Growing Peas

Peas are one of the tastiest vegetables to plant in a garden.  They are easy to grow, sweet when picked at the right time, chocked full of protein, easy to harvest and store.  This is definitely one of my go-to veggies.

Sow
At the end of January; directly sow seeds in succession (enough for one week’s harvest plus a little more as a contingency) and repeat weekly. Sow Peas in soil that is between 40-75o F at 1” depth. It will take anywhere from 3-14 days to germinate. Sprout the peas by soaking the peas in cool water for 8-12 hours, drain and rinse twice per day for three days.  Plant the sprouted peas.

Grow
Peas prefer a soil temperature of 60-65o F to grow. The pH range should be between 6.0-7.0. Plant in rows giving 1” spacing between each seedling and 3-6” staggered, between each row. Do not plant Peas next to onions or potatoes. Plant Peas in fertile soil.  While Peas pull nitrogen out of the air, the bacteria which helps this process isn’t ready initially – hence, have fertile soil.  Water regularly until the peas bloom, after they bloom water lightly, allowing the soil to dry out in between waterings.  I trellis or provide support for all of my Peas, even the bush varieties.

 

Growing Peas [image source: gardeningknowhow-com]
Growing Peas [image source: gardeningknowhow-com]

Harvest
Harvest Snow Peas in about 50-72 days, when the pods reach a mature length but before the peas in pod are fully developed.  Harvest Sugar Peas in about 50-72 days, when the peas are plump and the pods snap like a bean pod.  Harvest Garden Peas in about 50-72 days, when the peas have filled out, but are not bulging.  Harvest Field Peas, Cow Peas or Feed Peas in about 75-85 days, when the pods are dry and papery and the peas have dried out.  Harvest these Field Peas by gathering the whole plant and threshing them from their pods, winnowing away the debris.

 

Pea Seed Collection [image source: chepstowgardencentre-co-uk]
Pea Seed Collection [image source: chepstowgardencentre-co-uk]

Saving Seeds
Peas produce pink, purple, blue or white flowers and the pea pod comes from the flower. Collecting the seeds is easy.  Collect the seeds when the pea is dry and the pod is papery but before they open and the seeds fall out. Pull the whole plant out of the ground, place a paper bag around it and hang it upside-down. The dried pods will open when fully dry. Carefully flail them to separate the seeds from the debris – not too hard.  Winnow away the debris, then store in paper bags. Seeds last about 3 years. *Plant excess seeds in your pasture for extra goodies for your livestock.

20 thoughts on “Growing Peas

  1. Pingback: Bean There, Cooked That | What the Ducks!

  2. I have some pea plants growing right now. I didn’t direct seed them though since I seem to be bad at growing things that way. I started them in some little pots and have now moved them into the bigger ones. Thankfully they seemed to have survived our unseasonably hot mid 90s weather.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Rachel–Just found your post! Will add to our Year of the Bean postings! (Coming soon–I was waiting for the West Coast to wake up but I see Hawaii is probably even up by now–so soon!!!) We will be getting ready to direct sow some pea seeds soon, I think, this year! Thanks for participating in our little project. Happy growing season!

    Liked by 1 person

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