Image by Lee Jordan
By Kathee Mierzejewski
It’s that time of year again and when thinking about starting your garden, you might be wondering, “How do I grow peas?” First of all, when think about how to grow peas, you need to think about what kind of peas you want to grow. There are several varieties, and they are used for different things.
There are your regular garden peas, which are great either raw in salads or by themselves. There are snap peas, which are actually used as split peas, and then there are sugar peas, which can be the pea pods you put in a stir fry.
How to Grow Peas
You might be wondering when to plant peas. The best thing to do is start them outdoors. The requirements for growing peas are a little less stringent than for other vegetables in that they enjoy a cooler, moderate climate. Make sure the soil is at least 45 degrees F. before putting your seed or plants in the soil. They like moist soil as well, so be sure the soil is damp yet well-drained.
There are requirements for growing peas that are a little more heat tolerant as well. When you plant peas that can tolerate the heat, you can wait until mid to late summer to start them so you can enjoy them all during the fall.
When you plant your peas in the soil, be sure to start the seeds one to one and a half inches deep, and one inch apart. You should space your rows 18 inches apart as well. Fertilize the soil when you first put the peas into it, and when thinking about plant care, peas like fertilizer again once you pick the first crop.
Also remember that when you grow peas, they like moist soil. Be sure to water them during the drier season of summer.
When you grow peas, you need to know when they are ripe enough for picking. Garden peas are picked when the pods are nice and swollen. This means the peas inside are going to be perfect.
Sugar peas and snap peas can be harvested every one to three days and are ripe enough when their bodies snap like green beans.
As you can see, the requirements for growing peas are simply that you pay attention to plant care. If you pay attention to plant care, peas will do well in your garden and you can have a harvest of peas most of the summer and late into fall.