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Can You Plant Black Eyed Peas From The Grocery Store?

Can You Plant Black Eyed Peas From The Grocery Store

Can you plant black eyed peas from the grocery store? Well, there’s good and bad news.

Yes, you can plant black eyed peas from the grocery store, but they may not produce. The truth is, black eyed peas from the store are actually produced and prepared for consumption, not really to be regrown.

In my experience and from the information I’ve gathered, black eyed peas are prepared by being dried in oversized heat ovens.

These ovens generate a lot of heat and while it’s not intended to overheat the peas, the end result is that’s what usually happens.

The peas ability to reproduce will be destroyed during this process.

That’s the bad news but there is good news. Many people actually claim to be able to plant and grow black eyed peas from the grocery store with success. How?

Well, if involves soaking the peas in water for a certain length of time. I did some investigating and sure enough, there are guides on how to do this.

Is this going to work with black eyed peas? I’m not sure because I’ve never tried it but gardening is a learning process.

Scroll towards the end of the article to learn how to implement this process.

Why You’re Black Eyed Peas From The Grocery Store Aren’t Growing

black eyed peasTo illustrate why the black eyed peas from the grocery store aren’t growing I’m going to write this as if You’ve bought them for consumption.

Actually, that’s why you bought them right? You’re just wondering “what if I plant a few of these suckers and see if they’ll grow? Here’s a way to tell if they are healthy.

Black-eyed peas are a staple in Southern cuisine. They’re easy to grow, inexpensive, and delicious. But store-bought black-eyed peas might not be what you think they are.

If you’ve ever bought canned or frozen black-eyed peas, chances are good that you didn’t actually eat them. You probably just opened up the bag and dumped them into a pot of boiling water. And there’s a reason why most of the time, black-eyed peas aren’t ready to cook until they’re fully mature.

When you buy them pre-maturely, you run the risk of spoiling them. In fact, many grocery stores sell black-eyed peas that haven’t been properly treated. This means that they could harbor harmful bacteria that make people sick.

So how do you know whether or not you’re buying healthy black-eyed peas? Here are some tips to help you figure out whether or not you’re getting the best quality.

1. Look for signs of maturity. When shopping for black-eyed peas, look for signs of ripeness. If the pods don’t split open easily, it’s likely that the beans inside aren’t ripe enough to use.

2. Check the label. Some brands will tell you exactly when the beans were harvested. Others won’t. So read the labels carefully.

3. Buy beans individually. Buying beans together in a single package runs the risk of cross contamination. To avoid this, buy each type of bean separately.

What To Expect When You Plant Black Eyed Peas

how to grow black eyed peasStore-bought black-eyed peas are one of my favorite side dishes. I love how versatile they are — I use them as a filling for tacos, burritos, quesadillas, enchiladas, salads, soups, stews, casseroles and even pizza.

But what about those seeds you bought at the grocery store? Are they worth planting?

Well I’m going to leave that up to you because as I said, I’ve never tried to grow black eyed peas from the store.

I like to grow mine from seed that is prepared for growing. So let’s have a look at what to expect when you plant them.

If you’ve ever tried growing your own black eyed peas, you know it takes the usual gardening patience and persistence.

And while there are many varieties out there, black-eyed peas are fairly simple to grow.

In fact, they’re so easy to grow that I’m surprised this isn’t one of the first choice vegetables people plant.

So simply, the four ingredients you’ll need to plant black eyed peas successfully are:

  • seeds
  • oil
  • water
  • sunny spot

It doesn’t get much easier than that right?

You’ll want to plant black-eyed peas during the springtime up to mid and late summer.

Here’s the thing, black eyed peas can “take their sweet time” to reach maturity, in many cases up to 110 days so if you live in an area where frost is a constant, plant them early in spring or when the last frost has hit.

But if you’re growing black-eyed peas in warmer climates, you can start your  seeding up to late summer. Or if you have the means, plant them indoors but bear in mind they can cover plenty of space.

Growing Tips For Black Eyed Peas

how to store hoppin johnsThe best way to plant black-eyed pea seeds is to sow them directly into the ground.

This ensures that you won’t lose any seedlings to pests. I like to plant them three quarters to an inch deep.

Space them up to three inches apart. If you are planting more than one row or you have other vegetables growing in the same bed, make sure they are at least 2-3 feet apart. The black eyed pea plant loves a little elbow room.

Make sure to water the roots well followed by regular watering maintenance when needed. Black eyed peas are very hardy and can survive through long periods without water.

To keep the soil moist during planting, lay down straw mulch around each seedling once it sprouts. Once the plants reach three inches tall, thin them out to twelve inches apart.

When the pods begin to reach early maturity, pick the beans regularly and store them in the freezer.

If you’d like to harvest your crop sooner rather than later, you can pick pods while they’re still green. Just make sure to snap off the stem above the pod. If you let the pods dry out, they’ll turn brown and bitter.

Black eyed peas are annual plants. They grow in pods and produce fresh or dry seeds, depending on whether you pick them early or late.

You can harvest them as snap peas in about 7-9 weeks or as dried seeds in roughly 80-110 days.

Preparing Black Eyed Peas For Eating

recipe for hoppin johnsBlack-eyed peas are a traditional dish in the South, where it is known as “Hoppin’ John.”

Thanksgiving and Christmas are two times of the year when black eyed peas adorn the dinner tables. 

Whether they are black eyed peas bought from the grocery store or homegrown, they are always popular.

While black-eyed peas are traditionally served boiled, you can prepare them in many different ways. You can serve them as a side dish or add them to salads.

They can even be used as a topping for sandwiches. But there is one way to eat black-eyed peas that no one seems to talk about – raw. Raw black-eyed peas are delicious and nutritious, especially if you use frozen ones.

Frozen black-eyed peas are easier to cook because they already have been thawed out.

In fact, I like to make my own frozen black-eyed peas simply by adding some salt and pepper to a bag full of frozen peas and letting them sit overnight in the refrigerator.

Then, I drain off the liquid and place the peas into a pot of boiling water for 15 minutes.

If you don’t mind eating something cold, try serving them as a salad topped with a little vinaigrette dressing. Or, you could sauté them up with onions and peppers.

My favorite black eyed pea dish? I’m a minimalist in everything I do and simply like them salted with a little pepper. That’s it!

Recipe For Black Eyed Peas Bought From The Grocery Store

Thai dessert featuring black eyed peas.
Thai dessert featuring black eyed peas.

I must admit, while I like my black eyed peas simple, they are great served over white rice or mashed potatoes.

This recipe is easy to make.


1 cup dried black eyed peas

2 cups water

3 tablespoons butter

Salt and pepper


Rinse the beans well under cold running water. Drain and place in a large saucepan. Add 2 cups of water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer about 45 minutes or until tender. Drain and set aside.

In a heavy skillet melt 3 tablespoons of butter over medium heat. Add onions and saute 5 minutes. Stir in garlic powder, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper. Cook another 2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in cooked black eyed peas. Serve hot.

Black eyed peas are rich in nutrition. They contain high levels of vitamin A, vitamin C, iron, calcium, phosphorus, zinc, magnesium, potassium, folate, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, copper, manganese, selenium, and dietary fiber.

These foods are also low in calories and fat.

Conclusion: Can You Plant Black Eyed Peas From The Grocery Store?

Okay, let’s recap. Yes you can plant black eyed peas from the grocery store but you need to understand  a couple of things.

Scroll up and read the section again about how to tell if they are healthy. This will go a long way in isolating the peas among those you have that may grow.

Also, watch the video below. It’s a neat trick involving smoking the black eyed peas.

Finally, this seems like a lot of extra work in determining whether you can plant black eyed peas from the grocery store with success.

My tip? Go to your local garden store and buy the seeds there. That just makes more sense right?

Can You Plant Black Eyed Peas Bought From The Grocery Store
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Growing up on a farm gave me and my family some huge advantages. One of them was learning to grow our own food. Apart from acres and acres of crops, we had a magnificent fruit and vegetable garden plus, we canned our own food. I’m hoping to pass on some of this expertise and experience to you.

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