Pidgeon pea is probably one of the most versitile plant in the garden. It is a drought tolerant, hardy, bushy shrub which grows to 3.6m.
It’s a staple food crop that provides good protein.
You can use the green pidgeon peas like fresh peas, and the dried peas like any other dried peas, beans or lentils. (In India they are actually one of the most popular pulses. Dhal is made from pigeon peas. The peas can also be sprouted to make them even more nutritious, and they can be ground into flour.
- Leaves, flowers, seed pods and seed all make nutitious animal fodder. Chickens love the peas.
- The flowers attract bees.
- Pigeon peas can be frequently pruned for mulch and every time you prune them (and also when the plant dies) the root nodules release nitrogen that can be used by other plants.
- Their open canopy shelters young, delicate plants, but lets enough light through for things to grow underneath.
- A hedge of pidgeon pea makes a good windbreak and they can be used to make a living trellis for climbing plants.
- Once established they self seed prolifically. Cut down the ones you don’t really want and use as mulch. Leave the ones that grow in the right spots.
- They have a very deep tap root which improves soil structure by bringing nutrients from the subsoil to the surface.
Care and Feeding
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