Austrian Winter Peas
Austrian winter peas are a cool-season annual legume which can make a very attractive food plot on their own or as an addition to a seed mixture planted in the fall to attract deer. Easy to grow and quick to germinate, winter peas are very similar to garden peas and have the same nitrogen-fixing abilities which reduces the amount of fertilizer needed in your garden.
Austrian Winter Peas are also very good for cover crops and green manure crops, building tilth and adding organic matter and thus humus to the soil. Peas like well drained and fertile loam soils. Field peas are used as a winter annual in the South and as a spring annual in the North for soil improvement and for forage. Austrian winter peas are generally grown with a small grain for pasture, hay or silage. They can be used as a cover crop or green manure crop. This cover crop seed does not tolerate high water table or any substantial flooding.
These peas have a vine-like growth that can reach lengths of 3 to 5 feet when planted in fertile soil. Winter peas are highly nutritious and extremely digestible to deer. They carry a protein level between 20 and 30 percent. Both the seed, stem and leaves are browsed by deer. Foliage color is a pale green, and the plant produces pink blooms. Austrian winter peas have moderate drought tolerance but have good winter hardiness.