How To Plant Garden Peas

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Garden peas are not only very delicious, but are very easy to grow. They need fertile soil amended with good compost and good drainage. Most importantly garden peas need a support to grow up since they are a climbing vine. A couple days ago, I showed how to build a teepee trellis for pole beans and garden peas. This is what I’ll use to support my garden pea vines.

Once you have your garden pea support in place it is time to sow the seeds. Garden peas should be sown directly in the soil a couple weeks before the last frost date. It is generally known that garden peas and potatoes can be planted around St. Patrick’s Day, but sowing them any time afterwards is fine. Garden peas do not do well in extremely warm temperatures. Production may decrease once temperatures get around 90°F.

Sowing garden peas is very easy and doesn’t take much time at all. Here is how I sow my garden pea seeds.

Preparing The Planting Holes

First, there are different ways to sow garden peas. You can use your hand (a garden trowel or rake handle works well too) to dig out a small planting hole, or you can simply place the garden pea seeds on top of the ground where you want to plant them, and push them down to the proper depth in the soil. This method can be used to plant pole beans and bush beans as well.

While planting my garden peas I chose to dig out the small planting holes.

Create Planting Holes for the Garden Pea Seeds

Just dig out a small hole about one inch deep and big enough to hold a minimum of two seeds per hole. Place the hole about one to two inches away from the bottom of the support you are using. You can go out a little further if you like, but not so far that the garden pea vine will be running across the soil.

Create Planting Holes On Each Side of the Teepee LegsContinue Creating the Planting Holes

Continue creating all the planting holes until you have two holes per leg of the teepee trellis. If you are using another type of support make sure you have at least six inches of spacing between each plant.

Sowing The Garden Pea Seeds

As you will notice garden pea seeds look just like shriveled up garden peas.

Garden Pea Seeds

Now place a minimum of two garden pea seeds in each planting holes. More than two seeds per hole is fine, you can always thin them out later. If you plant just one seed it may not germinate. By planting two the second seeds serves as a backup in case one doesn’t germinate, then you can thin out the weakest looking seedling once they sprout.

Once you have all the garden pea seeds distributed throughout the planting holes, it is time to cover the seeds with soil. Simply take your finger and gently nudge the seeds into the soil. Don’t push the seeds deeper in the hole, just make sure they are seated in the soil at the bottom of the hole. You don’t want the seeds to be any deeper than one inch.

Once the seeds are seated well in the soil, take your hand and cover the seeds with soil.

Cover the Garden Pea Seeds

Now that the garden pea seeds have been covered with soil, take the palm of your hand and again gently pat the soil with your hand. Try to avoid pounding the soil, just a gentle pat will do. You don’t want to compact the soil. Patting the soil will ensure the seeds make good contact with the soil.

Continue this process for planting all of your garden pea seeds.

Watering Your Freshly Planted Garden Peas

When you have completed sowing all the garden pea seeds it is time to give them all a good drink of water. Wet the entire planting area down well with water or compost tea. Keep the soil consistently moist but not soggy until the seeds have germinated. Most garden peas should germinate within six to fourteen days, depending on the cultivar you are growing and weather conditions.

How do you plant your garden peas? Please share your methods with us!

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Comments

  1. Barbee Butts says:

    I tried something new w/ my peas this year. I planted them in early January. Yeah, January-in zone 8. I figured that they’d come up when conditions were ‘right’ and guess what??? It worked! (Even w/ a foot of snow in late Feb.)

    Now we’re eating peas like crazy! Snap peas, snow peas and (green) shell peas. The only thing that’s a problem is that I didn’t plant enough shell peas. It takes a LOT of pods to make a single serving and I now have a new appreciation for those rows and rows of canned peas on the grocery store shelf.

    Something else I do that’s weird. I plant my peas right next to my tomatoes. The tomato plants are babies right now and the’ll take over that area when I cut out the spent pea vines. That way I get two crops off of 1 row of trellis.
    It worked so well last year that I’m doing it again this year. BUT I suspect that I may regret using the same bed this year as last. I’m not so good at crop rotation….

  2. Tee — I’m thinking about pre-sprouting my peas this year to better my germination rate. I was going to put them between wet paper towels in a warm, but not too warm, place. What do you think? I’m not sure it’s a good idea.

    I was planning to grow green arrow peas, but still could sow a different variety. What type do you like?

    • Hey Bill – I think pre-sprouting your peas is a great idea. I’m thinking of doing the same. Last year I had a heck of a time getting my pole beans to germinate. I soaked them over night, but ended up needing to re-plant three times before I got a set to germinate. Definitely going to pre-sprout them this season. I didn’t have any issues with the peas, but will try it any way.

      I like the Green Arrow selection for the peas. I grew them a couple years ago and they produced really well. I am going with Green Arrow and Mr. Big peas this year. Last year I tried Maestro and they produced so-so. Not as good as the Green Arrow variety.

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