I consider peas to be a real harbinger of spring since they are one of the first things out of my garden at the start of the growing season. There are numerous sweet pea varieties available, but if you’re looking for an early season crop, try growing the ‘Daybreak’ pea variety. What are Daybreak pea plants? The following contains information on how to grow and care for Daybreak peas.
What are Daybreak Peas?
The ‘Daybreak’ pea variety is an early, sweet, shelling pea notable for its compact vines which make the plants perfect for small garden spaces or container gardening. Just remember if growing Daybreak peas in a container to provide a trellis for them to clamber up. Daybreak matures in about 54 days and is resistant to fusarium wilt. This cultivar only reaches to about 24 inches (61 cm.) in height. Again, perfect for small scale gardens. Daybreak peas are great for freezing and, of course, eaten fresh.
How to Grow Daybreak Peas
Peas absolutely need two things: cool weather and a support trellis. Plan to plant peas when temperatures are between 60-65 F. (16-18 C.). Seeds can be sown directly outside or started 6 weeks prior to the average last frost for your area. Peas should be planted in an area that is well-drained, rich in organic matter, and in full sun. The composition of the soil affects eventual yield. Soil that is sandy facilitates early pea production, while clay soils produce later but larger yields. Plant pea seeds 2 inches (5 cm.) deep and 2 inches (5 cm.) apart and water in well. Keep the peas consistently moist but not sodden, and water at the base of the plant to prevent fungal infection. Fertilize the vines midseason. Pick the peas when the pods are full but before the peas have a chance to harden. Shell and eat or freeze the peas as soon as possible from harvest. The longer the peas sit around, the less sweet they become as their sugars are turned into starch.
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Amy Grant has been gardening for 30 years and writing for 15. A professional chef and caterer, Amy's area of expertise is culinary gardening.
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