Growing Peas is not only easy but is one of the earliest vegetables you can plant in your garden.
Children love growing peas since the pea seed is larger and easy for them to plant and when it is time to harvest they can easily pick them. Most kids love to eat any of the pea varieties so you cannot go wrong growing peas.
Once they get started growing they grow quickly but they will need a trellis or string support to grow up and support them once they set the peas on.
We will discuss the three types of peas, snow peas that you can eat the entire pod, shelling peas you eat just the peas inside the pod, and snap peas you can also eat the pod and peas inside.
I will discuss some of my favorite peas and the techniques to grow them to get the largest crop.
Oregon Sugar Peas are a favorite that produces tender pods and many times produces double pods that are 3-4 inches long.
These pods are tender to eat right out of the garden or used in salads and stir-fry.
I have selected this variety of snow peas since they are consistent year after year and will produce peas from May through late July.
is a new variety that I have planted this year since it is known for being one of the largest shelling peas available.
This pea pod has as many as 12 peas per 3-5 inch pods that are sweet and tender to eat.
I would highly recommend this variety of shelling peas, they produced a huge crop of large peas that were very flavorful and the pods were filled with 10-12 peas per pod.
Since this is the first year of growing this variety of shelling peas I will update you with my evaluation. As of this writing, the plant is loaded with peas.
I was very happy with this variety of shelling peas, not only did the plants produce a large crop of peas, they also had lots of peas in each pod as you can see above. The flavor was fantastic, sweet, and flavorful.
I did not grow any snap peas this year but here are some top varieties to choose from.
This is a great pea that is a large pod with a heavy crop of sweet peas that are not stringy. The plant grows especially tall reaching 5-6 feet so they will need support.
This is one of the largest crops you will get from snap peas, and each pea is loaded with flavor. It is also known for its resistance to diseases and you can plant multiple plantings to have a crop early and late in the growing season.
Peas grow best in a sunny area of your garden to be planted in and need well-draining soil since they are growing in late winter to early Spring. Add good organic matter before planting to give the peas an added boost.
I planted my peas in Oregon on the 12th of March this year and due to the very wet and cool Spring, my first harvest was not until the 8th of June for my Snow Peas, and hope to harvest my Shelling Peas around the 15th of June.
If the weather pattern stays cool and wetter than normal we could have peas into August.
I may try to put in a second planting of Peas in late June if I find space in my garden to harvest in late September or early October.
Staking or Trellising Peas
Your peas will definitely need to have support for them to grow on since peas will grow 3- 5 feet tall and with the weight of the plants and peas they will need support to allow the pea plants to the vine and grow on.
I recommend you have strong stakes at each end and in the middle to run your twine or string for the peas to attach to, you can see the black ones I have used to support the ends and middle of this row with twine running between them.
Watering and Fertilizing Peas
The best thing with Peas is that since these are growing in the Spring you will most likely not have to water or fertilize Peas unless you have a very dry season. If they continue to produce into the summer months you can water 1 inch per week, watering twice a week.
Harvesting Snow Peas
Peas need to be harvested every other day once you began to harvest since they grow very fast and by not harvesting you will slow the production of the plants and can end up with stringy peas that are not tender and sweet. The pods should have small peas inside the pods for the most tender and sweetest pods.
Harvesting Shelling Peas
Shelling Peas like Snow Peas need to be harvested every other day to keep the plant-producing peas and to get sweet tender peas. They should be harvested before the pods turn waxy and when the peas are plump.
I will update you after I have harvested my first crop later this month.
Harvesting Snap Peas
Snap peas should be harvested when the pods have full-sized peas inside the pods and the pods are glossy green.
This year I planted my snow peas in a block to allow me to plant rows of shelling peas. Planting blocks of peas would not be recommended based on my results. The peas grew very well and we had lots of peas to enjoy but the weight of the peas and plants had them fall over and I had to add support to keep them off the ground.
It was also more difficult to harvest all the peas that were in the center of the block.
I would recommend you plant peas in rows with the support that allows peas to grow to 6 feet tall since they can easily reach this height.
Recipe using Snow Peas
This is an easy and tasty recipe using your fresh Snow Peas.
Chop Snow Peas in half using as many as you have available
Take 4-5 Carrots peeled and cut them into thin slices
Use Fresh Asparagus 1 bunch chopped into 1-2 inch pieces
1 Tablespoon of garlic
Heat Olive Oil in the pan adding carrots and garlic after 5 minutes add asparagus and peas cook until tender. I prefer vegetables to be a little on the crunchy side.
Last, add salt and pepper to taste.
Great to serve with chicken or pork or to add on top of rice as a meal all in itself.