The Q&A Archives: Staking / Support of cowpeas

Question: I have several rows of Caliofornia Blackeye Cowpeas. They are approx. 2 feet tall and are sending out what I call feelers that seem to be looking for something to grab onto. These feelers are about 3 feet long. I cannot find any info on using a fence or trellis for this plant?

Answer: In my experience these are usually grown as a field crop for dried bean use and essentially as a cover crop to improve soil, so most people would probably not bother with staking or trellising but simply allow them to sprawl -- they root "all over the place" and are hard to control in a garden setting. If you are planning to use some as snaps or shelled green, you could certainly tie them in to a trellis or bit of fence so as to keep them within reach for early harvest.

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