How To Grow Peas in the Garden from Seed
How To Grow Peas in your Garden
Growing and Harvesting Peas. Peas are very easy to grow even if you have a small garden. The pea seed is very large so this makes it an ideal vegetable for children to grow too.
There are Step by step instructions with photos below
When to Plant the Seeds
The best time is early spring, here in Ireland that is March to April. There is an Irish saying we gardeners adhere to. 'Plant Peas before Paddy's Day', which is the 17th of March.
If the weather is still very cold in the spring then two weeks before you intend to sow the peas . cover the soil with a polythene sheet or straw. This will heat up the soil.
How to Plant
- Find a place in your garden where you will have easy access to both sides of your pea terrace.
- This will make it easier for you when you need to tie the tendrils and for picking the pea pods.
- Create a raised bed where you intend to sow the pea seeds. The reason for doing this is that the soil in the raised bed gets warmer more quickly. This will speed up germination of your pea seeds.
- Using a small spade or hoe make a deep hollow on the middle of the dirt.
- This will create two trenches one on either side.
- You can now place the support frame into the middle of the dirt.
- I used two large bamboo sticks and wrapped and secured some chicken wire around each pole.
- The chicken wire is perfect for growing peas on.
Taking Care of the Peas
- Pour in some water to the soil on the two mounds of compost.
- Then sow your seeds.
- Put them into the soil at about one inch deep which is approximately six centimetres. Place the seeds at least two inches apart which is approximately eight centimetres.
- Pea seeds are large and easy to see so this planting process is made very easy.
- Cover your pea seeds with a tiny amount of soil and flatten it down firmly.
- If you are still experiencing very cold weather with snow and frost then you should protect the seeds by adding some straw or other mulch on top of the soil to keep it warm.
- I would advice you to go ahead and plant in early spring even if the weather is still not very warm.
- If you leave it too late then you will have your peas growing at full bloom during the very hot summer. Peas do not like consistently hot sun and their growth will be stunted.
Looking after the Plants
- It all depends on the weather as to how often you water the seeds and tender shoots.
- Give them a good sprinkle of water once a week as they continue to grow taller.
- Check on them every day and if you notice the soil is drying out give them another watering.
- Be careful though because over watering the plants will also kill them..
- As the plants start to grow larger and summer comes along water every few days or as needed.
- If the soil gets too dry this will stop the pea plants from flowering and producing pods.
- You can avoid this happening by adding some mulch around the surface once the plants reach a height of about five inches.
- Once they reach this height it is time to begin the job of attaching them to your support.
- You will see tiny tendrils on each plant. Gently curl these around your support.
- The chicken wire is great for this as there are so many holes in the wire.
- Check your plants every day from now on and see if they need to be supported.
When to Harvest
- It takes about twelve to fifteen weeks for your pea plants to grow to maturity.
- It all depends on your soil, the weather conditions and how well they were looked after.
- Your plants should grow to a good height of about four to five feet.
- First you will see lovely white flowers appearing.
- These will eventually die and produce the pea pods.
- The pods will grow from each flower and then each pod will fill up with peas.
- At first the peas will be very small and thin. They will soon grow round and large within the pod
Ready to Pick
- Your pea pods will always be ready at the bottom of the plant first.
- So check these pods every day to see how the peas are growing.
- When you can see the peas are round, big and full to bursting in the pod you know they should be picked.
How to Remove the Pods from the Plants
- Harvest from the bottom of the plants first.
- Have a secateurs or a sharp scissors ready.
- Take a pod in one hand and pull towards you.
- This will leave the end of it exposed enough to make a clean cut.
- Place in a container and continue with the others.
- Never pull the pods off with your hands as this will damage the rest of the plant.
- The shock will prevent the plants from producing any more growth to the remaining pods.
- When you remove the fully grown pods from the plant there is more room for other pods to develop and produce even more peas.
Planting Seeds Inside or Straight into the Ground
Last year the spring weather was still very cold and frosty here in Ireland. I decided to plant some pea seeds in compost in a tray and under shelter. But I also planted some straight into the ground and covered these with mulch.
I transplanted the growing seedlings from my cold frame once they reached about five inches in height. The plants in the ground were smaller at first but both methods were successful as the smaller plants soon caught up once the weather got warmer.
Fresh Peas from my Garden
How to Plant Pea Seeds in Containers
I filled a small tray with compost and then placed half a cardboard toilet roll in it. I placed one seed in each. I watered as normal because the cardboard allowed the water to penetrate to the seed.
When it was time to transplant the seedlings into the ground I was able to plant each one without damaging the roots. I cut the cardboard away from the small plant and placed in the soil outside.
As you can see from the photos I had a very successful crop of peas last year. If you have the room they are a very easy and fun vegetable to grow with children. The kids can see the peas actually growing bigger with the pods. If they have grown their own vegetables children are more inclined to eat them too.
All images are the copyright of L.M.Reid
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