How to Transplant Peas

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I know what you are probably thinking as soon as you read the title of this article. It was probably something like, “Tee, peas are supposed to be sowed directly into the garden, and do not do well when transplanted!”.

I know, I know.

I’ve said that myself to many people who have asked me about growing peas over the years. Even recently, someone asked me about transplanting peas on the Veggie Gardener Facebook Page, and I was pretty much totally against the practice.

And now I get to eat my words a bit. Here’s why:

I originally direct-sowed my pea seeds the day after St. Patricks Day, March 18th. Then two days after sowing we had some very cold temperatures with rain for almost a week.

I believe this weather caused the seeds to not germinate and eventually just rot. So, after waiting a couple weeks I re-sowed all the peas again.

Again, the temperatures dropped and we got a ton of rain. And yes, again I didn’t get any pea sprouts after waiting a couple weeks.

Completely frustrated and annoyed, I decided to start the pea seeds indoors, let them grow just a tiny bit under a grow light then transplant out in the garden.

I’m determined to have peas one way or the other!

Preparing the Pea Seeds

Whether you are sowing the pea seeds directly in the garden, or attempting to start them indoors it is a good idea to soak the seeds in water over night, or to pre-germinate them a couple days in advance.

This will help speed up the time it takes for the peas to germinate by a few days.

Once the seeds are soaked well, or pre-germinated, sow them in a sterile seed starting mix in peat pots or newspaper pots.

This is an important step.

You want to use either peat pots or some type of container that you can plant right in the garden.

You can also add an inoculant when sowing the seeds just like you would out in the garden. I’m not sure if this will work as well as doing it out in the vegetable garden, but it’s worth a shot.

How to Transplant Peas

As soon as the peas began sprouting put them under a grow light until each one has started poking out of the soil. Once all of the sprouts have popped up (or most of them) it is time to transplant them out in the garden.

If using the peat pot trays, cut the pea seedlings into individual pots.

Start the Peas in Peat or Newspaper Pots

Once out in the garden, create a small hole in each spot where you intend to transplant the peas. You want the hole to be just big enough for the peat pot so the top edge of the peat pot is about the same height as the soil level.

Don’t transplant them too deeply. It is better that the hole be a little shallow rather than too deep.

Create a Shallow Hole for the Peat PotTransplant the Peat Pot and All Into the Garden

Leave the pea seedling in the pot and transplant the pot and all into the garden. If the roots are hanging out of the bottom of the pot be very gentle with them and carefully place the pot in the hole to avoid any root damage.

This is why it is so important to start the seeds in a container that can be planted right in the garden. Peas do not like having their roots disturbed at all and transplanting it right in the pot helps to reduce the chances of disturbing them.

Once you have the pea seedlings at a depth that is not too deep, simply fill in the hole around the peat pot for each one.

Fill the Hole Around Each Pot Pot With Soil

Water the pea seedlings well after transplanting and each day after. You want the soil to stay consistently moist, but not soggy.

Have you ever tried transplanting pea seedlings? Please tell us about it!

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Comments

  1. Cherina McFadden says:

    I haven’t tried transplanting peas. My parents grew a garden for 30 years or more. I asked them if I should soak my pea seeds before sowing.My mom said that it is cold and wet enough in the spring around here that she has found they rot in the ground if you soak them before planting.

    • Hi Cherina – You make a very good point, and yes soaking the seeds prior to planting can depend on the current weather conditions. You are right, cold, damp weather will cause the seeds to rot. That’s what happened to my peas and why I had to resort to transplanting them.

  2. I had the same experience with my pea seeds so I started some in pots (not even peat or newspaper!) and transplanted them out about 3 weeks ago and they look great! I’m planning on doing that for sure next year also–I have more trouble with rotting seeds than with transplant shock. I had always heard that legumes should not be transplanted but I am now wondering if that is just garden lore..

  3. I know the common wisdom is to plant them directly in the ground, but I couldn’t see how I could do that and get a harvest out of them before putting in the summer crops. So I actually grew them for a month inside in a regular seedling flat and then moved them outside. They did great and didn’t seen to have many transplant problems. I’ve been eating peas for a couple of weeks now.

  4. Hi there,
    I have just transplanted peas as well as planted seeds directly out in another bed – southern hemisphere gardener
    The results are very interesting. The peaas sown directly are much more vigorous, being double the growth … but the peas transplanted about the same time, whilst being less vigorous, have flowered much earlier and have already set some pods. I will be interested to see if the transplanted pods grow to full maturity or the vines ever catch up with the plants sown directly.
    M

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