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How to grow peas

How to grow peas

Peas are a great crop for beginners, as they don't take very long to grow and produce a lot of food. They're also easy to plant and care for.

Peas are best grown in a sunny spot in your garden or backyard, but they can also be grown on an indoor window sill if you have enough light. You can also grow peas in containers if you want more control over how much space they take up and where they're planted.

Know your climate

Before you start planting peas, it's important to know your climate. That way, you can select the right variety and make sure they'll grow well in your area.

You'll want to know:

  • What is the average rainfall in your area? If you're somewhere that gets a lot of rain (like Seattle), then choose varieties that are resistant to disease or fungal diseases like powdery mildew, which could otherwise ruin your harvest.

  • What is the average temperature? Pay attention to whether it's hot or cold when pea plants are growing—in places with hot summers (like Arizona), look for heat-tolerant varieties; while in cooler climates with short growing seasons (say, Maine), choose early spring-planted varieties that will have time before end-of-season frosts come along

Pick a suitable variety

Before you can start growing peas, you'll need to select a suitable variety. This is especially important because different varieties of peas are best suited to different climates and uses.

Soil type and the intended harvest time should also be taken into account when choosing a variety of pea plant. Some varieties grow better in sandy soil than others, while some take longer than others when it comes to flowering and producing pods full of peas.

When to plant

Planting peas is an early spring project, but it can be done as early as February in warmer climates. Peas are very sensitive to weather, so it's important to wait until the soil and air temperatures have warmed up and you're sure that there won't be any more frost before planting them. Plant your seeds about 1 inch deep and 2 inches apart from each other in rows 18-24 inches apart.

Peas do best with full sun exposure, so if you live in an area where they don't get enough light, consider planting them under a tree or other tall structure that will provide shade during their growing season.

Pests and diseases

Peas are susceptible to a wide variety of pests and diseases. Look for pea aphids, leaf miners, pea weevils, spotted wing drosophila flies (SWD) and thrips. To prevent pest infestations:

Plant disease-resistant varieties whenever possible

  • Remove flowers that appear after the crop has been planted so there is no chance for cross-pollination

  • Mulch the garden with straw or grass clippings (not hay) to keep weeds down; this will also help keep moisture levels to where they should be

Where to plant

In order to get the most out of your peas, they need full sun. They also require well-drained soil with plenty of sand or grit, so that their roots don't become waterlogged. If you're growing them in containers, make sure to keep them watered and make sure they have enough room for their roots to spread out.

Peas should not be grown in the same spot year after year as this can cause root diseases or pests like blight and rust fungi to develop over time (although some gardeners will sow pea seeds every year).

Harvest at the correct time

When your peas are ripe, it will be easy to tell when they are ready to harvest. The pods will be bright green and plump and the peas inside should be firm but tender. They should also have darkened in color and developed a creamy texture and flavor as they mature. If you’re not sure if your peas are ready for harvest, simply snap off one of the pods from the vine with your hand or knife (but don’t pull them!). If there is no resistance from the stem when you do this, then it is time to pick all of them!

To harvest: Cut off stems just above ground level with scissors or pruners; gather up into small bunches; place gently into pint containers filled with water just until covered (this prevents browning); cover loosely with plastic wrap; refrigerate immediately until needed (up to 3 days).


Peas are a delicious, nutritious vegetable that can be grown in most climates. They have a lot of uses and are also great for making jams, jellies and even canned foods. So if you fancy trying your hand at growing some peas, then follow our tips above on how to grow peas and harvest them when they are fully ripe!