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An annual plant, peas are grown for both their immature and mature seed pods. Immature pea pods are eaten whole, as they are tender and sweet, while mature pods are less flavorful and woody in texture.
The varieties that are grown to maturity are used to produce dried peas, which are most often used in soups. Only the peas, and not the pods are consumed. They’re also a great vegetable for the beginner gardener as they are very easy to grow.
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Grow peas in a medium to large sized pot filled with moist soil, leaving 2-7 cm (1-3″) of space between seeds. Cover with 2 cm (1″) of soil, and peas should sprout in 7-14 days (this will take longer if you plant them directly outdoors in cooler temperatures).
I personally use this Pro Mix Organic Seed Starter Mix when starting my seeds. It’s top quality stuff that the pros use, so you really can’t go wrong with it!
You want to avoid using regular garden soil when starting seeds because it contains all sorts of large matter, bacteria, and bugs which can hinder your new seedlings from sprouting or growing properly. A good seed starting mix has a fine texture and is sterile — a perfect combination for baby plants to thrive in.
Peas can be started indoors in early spring, or outdoors after the last spring frost date. If you’re not sure when your last frost date is in your area, here’s a really useful calculator to find your local first and last frost dates. They can be sown again in summer from July to August for a fall harvest.
You can get your peas started outside a little bit early if you pop them in a greenhouse or cold frame.
Here’s a great affordable little greenhouse that you can easily fit on your patio or balcony.
Alternatively if you’re looking for a cold frame: Here’s a nice compact cold frame that will easily fit in your small space.
To eliminate the guesswork in selecting the right size containers for your plants, we’ve put together a list of commonly grown herbs, veggies, fruit and flowers along with the minimum pot sizes required by each. Get the Free Container Size Guide for Small Space Gardening here .
Water sparingly, only when the top 1″ of soil is dry to the touch. Peas do not like sitting in soggy soil, so be careful not to over water them and make sure you plant them in containers with drainage holes.
Where Can I Grow It?
Grow peas outdoors, as peas do best in cooler temperatures. However, you can get a head start by starting your peas off indoors under a grow light.
I use this Sunblaster Grow Light Garden to start my seeds indoors in early spring. It’s nice and compact, and will provide full-spectrum light to your little seedlings so they grow up strong and healthy.
I also use it to grow lots of fresh herbs and greens indoors during the long winter months when it’s too cold to grow anything outside. It is definitely one of my favorite purchases!
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Pea Growing Tips
Provide support such as a trellis, as pea plants are a climbing vine.
Harvest time will depend on what type of peas you have grow. Snow or snap peas are pick when the pods are in an immature tender state, before the peas swell and fill the pods. Shelling peas are harvested later, when the peas in the pods have matured.
Keep pea plants well picked, to encourage more production. Peas are the sweetest just after they have been picked, so use promptly.
Avoid planting peas with garlic, green onions, chives, and leeks, as they do not grow well together.