Mouthwatering, tender, sweet fresh peas are a culinary delight and one of the very best reasons for having a garden. Fresh peas have an unparalleled sweetness and are among those vegetables that can never be equaled by supermarket produce.
Growing peas are perfect for the beginner gardener, plant them in minutes and come back weeks later to harvest them.
WHICH PEA TYPE IS FOR YOU?
Shell Pea or English Pea: The tradition pea has a tough usually inedible outer pod with delicate, sweet, tender peas inside.
Snow Pea or Chinese Pea: When you think of stir-fry these sweet-tasting, flat, tender pods come to mind. They are best when harvested will the peas inside them are quite small and undeveloped.
Snap Pea: These sweet, crunchy peas have both a delicate edible pod and full-size peas inside with the sweetness of the best garden pea. They are wonder eaten raw, lightly steamed, or stir-fried.
- When to Sow: Plant 4-6 weeks before last spring frost.
- Sun/Part Shade: Full sun, but will tolerate part shade.
- Seed Spacing: 1 inch
- Row Spacing: 14 inches
- Planting Depth: 1 inch
- Days to Germinate: 6-15 days
- Days to Maturity: 55-60 days
Soil and Fertilizing
Peas thrive in deep, rich, well- drained soil in a sunny location. The plants do best in soil with a pH ranging from 6.0-7.0. We recommend testing your soil in the fall and adjusting the pH range, if needed. Fall is also a good time for deep spading or double digging (to a depth of 8-12 inches) and for incorporation organic matter into your soil.
Peas don’t require much fertilizer, especially nitrogen, but to help them along, when seedlings are 2-4 inches tall you can fertilize them with a complete organic fertilizer.
Consistent moisture is important in growing peas. Never let them dry out.
All Peas benefit from support. It keeps them from rotting on the ground and lets the pods hang straight down, making them less misshapen and easier to pick. When peas are trellised the vines have air circulating freely around them thus they can’t be easily infected by disease.
Pick peas each day during the harvest season to harvest the best quality pods and encourage further productions especially with pole types.Pods are ready for picking when they are plump, smooth, and bright green pods. Start harvesting at this stage, beginning at the bottom of the plant and working upwards.The best time to pick is early morning when the pods are crispest. If you can’t pick in the morning, the cool of the evening is another good picking time.
Pea’s versatility is limitless. They are delightful raw. They can be boiled, steamed, or stir-fried. Peas also freeze beautifully. This way you can enjoy them well after summer.