Growing peas is easy and fun. Follow this guide to discover 5 simple steps leading you to the harvest of your own sweet peas. Let's get started with gardening:
Most peas prefer cool climate. In the warm areas plant southern peas instead. Choose sunny place protected from the wind. Half shade is acceptable when growing peas during summer heat.
Any type of soil will do. The best one can keep moisture, but doesn't get waterlogged.
Before starting mix in some organic compost to improve soil profile.
For early harvest sow peas from October to February, for later - from March to July. When planting before or during winter, cover the plot with straw mat and dig it's edges into the soil to protect the beans from rodents. Starting them indoors and transplanting after germination helps as well.
For tall varieties make double rows 5'' apart. For shorter ones single rows will do. Space between rows should be equal to the maximum height of the plants. Loosely drop seeds into the shallow trenches and cover them with the soil.
Sow in batches to harvest for a longer time. You can use different varieties for that as well, unless you plan to save seeds. Different varieties cross polinate!
Interplant with low growth vegetables like radish or lettuce. Avoid garlic and onions though, as peas dislike their proximity. Water after planting, not before.
While the easiest solution for support is to buy premade pea trellis, DIY one is cheaper. You can make one from bamboo sticks, attach chicken wire or net to wooden frame, weave fish line between the sticks. Feel free to experiment, as peas don't need a strong support and attach to any structure.
Support is not necessary when you plant peas next to the fence.
Peas like slightly moist but not waterlogged soil. Add more water during germination, blooming and pod development. Water in the morning if possible. Less frequenly but longer, so that the water can soak deep into the soil.
When weeding, be careful not to damage pea roots - they are close to the soil surface. To conserve moisture and deter weeds you can apply some mulch.
Don't fertilize your growing peas, as they can capture and fix nitrogen from the air improving soil profile. Too much fertilizer leads to getting a poor harvest!
Most peas are ready for harvesting 3 weeks after they bloom. They taste better when pods are slightly immature. Always collect mature and overgrown pods, so the plant can produce the new ones afterwards. See these tips for best harvesting time of different varieties:
After the harvest is finished, collect plants and add them to compost or dig into the soil.
Check out more vegetable gardening tips here at Vegetable Corner.