How to Grow Peas
Instructions for Growing Peas
in Your Garden
Note: I sometimes grow snow peas in deck planters, with strings or wires from the back of the boxes to the top of the deck for the peas to climb. It makes for a handy snack and an interesting conversation piece.
Peas are grown for their sprouts, pods, and seeds. Garden peas are grown for the seed. Snow peas and sugar snap peas are grown for their pods. Tender leaflets and sprouts can be used in salads. Most peas are climbing plants, but there are also dwarf bush varieties available. Dwarf peas do not need a trellis to grow, do need some support.
Gardening tip for growing peas - Consider reviewing the companion planting guide when picking a location for the pea patch in your garden. Peas are excellent companion plants for most root crops, as they help release nitrogen into the soil.
Chromium, Potassium, Zinc, Copper, Iron, Manganese, Vitamin C, B6, Thiamin, Niacin, Magnesium, Folate, Phosphorus
Nearly any climate will support growing peas, but only in the cool (frost free) months. Pea flowers and pods can be damaged by frost, so if you expect a frost, cover your plants overnight to protect them and other tender plants in your garden. (I keep old sheets around for this!)
Either direct sunlight or partial shade is best for growing peas.
Climbing varieties will need support (such as a trellis or fencing).
Prepare your gardening bed with plenty of organic matter (compost, well-rotted manure). Growing peas requires soil with a pH of 6.0-7.0. See How to test garden soil pH.
Rotate your pea crops around the garden from year to year. Pea crops fix nitrogen in the soil, which can cause problems for future pea (or legume) crops in the same location. After harvesting, dig the whole plant back into the soil for green manure fertilizer.
Plant peas in your garden as early in the spring as the soil can be worked. Sow the seeds directly into the garden soil. Plant them 2” deep, and 2” apart in rows. The rows should be 2’ apart. Fill trenches with soil and lightly firm the soil.
Note: When growing peas, the soil should be kept moist, but not soggy (the seeds can rot).
Gardening tip for growing peas - Birds love tender pea shoots. Protect the growing pea seedlings by covering with netting.
For a longer harvest, plant an additional crop of peas every 2-3 weeks.
When growing peas, keep the soil moist (not soggy) but don’t water above the leaves and flowers. Instead, water at soil level or irrigate.
Peas can experience diseases such as foot rot, pod, or leaf rot.
NOTE: If you find any diseased plants while gardening, DO NOT compost them or put them back into your garden soil (green compost). This spreads the disease in your garden. Instead, it's better to dispose of the diseased plants (burning them is the preferred method).
Peas are also sometimes susceptible to aphids or grubs.
Gardening tip for growing peas - Most problems in growing peas can be prevented by rotating the location of the pea patch in your garden from year to year.
Harvest peas when the pods are full and about 2 or 3” long.
Gardening tip for growing peas - Pick peas often, from the bottom first (working your way up through the season). By never leaving ripe pea pods on the vine, you will have a longer harvest and a better yield.
--------------Note: the advice and information contained herein is based upon our experience and study. As with any advice, please apply at your own discretion.