When raising peas in your vegetable garden, the purpose is never to grow an enormous crop, but just enough to give you a remarkable succession of fresh peas to enjoy during the summer months. If you are like me, the satisfaction of growing these tiny sweet gems is in eating and picking them when I am working in the vegetable garden – not many ever make it as far as my kitchen! Peas are simple to grow from seed – here is a rough guide on how.
You should sow peas any time from April onwards when the soil has sufficiently warmed up. Some varieties can be planted earlier and also ones that can be sown later in the year for an early-maturing autumn harvest. If you run a crop rotation system on your green plot, you should sow peas alongside beans. Peas require a sunny, moisture-retentive, nutrient-rich site, and you will need a well-prepared bed before you plant.
Ensure you dig in plenty of well-rotted manure and then clean the soil to a fine tithe. With the end of your rake, make a broad, shallow drill in a straight line. Empty a few peas into your fingers and place them in a grid pattern about three inches apart. This will allow you a double row, enough room for each plant to develop strongly, but close enough together to make the best use of space. Once you have planted the seed, cover it with a light layer of soil and water well. The plants will take around fifteen to eighteen weeks to mature. If you want a suite of peas, then plant another row about three weeks after the first.
When your peas start to grow, they will need some assistance. Use trellis, bamboo canes, or netting to build supports for the plants. Place the sticks adjacent to the plants to allow their tendrils to reach out and grip onto the support. When harvesting, pick from the base of the plant upwards; regular harvesting is essential for genuinely fresh peas. Once you have finished harvesting, don’t pull the plant up but cut off the roots’ growth and leave them in as they are full of nitrogen-fixing bacteria and will profit plants you will grow after brassicas.
Additional Tips for Growing Peas From Seed
- Peas love loamy, well-drained soils with lots of organic matter. They are easy to grow in a preferably sunny spot. They only need support, watering, and harvesting.
- For best results, soak seeds overnight in warm water to soften the seed coat before planting them. Sow 3 inches apart or in rows about 24 inches apart to prevent disease and help the air circulation in a garden bed.
- Both climbing and dwarf pea varieties need support. Give them something to cling to.
- Watch out for mites, thrips, cutworms, aphids, fungal diseases, and root-knot nematodes. Add organic soil conditioners and compost seasonally for best results.
We wish you all the best in your gardening adventures. If we missed a tip or something else that you want us to add, feel free to leave your comments below. Thank you.
Now You Know