Sea Island Red Pea
Sea Island Red Peas are a Gullah Geechee variety used in coastal Carolina Hoppin' John and Reezy Peezy. It is an important companion to Carolina Gold Rice in the pot, and it is a great crop to add nitrogen back into the soil between rice rotations. It's an absolutely delicious southern pea that grows prolifically on short runners.
Thanks as always to Shakara Tyler for sharing these seeds with us three years ago, and to Matthew Raiford and Jovan Sage who shared them with her from his century-old family farm on Gullah Geechee land in Georgia. Also, thank you to Miss Cornelia Walker Bailey from Sapelo who shared it originally with Matthew and Jovan. In 2020, Matthew sent us these seeds directly from his farm.
Days to maturity: 90
Seeds per pack: 40
Germination rate: 85% on 01/11/2024
Planting / harvesting notes
Direct sow southern peas safely after frost, any time between late May and mid-July. This is a climbing vine crop, so it benefits from being planted next to a structure or trellis. Plant 1" deep with 3-4" spacing, either in 1 row on each side of the net trellis. Being a legume, it does fairly well in poor soil and adds nitrogen.
Seed keeping notes
Southern peas are self-pollinating, though it is best to isolate different varieties of V. unguiculata (including black-eyed peas, southern peas, cowpeas, and long beans) at least 20 feet, if not much farther to avoid unwanted cross-pollination. Allow beans to dry fully into a brown crispy state. This is when they are ready to harvest for seed. If necessary, lay them out to dry a little longer in their pods.