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Growing Peas

Let’s grow some peas! Check out these tips for growing peas in your garden. Look for more gardening tips here.

It’s early spring, you’re putting in a garden, and you’ve already decided you’ll be growing peas. To help you achieve a successful harvest, here are a few recommendations and tips.


Types of Peas to Try
Vine length varies from one variety to another, and long-vined peas need a taller trellis than compact varieties. Both compact and long-vined varieties are available in the following four types, which vary in pod and seed characteristics.


Snap peas are eaten whole, and both the crunchy pod and the peas inside taste sweet. Snap peas yield more food per square foot than the other types.


Snow peas produce tender, flat pods that are eaten whole. Snow peas also produce the most tender vine tips for adding to salads or stir-fries.


Shell peas are often called English peas, because many fine varieties were developed in Great Britain in the 18th century. Sweet green peas are shelled from tough, inedible pods.
Soup peas produce hard, starch-filled seeds for drying inside inedible pods. Seed size and color vary with variety.


WHEN TO PLANT PEAS
Sow in spring, about one month before your last frost date. Where summers are cool, additional sowings can be made three weeks apart. Peas produce poorly in hot weather, so an early start is always a wise strategy. In climates with mild winters, a second crop can be sown in late summer for harvesting in late fall.


HOW TO PLANT PEAS
All peas benefit from a trellis or other support. Install a 6-foot-tall trellis before planting long-vined varieties. Compact varieties can be staked with woody branches or unemployed tomato cages after they sprout, or you can interplant short-vined peas with oats, which serve as a living support.
Prepare a wide planting bed by loosening the soil to at least 10 inches deep while mixing in compost. Do not use fertilizer unless your soil is very poor or low in organic matter. Plant seeds in a double row, with a row of seeds on each side of

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