If you want an heirloom pea, try growing Little Marvel peas. What are Little Marvel peas? This variety has been around since 1908 and provided gardeners with generations of sweet, vigorous peas. Little Marvel pea plants are a shelling variety with big yields but small plants, perfect for small gardens.
What are Little Marvel Peas?
Small space gardeners rejoice. There is a semi-dwarf pea plant that produces copious peas on diminutive plants. If you thought there was no way you could grow your own shelling peas, Little Marvel pea plants will prove you wrong. Best of all, the peas stay sweet and tender even when fully ripe. The variety of pea ‘Little Marvel’ is a compact plant that will produce a lot of tasty peas. Little Marvel garden pea was introduced in the early 1900's by Sutton and Sons of Reading, England. It is a cross of 'Chelsea Gem' and 'Sutton's A-1.' This hardy plant grows 30 inches (76 cm.) tall and produces 3 inch (8 cm.) long pods. The pea Little Marvel does not need staking and grows in USDA zones 3 to 9. Start them as soon as the ground is workable and you will be enjoying peas in 60 days.
Growing Little Marvel Peas
Little Marvel Garden pea should be planted in well drained, sandy loam with a pH of 5.5 to 6.7. Start seed six to eight weeks before your expected last date of frost. Plant seeds 1.5 inches (4 cm.) deep and 2 to 3 inches (5-8 cm.) apart in full sun. Expect germination in seven to ten days or quicker if you soak seed in water for 24 hours prior to planting. Peas don't love to be transplanted but can be started in a cold frame in cooler climates. Little Marvel is small enough and produces well in a container, too. You can also plant seeds in midsummer for a fall crop, but don't expect yields to be as high as plants started in spring. Peas need average amounts of moisture but should not be allowed to dry out. They can get powdery mildew with overhead watering in warm weather, but drip irrigation can prevent this. If you prepared your soil with plenty of organic matter, the plants do not need fertilizing. In fact, peas actually improve soil by harvesting nitrogen and fixing it in the soil. Harvest peas when the pods are plump. With many peas, you need to be on the harvest frequently to get the best pods before they are too old. Little Marvel holds better on the plant so harvest time isn't as crucial. Expect bowls full of sugary sweet peas.
Gardening tips, videos, info and more delivered right to your inbox!
Sign up for the Gardening Know How newsletter today and receive a free download of our most popular eBook "How to Grow Delicious Tomatoes."
Bonnie Grant is a professional landscaper with a Certification in Urban Gardening. She has been gardening and writing for 15 years. A former professional chef, she has a passion for edible landscaping.
Pantone’s Color Of The Year 2024 Is A Gardener’s Dream – Discover 7 Flowers That Are ‘Peach Fuzz’ Perfection
The global authority on color has spoken, and 'Peach Fuzz' is the shade we'll all be seeking out in the coming year. Find out why this gorgeous pinky orange deserves a place in your garden, and be inspired by our top flower picks
By Melanie Griffiths Published
15 Garden Trends To Avoid in 2024: Experts Warn Against These Outdated Designs
Garden trends come and go. We asked gardening experts to share the outdated trends that should be retired – and what you can do instead.
By Melanie Griffiths Last updated