Cow peas – Best Leguminous Crop

How does it feel to always be buying fertilizers for your plants which is very expensive and can even have negative impacts on the soil? Just think about it, you really can save a lot of money from buying nitrogen rich fertilizers for your plants only if you can try cow peas. Not only is it important for the growth of plants but it is generally the best for crop rotation in farming as a whole.

Conditions

Just like any other plants, pears grow best in full sun and in cool temperatures, that is in the beginning of the last frost. They grow well in neutral soils of about 6.0 to 6.5 PH. They really do not need to be grown in soils that are very rich in nitrogen because they create their own nitrogen.

Do you diversify your crops?

Are you that kind of farmer who is always cultivating the same crop every time without actually diversifying your crops? If yes I know the result of the product, even your self you are not at all satisfied with the product as the years goes by. The more you repeat the same crop is the more the soil become lacking in nutrients because different crops have different roles in nutrients. Leguminous crops are best for crop rotation. This helps to break the life cycle weeds and pests so it is really important to do this.

Soil Preparation

Just like I have just mentioned that peas need a PH of around 6.0 to 6.5 so all you need to do is to be careful with your soil PH. This you can do by sampling the soil and submit to the laboratory for testing. If the soil is too acidic you need to add dolomatic lime to neutralize the soil so it will make the soil to be favorable for the growth of peas.

After having tested the soil and got the results so you are now ready for the game. Let us start with tilling the soil. It can all depend on whether you want to use a hand hoe or a tractor to till the land but the use of a tractor is even more effective because the weeds can be cut and buried down together with the seeds to a certain depth where it won’t be easy for the weeds seeds to germinate. The weeds that have been cut and buried will be a good compost improving soil fertility.

Sowing

After having prepared the soil you can now prepare for sowing and the only way to do this is to open parallel furrows on your field at a depth of about one inch deep and two inches apart, To do this you can either use a hoe and some people do use a tractor to open furrows for planting. Have your seeds now and please do monitor if they are OK to be plant or they have been damaged by grain weevil. Grain weevil will result to poor or no germination at all so to test if your seeds are OK for planting you can deep the seeds in a container with water and look for those floating. If there are any floating just remove them to minimize the chances of sowing something that won’t make it.

You can have your seeds prepared from the previous harvest but when there is one thing best for sure is to conduct your local extension officer for the best advise on which best quality seeds you can plant for the best yield. An extension officer will give you the best knowledge and advise on the best seeds that will do well in your location and the seeds that they will recommend for you are treated seeds with 99% germination so in as much as you do place your own seeds from the previous harvest I really do advise you to get advise from your extension officers on the best seeds that will survive the temperature conditions in your area.

Now all that you need to do is to saw your seeds and be careful that they are not to deep. This is done best in summer when it is cool and with rain to water the peas for growth. After sawing you have to make sure to scare away birds that will dig out and eat your seeds. You can simply do this by having bright and light materials like sacks to scare them away up until the maize germinates and grow to almost and 3 inches and by that time you can remove the sacks as it will be grown up to be dug by birds with their beak as they will be searching for food.

Planting around your plants

Pears are a good source of nitrogen. Did you know that you can even plant them around your plants near your roots to fix nitrogen to the soil? Yes you really can and this is surely one clean method to fix nitrogen to the soil unlike the use of kraal manure which can burn the plants and can also result to the spread of weeds. As they are growing they will provide shelter to the roots acting as mulch and please when harvesting do not dig as is will result to plant root disturbance so all you can do is to uproot and use your fingers to remove the remaining legumes.

Harvesting peas

In a space of about 3 months of growth from seed the peas will be showing signs of maturity. You will see this by looking at the leaves and as they start to turn yellow so are the pods and eventually they will be pale dry. Please do make sure to monitor those with pods touching the ground as this will result to the pod roting exposing the seed inside to moisture thus resulting to germination and in this case you do not want your seeds to germinate but you are harvesting them for different purposes. It can either be the fact that you need to store some seeds for future sowing, or maybe you want to sell and also for subsistence purposes, so do make sure to avoid this loses by first of all harvesting those touching the ground.

Conclusion

I hope that you have leaned that by growing and rotating your crops you are not only doing that for food but it really helps in the process of adding different nutrients to the soil. Diversification is indeed the name of the game. I am really pleased to have walked with you to this far and I hope you have leaned and you can now grow peas in your own home. If you are having a question or comment please do that on the space below and I will be more than happy to come back to you as soon as I can.

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