Vigna - half a meter of yummy from the legume family
Still, a wonderful family - legumes. With a whole set of useful qualities: decorativeness, edibility, nitrogen enrichment of the soil, melliferous, medicinal properties. Perhaps it spoils the reputation of legumes as food products - the gas formation that they cause in the intestines. But there are spots in the sun! By the way, there is evidence that with the constant use of legumes, gas production decreases to a minimum over time. But there is a genus Vigna in this family, the vegetable fruits of which are devoid of this drawback. That's about it and I will tell in the article.
Vigna - types and varieties
Vigna is not a bean! This is a separate genus in the legume family, and its origin is tropical, presumably African. There are more than a hundred species of cowpea, among them there are edible, and decorative, bush and curly, with short and long pods, with flowers or pods twisted into a ram’s horn, vegetables, grains, fodder, and green.
This genus also includes Asian cereal mung bean, urd and adzuki, previously considered as a type of bean. So only experts see the difference between beans and cowpea, and even then they sometimes doubt it.
Vigna has long been cultivated around the world, breeding work is ongoing and we have developed varieties that are quite suitable for cultivation in Russia. There are already 25 varieties of vegetable whigs included in the State Register of Breeding Achievements. Of these, 24 varieties are recommended for the use of beans in technical ripeness and 1 peeling:
- super early varieties of cowpea (46-50 days from full germination): "Caspian Dawn", "Fuet";
- very early varieties of cowpea (50-52 days from full germination): “Pearl of the Caspian Sea”, “Magician”;
- early varieties of cowpea (55-60 days from full germination): “Gloria”, “Countess”, “Summer resident”, “Kalancha”, “Martha”, “Fakir”, “Rowan beads”, “Chucha”;
- medium early varieties of cowpea (58-64 days after full germination): “Aliya”, “Astrakhan Beauty”, “Tender”, “Pergola Bean”, “Siberian Size”;
- mid-season varieties of cowpea (61-70 days from full germination): “Lanchehe”, “Macaretti”, “Niagara”, “Yunnan”;
- medium-late varieties of cowpea (69-75 days after full germination): Maya, Yubileinaya;
- late varieties of cowpea (80-84 days from full germination): "Liliana";
- peeling, grain varieties of wigney (ripening 98-113 days): "Olesya".
Already from this list it is clear that the timing of the onset of technical ripeness in the cowpea is quite “democratic” and it begins to bear fruit on a par with the early cucumbers. True, the requirements for heat and sun are higher for her than for cucumbers.
Wigna beans are long (about half a meter), relatively thin, rounded in section, with thick juicy walls without a parchment layer and fibers. The taste from green beans is noticeably different (I liked the signal better).
How to grow cowpea
I compare two options: I grew a wigna of varieties "Countess" and "Summer resident" in the Kuban in the foothills, my good friend grew The Countess and "Rowan beads" in Komsomolsk-on-Amur. Both places are distinguished by the abundance of summer sun and heat, but in the Kuban, summers are drier and longer.
It is better to do with wigney seeds the same way as with beans: soak in relatively hot (+60 ºС) water. When the water has cooled, drain it almost completely, but so that it remains on the bottom. And put in a warm place. I do this a day before landing.
How I grew Vigna in the Kuban
Here, in the Kuban, curly beans are loved (the cue is just starting to take root), they traditionally plant a lot: tall, 3-meter, thick stakes are stuck in rows and a pair of "beans" are planted next to them.
I decided to follow the advice of N.I. Kurdyumov and from the south side of the melon planted a row of cowpea and beans mixed with corn in a row. The experiment was unsuccessful: where there was no corn, there were no beans, but where the signal came, there was no corn. I had to stick the stakes.
A little about the soil. We have heavy clay. Bakhcha is a fenced area on which the main component is foliage, shells, small twigs of the neighboring hazel, a little land from cleaning the drainage ditch, food waste stored throughout the winter, ash, and grass cut from April to September. By the time of planting, everything is covered with freshly cut grass. Over this grass, I unwound a toilet paper tape, poured earth from mole heaps, and planted vigna, beans, and corn into this land.
Planted in mid-May at the same time as planting watermelons and melons, for which heaped heaps of molehill on top of the grass. Immediately I threw dry grass on top, because the birds are vigilantly watching all my actions. And indeed there were precedents.
Vigna climbed to the surface in a week. And a week later she had to stick the stakes, so that she had something to grab. I watered all the plants every two days - June turned out to be unusually dry and hot. In July, it improved with rains, and further the vigna grew without additional watering. In the first decade of July, we already ate pods. And they continued to eat until the frost, although in October the vigna fructified noticeably weaker.
The top-dressing was the mown grass folded into the melon all summer.
In Komsomolsk-on-Amur, the landing was also directly into the ground, but a little later - at the end of May from the south side of the garage into the rich garden land. The bed is raised and well warmed up. Seeds are also pre-soaked in hot water. Shoots also appeared a week later and already in mid-June they were swirling with might and main over the stretched plastic net. Almost no watering was needed, there was enough rain. By the end of the second decade of July, the beans reached 50 cm. Fruited until mid-September.
There were no pests in the Vigna either in the Kuban, or in Komsomolsk-on-Amur, and diseases, too.
Vigna, having a tropical origin and undergoing selection in the lower Volga region, of course, loves the sun. Bright, hot, but not particularly long. That is, a long summer day in the middle lane is rather a minus than a plus. A plant develops worse under such conditions. Strong shading in the evening or in the morning can improve the situation somewhat, in order to meet the 12-14 hour light interval.
A lover of heat, a vigna feels very uncomfortable at temperatures below +10 ° C and may even die. Therefore, in regions with cool summers, it is better to grow it in a greenhouse or seedlings. When growing seedlings, it is advisable to sow immediately in separate cups: the signal does not tolerate the pick.
At unstable temperatures in summer, you can try the variety "The Wizard"sufficiently stable under such conditions.
With a lack of moisture, buds can fall, and it does not tolerate jamming. Also, heavy cold clay soils are not suitable for vigna - they warm up for a long time - the plant simply does not have enough time for vegetation. Vigna has bean diseases, so it’s better not to plant these plants nearby.
What to do with the crop?
If the whole signal is planted at the same time, in two months there will be a healthy armful of 40-50 centimeter beans. The plant will not stop there, and after the first harvest, it will continue to produce more and more beans. So we must take care of its procurement.
The easiest option is freezing: cut into pieces and put in any container and - in the freezer. In winter, it will go to soup and stew, and just fry with onions and eggs.
It is possible to make a stew, traditional for the Kuban, while with a curry, instead of green beans, the dish has a completely different, more delicate taste.
If you decide to eat right now, it’s very simple: heat oil in a pan, fry the onion, add the chopped wign, fry another 5 minutes, add salt, pepper and pour the egg. Bring to readiness under the lid over low heat.
Vigna - tender, cooks fast. I would compare it with cauliflower and broccoli, not to taste, of course, but in structure.
Wigna seeds are noticeably smaller than beans, but softer in taste. If young beans could not be picked on time - let them ripen, they will go to the grain. And dried pods can be used for medicinal purposes, just like ordinary bean pods.
Tops of cowpea, like all legumes, will benefit the soil - in its bed. And let the roots remain in the earth. Such a wonderful plant, no waste - all in business! And if you let her on the gazebo, she will also delight the eye with greenery, flowers and hanging pods. The variety is especially decorative in this regard. "Rowan beads."