Peas and green peas, growing them from seed to harvest

Growing green peas is quite easy and is very enjoyable. It usually starts in the spring and continues during summer.

Main pea and green pea facts

Name – Pisum sativum
Family – Fabaceae
Type – annual

Height – 1 ½ to 8 feet (50 to 250 cm)
Exposure – full sun, part sun
Soil – rich and rather moist

Harvest – May to August or 3 months after sowing

From sowing to harvest, each one of these best practices will enhance the quality of your peas.

Sowing peas and green pea

Peas can be sown in fall (mild climates) or at the end of winter and at the beginning of spring (harsh winters).

  • If sowing in fall, bury seeds a bit deeper than usual, 2½ to 3 inches (6 to 8 cm) deep.
  • Wrinkled pea varieties are better sown in spring.
  • You must sow in the plot from February to April for round pea cultivars (English green peas, the conventional ones).
  • As for other varieties, like snap bean and wrinkled green pea, wait for May to June to sow.

How to sow your green peas

  • Sow directly in the plot.
    Either sow in rows, with once seed every 1 inch (2 to 3 cm), 2 inches (5 cm) deep,
    Or sow in seed holes with 5 or 6 seeds spaced regularly either 16 or 24 inches (40 or 60 cm) apart depending on the variety.
  • Choose a location that is well exposed to the sun but not scorching, ideally part shade.
  • Peas require rather rich and light soil.

Avoid planting together with peas

Onions, shallots and garlic do not make good companions for peas.

Companion vegetables for pea

Peas love growing near certain vegetables such as: carrots, celery, cabbage, cucumbers and pickles, lettuce, corn salad, turnips, potato, radishes.

Peas hate these vegetables: garlic, shallots, onions, parsley, leek, tomatoes.

Watering peas and green peas

At the beginning, reduce watering in order to trigger flowering instead of foliage.

Immediately after blooming, water abundantly because that is when pods form to produce your peas.

  • Water regularly after that, but not too much.
  • Green peas hate dry spells.

Harvesting peas and green peas

Timing of the harvest for green peas is important because it determines harvest quality.

  • Harvesting takes place around 3 to 4 months after sowing depending on the variety.
  • Harvest the seeds as soon as they are well-formed and have grown to the size at which they are eaten.
  • Harvest while still green.

Learn more about peas

Although growing peas might be a bit demanding, growing snow peas (or summer peas) is much easier.

You’ll be surprised at how fast this plant grows, it will need to be staked as soon as it has reached a few inches.

Birds love green peas, and it is best to set up a net to guard against them, or you may see your harvest disappear in hours…

Smart tip about peas and green peas

Light plant-based mulch will retain moisture, add organic matter and avoid weed growth.

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