Green pea, a veggie plant from the Fabaceae family, definitely gets a lot of love for its round, smooth (and sometimes wrinkled) peas. Typically, it’s eaten cooked, and they’re delicious – but there’s lots more to know about them!
Growing them in pots might not be as productive as planting them in the ground, but if you’ve got a sunny balcony or empty windowsill, why not give it a shot?
Here are our steps for growing a lush harvest of green pea in containers and pots.
→ Also: green pea growing, in the ground
Choose the right varieties
Let’s get things straight: if you’re thinking of planting peas in a pot, aim for climbing varieties. This includes all those that can be trained to “trellises”.
Ever heard of ‘Serpette Guilloteaux’ or ‘Express à longue cosse’? Those are some of the most common climbing varieties. But if tall plants aren’t your thing, there are also dwarf varieties like ‘Petit Provençal’ that feel right at home in pots.
Picking the pot
Green peas love growing in a container, but they’re a bit picky.
Aim for a pot or planter that’s nice and deep. Think 16 inches (40 cm) deep at least and 12 to 16 inches (30 to 40 cm) wide.
As for materials, terracotta is king here: it offer solid aeration for your plant’s roots. Heads up, though: it’s on the heavy side and might crack if Jack Frost pays a visit. Another excellent option is the newly developed air-trimmed rooting system: a sheet of material with holes in it that let air circulate without letting soil out.
→ Smart tip: Choose a tall pot to keep birds at bay. They have a thing for pea seedlings! Growing them way above ground level messes with their “seedling detecting” skills.
Getting soil and location right
Whether in pots or straight in the ground, peas dig light, moist, well-draining soils that aren’t super chalky.
They’re also a bit high-maintenance and crave nutrient-rich soil. Spruce up your pea potting mix with some compost, or simply grab some all-purpose potting soil. Don’t pack it too tight; peas like to stretch their roots.
And remember, peas are sun-lovers. They need their daily dose of sunshine to bear fruit. Watch out for too much heat, though, especially if you’re growing smooth-skinned varieties. These tend to be more sun-sensitive but handle cool spots very well.
Ultimately, mild and moist climates make peas happiest.
Planting peas in a pot
Got your pot filled with soil? Stick those stakes in! You can even use branches or bamboo tied at the top, creating a teepee-like structure for your peas to cling to.
Before sowing, give your pea seeds a soaking for a day: 24 hours in water to help them sprout.
Aim to plant about ten seeds per pot. Then, shower them with a fine sprinkle of room-temperature water – don’t give them a cold shock!
Caring for potted peas
Smooth-skinned peas can handle a bit of cold, but their wrinkly-skinned cousins? Not fans. No matter the type, when Jack Frost comes knocking, cover your potted peas with a frost cloth.
Also remember that peas aren’t into dry soil, especially in pots where soil dries out quicker. So, water them lightly but often: this boosts flower growth and not just leaves.
When flowers pop out, you can be a bit more generous with the watering – just don’t drown them.
A word of wisdom: never trim peas. Let them stretch their leaves out on those stakes.
→ For more pea-growing tips: mastering pea cultivation