Grow Guide Conditions:
Peas are a cold hardy crop, and need a cool growing season to succeed. They prefer well drained soils with a pH between 6.0-7.0. Inoculate peas with Rhizobium bacteria to stimulate nitrogen fixation for improved yield and soil fertility. Even short-vined ‘bush’ varieties benefit from trellising, increasing yield and making them easier to harvest.
Grow Guide Seed:
Peas are most often direct seeded, but can be transplanted if soil is too wet and cold, and if you are careful not to disturb the roots. Inoculate seed with Rhizobium bacteria prior to planting for optimum Nitrogen fertility. Direct seed in spring 2-4 weeks before the last frost. For a fall crop, seed 8-12 weeks before the first fall frost. Seeds will germinate at soil temperatures as low as 45°F, but sprout more quickly between 60–75°F. Plant seeds 1 inch deep, 1 seed every 1-3 inches, allowing 24-36 inches between rows. To start indoors, fill 2-4 inch pots with a sterile seed starting mix. Plant 2-4 seeds per pot, ½ to 1 inch deep. Do not thin. Harden seedlings for 7-10 days before transplanting out 2-4 weeks before the last spring frost. Carefully plant out each pot 4-6 inches apart without disturbing roots of grouped seedlings.
Grow Guide Pests:
Peas are susceptible to various soil borne seed and seedling rots as well as foliar diseases such as Ascochyta Blight and Powdery Mildew. Choose mildew resistant varieties for fall sowings (see variety descriptions). Avoid overhead irrigation, trellis and increase plant spacing to maximize airflow, practice crop rotations, and compost crop debris to manage these and other diseases. Heavy thrips pressure may be controlled by use of row covers or OMRI-approved Spinosad sprays. See our merchandise section for related products.
Grow Guide Harvest:
Harvest shell peas when the pods are plump and full. Harvest snap peas when the pods are thick and crispy and the peas have filled out inside the pod. Harvest snow peas when they reach a desirable size. Harvest all types frequently to encourage continuous production. Store in the refrigerator. Peas freeze well for long storage.