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How to Plant and Grow Peas in Your Home Vegetable Garden

Pisum sativum

Peas have been consumed by humans for over 5000 years.
They were the first vegetable to ever be canned or successfully frozen for sale.
Pea plants may be shrubby to 2 ft. tall or vining to 6 ft.
Snow Peas and Sugar Peas both have thicker, softer, edible pods.
Deeder the Garden Gnome

Growing Requirements for Pea Plants

Peas should not be planted in the same area where they were grown in the previous two seasons.

Peas should be grown in full sun in north-south aligned rows for the best exposure and air circulation.
Prepare the planting area by digging in a generous amount of compost or well-rotted or processed manure prior to sowing. The soil should be moisture retentive but well-drained.
Test and adjust the soil to maintain a pH of 5.6-6.6.
Peas will not tolerate cold, wet soil. Water regularly once the weather begins to warm.

Young Pea plants will not be hurt by frost but the blossoms and pods will not survive even a light frost.

Sowing and Growing Peas from Seed

Peas are a cool weather crop that can be planted as soon as the soil can be worked in the spring. Successive crops can be planted every two weeks up until two months prior to temperatures are expected to reach 75°. Fall crops can be planted beginning in late summer. In USDA zones 8 and warmer, a winter crop can be planted in the fall.

Soak Pea seeds in warm water for an hour or more prior the sowing.
Pea seeds should be innoculated (dusted) with a nitrogen fixing bacteria prior to planting them 1"-2" deep in the garden.
Pea Innoculent is available at most garden centers.

Bush type Peas should be grown in wide rows, spacing the Pea seeds 2" apart
in each direction so they can support each other.
Rows should be spaced 2-3 ft. apart.

Plant vining types of Peas 1" apart in double rows spaced 3" apart.
Allow 30"-36" between additional double rows.
When the seedlings begin to produce tendrils at about 4", thin them to 2" apart and put a support structure (Pea netting, string trellis or stakes) in place between the double row.