Low on gardening space and you want to try your hand at growing peas? Can you grow peas indoors? The answer is yes. Growing peas indoors requires plenty of light and a bit of commitment but, in time, you will be enjoying fresh pods that you grew yourself. The trick is selecting the right variety and providing enough hours of either natural or artificial light to get plants to produce pods.
Can You Grow Peas Indoors?
Indoor gardeners rejoice. You can learn how to grow peas inside and enjoy either the sprouts in salads or fully formed pods. Plant successive crops and you can even have fresh peas year around.
An indoor pea plant needs 8 to 10 hours of bright light. You can either place it in the sunniest location of the home or use grow lights. Many varieties grow well in containers and will flourish indoors, but snap pea, snow pea and dwarf pea plants are the easiest.
Use a purchased seed starter mix or make your own with equal parts potting soil and compost. Sow seeds in flats or small containers at 2 inches apart (5 cm.). Dampen the soil and keep moist. Shoots should appear fairly quickly. Transfer the shoots to larger pots when they are 2 inches (5 cm.) tall.
How to Grow Peas Inside
Next, your indoor pea plant will need some support. Even dwarf varieties will need a little stake to keep the vines upright and out of the dirt. Use a mini trellis or a wire system to train vines vertically.
Once the shoots are 6 inches tall (15 cm.), pinch off the tops to promote branching. Pea flowers are self-pollinating so you don’t have to worry about taking plants outdoors for bees and other insects to do the work.
Once you see flowers, make sure you start another crop for successive harvest. Pea pods will form quickly, usually within a couple of days from flower. From start to finish, you can be harvesting within 60 days.
Harvest Tips for Indoor Peas
If you are new to growing peas indoors, you may wonder when they are ready to harvest.
Harvest pea shoots at any time to add to salads or drape on a sandwich. These are sweet, lightly crunchy and will even work beautifully in a quick stir fry.
The pods themselves should be firm, deeply green and, for shelling varieties, smooth on the outside. If you wait for the latter to exhibit signs of the peas inside, they will be too ripe and not as tasty. Pea pods like snap or snow should be harvested before they are beginning to lose color. Use them fresh or in stir fry.
Keep sowing and you can lightly blanch and freeze extra peas for later use.