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Cowpea - Ham & Gravy

HEIRLOOM -This seed was grown by J.E. Kibler of Ballylee Farms, and he knows it as the chicken & Dumplin' Pea We've been trialing for the last year the Ham & Gravy cowpea and are very sure they are one and the same. Named so for its distance red and cream markings, they are absolutely delicious. We have been eating them by the handful straight out of the field, but also enjoy them in a civilized meal, a favorite being just warmed through with a light vinaigrette. Vining-type that will need trellising. This specific seed stock was preserved by John Wheeler of Pomaria, SC and passed to Jim Kibler in 2016.

Approx. seeds per packet = 6 Packet $3.95 Packet weight 14 grams

Regular price $3.95 Sale

Average Seed / oz Seed / 100' Row Average Yield / 100' Row Days to Harvest
80 10 oz 40 lbs 65
Planting Season Ideal Soil Temp Sun Frost Tolerance
After Last Frost 50-80°F Full Sun Frost Sensitive
Sowing Method Seed Depth Direct Seed Spacing Seeds Per Packet
Direct Seed 1-2" 2-3" 70
Mature Spacing Days to Sprout Production Cycle Seed Viability
2-4" 6-14 Annual 4-6 years

Bed Preparation

Cowpea is a frost sensitive annual that prefers full sun and tolerates a wide variety of soils. Drought and heat tolerant once established.


Cowpea seed should be direct seeded outdoors once the danger of frost has passed. Sow seeds 1-2" deep and 2-3” apart. Seeds will sprout in 6-14 days. Thin seedlings so that mature plants are 2-4" apart. Plants may need some trellising, but if planted thickly should support themselves.


Cowpea can be harvested in approximately 55-75 days. Harvest when pods are plump and full for cooking immediately or allow pods to dry on the vine before harvesting for long term storage.

Seed Saving

Cowpea is self-pollinating and will rarely cross, although it can happen. Like all legumes, the flowers are visited by honeybees and bumblebees, but only the bumblebees are heavy enough to be effective pollinators on the short stigma flowers. On plants being saved for seed, allow the seeds to dry on the plant for as long as possible, gather and continue to dry indoors with good air circulation and then separate seeds from the chaff. Store seeds in a cool dry place and they will remain viable for 4-6 yr.