle of April before you direct seed field peas. If your soil pH is above 6.5 we do not recommend trying to grow peas in your area. Since peas have lower germination you should plant them thick in the vegetable garden. We recommend planting peas on double rows with buried drip tape irrigation. However, if you tend to have a lot of weed pressure we suggest just planting peas on a single row. Unlike other crops, field peas do not need a lot of fertilizer at all. We recommend giving peas some garden inoculate at pre-planting and then a complete fertilizer at planting.

Harvesting Field Peas

When it comes time to harvest peas you will know by looking at the pods on the plants. For purplehull varieties, the pods will turn purple which means they are ready to harvest. While the zipper peas will turn yellow when they are ready to harvest. After you harvest the peas you do not want to wait long before you shell them. If you wait too long to start shelling the peas they will get too hot and start to ruin on you fast.

Show and Tell Segment

On the show and tell segment this week, Greg and Travis share some general tips for seed starting. When it comes to bottom watering transplants it is not the best option until the roots are able to reach the bottom of the seed starting cell. We recommend using the bottom tray as a reservoir to catch the excess water and then you drain it off often. The guys mention a new Giant Pumpkin Growing contest that we hosting alongside our friends, 4 Kids and a Farm. However, with any contest, there are some rules that you must follow. The first rule is you must grow one of Hoss's giant pumpkin varieties such as PrizeWinner, Mammoth Gold, Atlantic Giant, or Big Max Pumpkin. The next rule is you must share a picture on either Facebook or Instagram with the pumpkin on a scale and the variety you grew listed on a notecard. In order for us to see your post, we need you to tag Hoss Tools and 4 Kids and a Farm on Facebook or Instagram. You also need to use the hashtag, hosspumpkinboss, to ensure your entry into the contest. The individual that has the heaviest giant pumpkin will win a $200 gift certificate to Hoss Tools. The guys share a few new varieties that were just added to the site this week. The first new variety is the Nirvana Sweet Corn which is a supersweet variety that contains high eating quality and exceptional taste. This variety also has superior plant vigor and excellent storage potential once harvested from the vegetable garden. The second new variety we've just added is the Speckled Hound Squash that is a hybrid winter squash variety that produces tasty fruits and unique exterior characteristics. This squash variety produces on average eight fruits per plant with fruits ranging around three to six pounds each. The last new variety the guys share is the Tasty Bites Melon which is another hybrid variety that produces mini or personal-sized melons. Since these melons are smaller than other varieties they can be trellised and grown vertically if you have limited space in your garden.

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