How to grow Peas

My Pea crop for 2013

When to sow Peas

  • In early spring, March to April.

Here in Ireland we have a saying, Plant Peas before Paddy's Day, (17th March.) 

If the weather is particularly cold cover the soil with a polythene sheet two weeks before you intend to sow.

How to sow Peas

  • Create a raised bed where you intend to sow the pea seeds.
  • Make two trenches one on either side of the support frame you intend to place there later.
  • The soil will warm up faster than the soil around it and this will help in speeding up germination time.
  • Add plenty of water to the trenches and then sow your seeds.
  • They should be 1 inch, 6 cm deep and 2 inches, 8 cm apart.
  • Cover the seeds with soil and flatten down firmly.
  • If the weather is still too cold you can add some straw or other mulch on top of the soil to keep it warm.
  • Your intention is to get the peas planted and growing as early as possible so that the peas can grow and produce flowers and pods before the really hot summer stunts their growth.
Preparing the trench for my pea plants

Sowing pea plants and seeds in my small garden

 Looking after the peas
  • Water the peas once a week in the spring or if you see the soil drying out.
  • As the plants start to grow and the summer comes along water every few days or as needed.
  • Never let the soil dry out as this will stop the pea plants from flowering and producing pods.
  • To avoid this you should add more mulch once the plants reach a height of about 5 inches.
  • The peas will need to be supported once they grow taller. You can do this by adding a wire fence, posts or twigs. As the days go by check the plants for the thin tendrils and gently twist these around your support system.

Peas and insects

  • Aphids are the insects that can attack your peas.
  • If you see them on the leaves then use the hose to wash them off.
  • This will get rid of them.
My pea plants are growing nicely and supported by a trellis.

The peas plants will produce white flowers

When the peas are ready to pick and eat
  • Depending on the soil and weather it takes 12 to 15 weeks for the peas to grow enough to pick and eat.
  • The plants produce lovely white flowers and from these buds the pods are created.
  • Check the pods every day once the peas are visible
  • They always ripe from the bottom of the plant first.
  • When you can see the peas are round, big and full in the pod then it is time to pick them.
  • Always use secateurs or a sharp knife to cut the pod off the plant.
  • If you attempt to pull the pods off with your hands then the shock to the plant could damage it preventing further growth of the remaining pods.
  • The more pods you pick the more room for other pods to develop.

Picking my own peas in the garden

Shelling some of my peas for the dinner

How to create pea plants from seed

  • When it came to plant my pea seeds in March the weather was still very frosty here in Ireland.
  • I decided to plants some pea seeds in compost and keep them in the cold house until they were a few inches in height.
  • Then I transplanted them out into the trenches.
  • I also planted other pea seeds at the same time in between these plants directly into the soil.

  • Both did very well with the plants flowering first and then the directly sown seeds after that.
  • This gave me a bumper crop of peas to harvest.
I used the inside of toilet rolls to plant the pea seeds

My pea seeds have grown big enough to transplant in the garden

A tip to protect the delicate pea plant roots

  • I planted the seeds in a cardboard roll cut up from the inside of a toilet roll . 
  • This protected the roots when it came to transplanting them out into the garden. 
  • The pea plant has very sensitive roots and should be handled carefully. 
  • This was achieved by cutting the roll with a scissors down the middle before planting therefore keeping the roots in tact.

My home grown peas and carrots added to steak and onions with mashed potatoes.

    Steak and Onion Pie with fresh peas from the garden

    You Tube Videos - How to grow peas

    How to Grow Peas in Containers: Planting to Picking

    Seed Starting Peas Indoors and Container Planting

    Allotment Diary : How to sow / plant peas

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