days to maturity: 100 - 200
plant spacing: 1 plant every 3 feet
sunlight requirements: 8-14 hours
look out for: aphids
harvest notes: harvest dried pea pods regularly to keep them producing
If you drive around our neighborhood of Little Haiti you’ll see pigeon peas, aka gandules, poking out of every yard. Pigeon peas are in the bean/pea family as the name implies, but it is unique because it’s a very fast growing annual that turns into a small woody tree. With a couple of months it can grow up to 6 or 7 feet. The plant grows quickly and also flowers and sets seeds quickly. With in a few months the small tree-like plant will be covered in beautiful delicate pea shapes flowers and they’ll make small pods with 3-5 beans in each. The pods are left on the plant to dry and then harvested and shelled for cooking as a dried bean. They are a staple in the Caribbean side dish “peas and rice”. Like all other legumes pigeon pea seed can be planted in the garden to help add nitrogen to the soil through its roots.