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Gandules (Pigeon Peas/Gungo Peas)

  • Pigeon peas, scientifically known as Cajanus cajan, are a type of legume that is widely cultivated for its edible seeds. They are also known by other names such as gungo peas, gandules, and tur dhal. Pigeon peas are an essential crop in many tropical and subtropical regions, particularly in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, and Latin America.


    Pigeon pea plants are trees that can grow up to 13 feet tall. The leaves are trifoliate, and the flowers are typically yellow or orange in color. The seeds of pigeon peas are the most valuable part of the plant. They are small, round or oval-shaped, and usually have a pale beige, light brown, or green color. These seeds are used as a staple food in many regions and have a nutty flavor. Pigeon peas are a good source of protein, dietary fiber, and various vitamins and minerals, including iron, potassium, and folate. They are a valuable addition to vegetarian and vegan diets due to their protein content.


    Pigeon peas are a versatile ingredient used in various dishes. They can be boiled and eaten as a side dish, added to soups, stews, and curries, or ground into flour to make snacks and desserts. In some cultures, the dried seeds are soaked and cooked with rice, giving the dish a distinctive flavor. Pigeon peas are beneficial in agriculture because they are nitrogen-fixing plants. They have a symbiotic relationship with certain bacteria in their roots, which enables them to convert nitrogen from the air into a form that enriches the soil. This trait makes them valuable in crop rotation systems and helps improve soil fertility.


    If growing in zones 8 or lower, bring your pigeon pea plant indoors during winter. 


    Seeds per pack: 15

    Days to harvest: 140

    • Growing pigeon peas can be a rewarding experience, especially if you live in a tropical or subtropical region with a long warm growing season. Pigeon peas are relatively easy to grow, and here are the basic steps to cultivate them:

    • Climate and Soil Requirements: Pigeon peas thrive in warm climates with temperatures between 20°C to 35°C (68°F to 95°F). They require well-draining soil with a pH ranging from 5.5 to 7.5. Avoid waterlogged or clay-heavy soils.

    • Planting Time: Pigeon peas are usually grown from seeds. Plant the seeds directly in the ground after the last frost if you're in a tropical or subtropical region. In cooler climates, you can start the seeds indoors 4-6 weeks before the last expected frost and transplant them outdoors once the weather warms up.

    • Seed Preparation: Soak the pigeon pea seeds in water for about 12-24 hours before planting. This will help improve germination rates.

    • Planting Depth: Plant the soaked seeds about 2 to 3 centimeters (1 to 1.5 inches) deep into the soil.

    • Spacing: Space the seeds about 30 to 60 centimeters (12 to 24 inches) apart in rows, leaving enough space for the plants to grow and spread.

    • Watering: Pigeon peas are relatively drought-tolerant, but regular watering is necessary during their initial growth stages. Once established, they can tolerate drier conditions.

    • Fertilization: Pigeon peas are nitrogen-fixing plants, which means they have a symbiotic relationship with specific bacteria that help fix nitrogen from the air into the soil. However, adding some organic compost or well-balanced fertilizer during planting can help with initial growth.

    • Support: Pigeon pea plants can grow quite tall and may require support as they mature. Consider staking or providing a trellis to keep the plants upright.

    • Pest and Disease Control: Keep an eye out for common garden pests like aphids and caterpillars. Using organic pest control methods or natural predators can help manage pest populations. Practice crop rotation to prevent disease buildup in the soil.

    • Harvesting: Pigeon peas typically take around 4 to 6 months to reach maturity and produce pods. Harvest the green pods when they are still tender for culinary use. If you want dried peas, leave the pods on the plant until they dry and turn brown.

    • Pruning: Pigeon pea plants can become bushy, and some light pruning can help promote better air circulation and prevent disease.

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