Shelling peas that produce prolifically and have a delicious flavor are great to grow for fresh use and also to can and stock the freezer for winter. Consider the Survivor pea plant if you are looking for a unique variety that will give you a lot of peas with a time to maturity of just over two months.
What are Survivor Peas?
For a shelling pea, Survivor plants are desirable for a number of reasons. This variety is self-trellising, so you don’t need to plant it against some type of structure to support its growth. It produces a lot of peas that are easy to pick, and it takes just 70 days to reach maturity from seed. Of course, the flavor of the pea is also important, and this one is superior. The Survivor variety of pea was originally developed for commercial growing and to be harvested by machine because of its high-quality flavor and abundant production of pods. It is an avila-type pea, which means it has mostly tendrils at the top of the plant rather than leaves. Each Survivor pea plant you grow will reach about 2 feet (0.5 m.) tall and will produce abundant pods that hold about eight peas each. As a shelling pea, you won’t be able to eat the pods. Instead, shell the peas and eat them fresh or cooked, or preserve them by canning or freezing.
Growing Survivor Peas
Survivor pea cultivation is not difficult and is similar to that of other pea varieties. You can sow the seeds right in the ground and then thin the seedlings until they are spaced about 3 to 6 inches (7.5 to 15 cm.). Alternatively, start these seeds indoors before the last frost of spring and transplant them to the garden with the same spacing. You can grow Survivor peas when the weather is cooler and get two harvests in late spring or early summer and again in mid-fall. Make sure the soil you grow the plants in soil that drains well and is rich enough to provide adequate nutrients. Water your seedlings and plants regularly, but avoid soggy soil. After about 70 days from sowing the seeds, you should be ready to hand pick and shell your Survivor pea pods.
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Mary Ellen Ellis has been gardening for over 20 years. With degrees in Chemistry and Biology, Mary Ellen's specialties are flowers, native plants, and herbs.
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