How To Grow Peas


SCIENTIFIC NAME: Pisum sativum
LIGHT: Full Sun
SOIL TYPE: Medium-rich, well-drained, high organic matter
pH RANGE: 6.0 – 7.0



If there is one vegetable I remember most growing up, it is peas. Nothing beats picking some pea pods and tasting the fresh sweetness. Peas can be started as soon as the last major frost has passed. There are many varieties: all peas prefer a soil that is well-drained with limestone or wood ashes.

Pick peas on a regular basis to encourage more growth and a better harvest. Try not to get the plant wet when watering, instead, use a weeper hose or low level watering device. Harvest peas while young for the sweetest flavor. Peas retain their flavor best when frozen much better than when they are canned.


As peas can prefer cool growing conditions and will tolerate light frosts, they may be planted as soon as the ground can be worked and will germinate in a wide range of soil temperatures, 4-24°C (40-75°F). Sow pea seed 1 to 1½” deep, 1-2 inches apart in double rows spaced 3-6” apart, 24” between the next double row. Pea plants will tolerate crowding so may be spaced 2” apart. All peas, including dwarf types, are natural climbers, will be more productive, and not as susceptible to rot, if given some support or planted along a fence or trellis. Pea seed is available in both treated and untreated; if using untreated pea seeds, avoid planting in cold, wet, poorly aerated soils, as you risk loosing the seed to rot.


Peas do well with Carrot, celery, corn, cucumber, eggplant, early potato, radish, spinach, pepper, turnip.


Peas prefer full sun to partial shade with a soil pH of 6.0-7.0. and require a well-drained, rich and sandy soil. Work organic matter, including rotted manure or compost into the soil for best results. An application of Garden Inoculant, either to the soil or to the pea seeds themselves before planting, can be very beneficial. Even soil moisture is essential especially during flowering and pod set. Use mulch to conserve moisture and keep weeds down around your peas.


For best tasting peas, harvest as pods become plump, but are still young and tender. Pick peas regularly to promote continued production. When you pick, is partially personal preference. If you prefer small, sweet peas, pick early. Experiment until you find which size and flavour you prefer.

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