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Peas Growing Quick Tips

Peas on vine

Sowing: Peas are a cool-weather crop; they must mature before the weather gets hot. Sow pea seeds directly in the garden in early spring as soon as the soil can be prepared; sow 8 to 6 weeks before the last frost. For an autumn crop sow seeds about 12 weeks before the first frost date in autumn. Sow seed ½-1” (1.3-2.5 cm) deep in winter for spring harvest; sow seed 1-2” (2.5-5 cm) deep for an autumn crop. Seeds germinate in 5-7 days at 45-75°F (7-24°C).

Growing: Sow 2 seeds, 2-3” (5-7.5 cm) apart; thin successful plants to 4 inches (10 cm) apart in all directions. Grow peas in rich, well-drained soil, in full sun. Give peas regular water keeping the soil evenly moist. Grow tall peas on poles, fences, or trellises. Give peas a complete fertilizer 6 weeks after planting; no fertilizing is necessary in soil prepared with well-rotted manure and bone meal.

Harvesting: Peas will be ready for harvest 55-70 days after sowing. Pick when pods are just bulging but before they are full size. Pick daily as plant reaches maturity so that new pods will form. Store peas in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for 1-2 weeks. Dried peas can be stored in a cool, dry place for 10 to 12 months.

For more detailed articles on growing peas click on Peas.

Written by Stephen Albert

Stephen Albert is a horticulturist, master gardener, and certified nurseryman who has taught at the University of California for more than 25 years. He holds graduate degrees from the University of California and the University of Iowa. His books include Vegetable Garden Grower’s Guide, Vegetable Garden Almanac & Planner, Tomato Grower’s Answer Book, and Kitchen Garden Grower’s Guide. His Vegetable Garden Grower’s Masterclass is available online. has more than 10 million visitors each year.


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