Planting, growing and harvesting peas depends on many factors. Things to take into consideration are the geographical location, weather,soil type. Peas are known by their botanical name Pisum sativum and are classifieda vegetables.
They require full sun or partial sun to grow. Other requirements are neutral pH 5.8-7, loamy soil, hardiness zones of 3, 4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11. First established in Afghanistan they are common in Syria, Europe and Turkey.
Peas are a good source of dietary fiber folate, proteins and carbohydrate. Others are choline, niacin, copper. You get 6 grams sugars, 5 grams dietary fiber and 13 grams carbohydrate in 100 grams serving of peas. They are low in fat and cholesterol free.
Health benefits include prevention of constipation, improved insulin resistance. Others are weight maintenance, antioxidants, boost in immune system and anti-inflammatory properties. It reduces the risk of heart disease by supporting healthy blood levels in the body.
Nutrient Content Health Benefits
Fiber Prevention of constipation
Proteins Improved Insulin resistance
Carbohydrates Weight maintenance
Niacin Boost Immune system
Dietary Fiber Anti-Inflammatory properties
Choline Reduce heart disease
Copper Healthy blood levels
They are easy to plant and have limited growth season. Peas are cool weather plants, seeds germinate from 29F with ideal growth temperature 56 – 70F.
The first step is to work the ground and create planting beds. Mulch and apply manure to and nutrients to the soil. Sprinkle wood ash on the soil before planting the legume.
Prepare the soil and use proper soil amendment techniques. The best time to plant is when soil temperature is 46 F and 1 month before last spring frost. Plant them 2 inches apart and 1 inch deep.
Avoid soggy or wet soil but water appropriately. Peas can stand a moderate amount of wet soil, little snow. Best temperature to grow them should not exceed 70 F.
Seeds germinate in one month at temperatures from 37-45F. They sprout in 1-2 weeks and grow rapidly henceforth.
A gardener can introduce companion plant to peas. Good companion plants are corn, eggplant, beans. Others are tomatoes, radishes, peppers, turnips, carrot. More include celery, spinach, leek, shallots and onions.
There are many varieties of peas suitable for garden and commercial production. Depending on the type, the pods are either edible or in-edible. Pea’s size vary from full-sized to small sized peas.
Recommended are pisum macrocarpon or snap peas and Pisum savitum such as sweet peas. We also have snow peas with edible flat pods and small peas inside.
Sugar Ann have short vine, early verity while green arrow are mid-season, high yield and frusarium wilt resistant.
- Sugar snap peas-edible seed pods, cylindrical and crisp
- Feisty pea-midsized 7 pods sweet
- Lincoin-average of 7 peas heat tolerant
- Sienna- a short plant with 8 peas
- Maestro-mid-sized, 11 dark green pods
- English pea-round, small seed pods
- Oregano giant(snow pea)- large pods
- Misty shell=produces high yield, 8 peas, short plant
- Sugar sprint-resistant to powdery dew
- Dwarf gray sugar- reddish leaves, shoot and stem
Pests and Diseases
There are few pests and diseases to look out for. We have the Fusarium wilt and aphids. Others include the woodchucks and Mexican bean beetles.
Powdery mildew Aphids
Downy mildew Beetles
Fusarium Leaf miners
Asocochyta blight Spider mites
Root rot Thrips
Bacteria Blight Armyworms
Damping off Nematodes
The soil should be humus rich, well-drained and avoid over fertilization. They do not require nitrogen rich soil however a little introduction of phosphorous is acceptable.
To introduce a small amount use bone-meal, focus on potassium inclusion and add small quantities of manure. To avoid the plant completely drying out water sparingly.
Remove weeds by hand to avoid damaging the fragile roots. To avoid soil-borne diseases use crop rotation every other year. Wet half inch weekly to avoid the soil drying out completely.
Growing Condition of Peas
1 Soil neutral pH 7
2 Partial shade, full sun
3 Adult height 3 feet
4 Fertilizer N-P-K (5-10-10)
5 Ideal growth temperature 45F
6 Germination 1 -2 weeks
Harvest and Storage
Fully mature peas grow to a height of 3 feet require support structure because they have climbing vines. To encourage pod develop avoid damaging the roots and keep them well picked.
The best time to pick the crispy peas is once the dew dries, early in the morning. Hold the vine with one hand and remove the peas with the other hand. To preserve them for 4-5 days place in paper bag, wrap in nylon and refrigerate.