How to Grow Peas

Peas are a member of the Leguminosae and are a highly popular, cool-season vegetable enjoyed by people around the world. Garden peas are high in fiber, protein, and an honest source of iron. Snow and sugar snap peas are an honest source of vitamin C and iron. Peas are generally easy to grow and maybe enjoyed during a sort of way, in both American and ethnic foods. Peas are classified into three different types: English, (or shelling/garden peas) snap peas, and snow peas (also referred to as sugar peas).


Garden Shelling peas, or English peas: these are the foremost popular garden peas. they’re enjoyed for his or her inner sweet peas and not the outer tough pod, which is typically discarded.

Snow peas are meant to be consumed whole, they’re valued for his or her thin, tender sweet pods and are harvested when their inner seeds are underdeveloped and really small. this sort of pea is usually found in Asian recipes.

Snap peas are low in fiber and both the pod and seeds are often eaten whole like snow peas. they’re often “snapped” and cooked with both pea and pod. The difference between snow peas is that the seeds inside are mature when eaten.

Garden pea seeds are either smooth surfaced or wrinkled. The smooth-surfaced peas are generally used as dry peas in soups because they’re high in starch and not sweet. Wrinkled-seed varieties are sweeter in taste and softer in texture than smooth-surfaced and are popular within the home garden and kitchen.

Peas are available both a bush type that reaches about 2-3 feet high and a vine type that grows up to five feet tall and wishes structural support to grow on. Bush plants produce one crop, whereas vine plants will produce over an extended period of your time.


Peas grow well fully sun, cool temperatures, and cool, moist, well-drained soil. they’re one among the more frost tolerant vegetables you’ll plant. If the soil has reached a temperature of 45 degrees you’ll plant peas. Peas prefer a pH level of between 6 and seven .5. Before amending your soil, however, confirm to possess a soil test done. Your local extension office can perform soil tests.

Peas need a continuing supply of nitrogen, so additionally to mixing in compost and/or manure, adding a nitrogen-based fertilizer when planting may be a good idea. If you’re planting in a completely new, previously unplanted area, you ought to consider inoculation. consistent with the University of Illinois Extension department (Watch Your Garden Grow), they recommend the subsequent regarding inoculating peas:

“When peas are planted on new land, you’ll increase the yield by inoculating peas with a billboard formulation of nitrogen-fixing bacteria. In a longtime garden, however, inoculation is a smaller amount necessary. If you’re unsure, inoculation may be a relatively inexpensive process that’s easy to try to and ensures better plant-nutrient status.”


Peas are one among the earliest vegetables you’ll plant. When the soil is around 45 degrees and maybe worked properly, you’ll begin planting peas. Peas prefer cooler soil and climate for the simplest crop production. There are heat-tolerant varieties which will be planted within the summer for a fall harvest.

Plant seeds into a prepared bed about 1 to 1 1/2 inches deep, one inch apart, with rows 18 to 24 inches apart. they will be planted in single or double rows. Double rows will need about 8 to 10 inches between rows.


Peas will need about an in. of water per week. If they are doing not receive this directly from rainfall you’ll hand-water to supplement. don’t overwater, because it will encourage fungal diseases. Peas have very delicate root systems, so take care as you weed. Use shallow cultivation and avoid disrupting their root systems. Mulch is often put down over your pea plants to conserve moisture, keep roots cool, and reduce weed emergence. The taller pea varieties will get to have support to grow on like a trellis or fence.


Peas can take anywhere from 55-70 days to mature, counting on the variability, so, harvesting dates will vary. For best flavor, peas should be eaten as soon after harvesting as possible. it’s essential that each one pea are cooled down soon after picking and not left within the heat. Follow these general guidelines for harvesting different varieties:

Shelling or English/garden peas are harvested when the pea pods are swollen and therefore the inner seed is slightly larger than the seed you originally planted. an honest thanks to determining readiness is to sample a pea fresh from the plant a day for a couple of days. Peas on the lower a part of the plant mature more quickly than the upper ones. If the peas became hard and starchy they’re overly mature.

Sugar snap peas are usually harvested all to 3 days when the seeds are just starting to swell and are still tender. If the seeds become overlarge, they lose their sweet, tender flavor. Sample the peas a day to work out readiness. There could also be some fibrous strings that require to be faraway from these peas before consuming. Like other peas, it’s best to consume them as soon after harvest as possible. If you’re not eating the peas immediately, rinse in cool or cold water, dry, and place within the refrigerator for later use. Peas will keep for nearly every week within the refrigerator if cooled immediately after picking.

Snow peas are harvested when the pea is at its maximum length but still nearly flat. Snow peas got to be picked on a daily basis (every day or two) to make the sure sweet tender flavor. If you’ve got missed harvesting them and that they became overly mature on the vine, pick those, therefore, the plant will still produce more peas.


Root rot disease and wilt is somewhat common in peas. this is often a fungal disease that originally stunts the expansion of the whole plant. If a mature plant is infected, it’ll significantly reduce crop production. Planting during a well-drained area will help prevent this problem that’s usually encouraged by overly wet or damp conditions. If your garden is during a wet area, you’ll get to think about using a raised bed for your pea plants. Purchasing disease-resistant varieties can prevent wilt.


Marianne Riofrio from The University of Ohio Extension office (horticulture and crop science department) recommends the subsequent varieties to undertake in your garden:

Snow peas: Mammoth Melting Sugar, Dwarf Grey Sugar, and Oregon Sugar Pod.

Sugar snap peas: sweetheart, Sugar Ann (dwarf), Sugar Snap, and Super Sugar Mel.

How to Grow Peas

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