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Pea  

Pisum sativum

Pea is a member of the Pisum family. Its botanical name is Pisum sativum. The scientific name epithet sativum means 'having been cultivated'.

A great cool climate crop, Peas are a good choice for the home veggie patch. There are many varieties to choose from, from tender mangetout types to regular podded peas.

Pea flowers are self-contained, and do not require bees for pollination. They also will not hybridize with other plants without intervention, so seed can be safely saved even if you are growing multiple varieties.

There are different varieties of pea pods. Edible pod, or mangetout peas are meant to be eaten while immature. Regular peas have tough, stringy pods which are not intended to eat at any age.

Pea flowers are self-contained, and do not require bees for pollination. They also will not hybridize with other plants without intervention, so seed can be safely saved even if you are growing multiple varieties.

Its fruits normally ripen as a colour very similar to   Apple green.

Pea is an edible vegetable / legume annual, it will last but a year in its native climate.

Pea is known for its viny habit and growing to a height of approximately 1.55 metres (5.04 feet). Expect blooming to occur in late spring and harvesting to start by early summer.

Popular varieties of Pea with home gardeners are Green Arrow, Little Marvel, Alaska, Wando and Lincoln.

Pea is normally quite a low maintenance plant and is normally very easy to grow - great for beginner gardeners!

This plant info is provided by the myfolia gardener's wiki. All details about Pea have been kindly provided by our members.

How to grow Pea

  • Full Sun

  • High

  • Peas are quite frost hardy, and can be sown during what most people would still consider winter.
  • Most peas require a trellis to climb.
  • Peas grow best in a fairly open space in the garden in well dug soil.
  • Sow peas at regular intervals to prolong the cropping season.

Enjoys a full sun position in your garden and remember to water often. As a rough idea of the types of climates Pea does best in, check to see if your local area is within USDA Hardiness Zones 3 and 9. Pea needs a loamy soil with a ph of 5.5 to 6.5 (weakly acidic soil). Pea is generally regarded as a half hardy plant, so remember to protect this plant from frosts and low temperatures.

See our list of companion Plants for Pea to see which plants you should plant in close proximity to encourage growth.

Growing Pea from seed

Direct sow. Germinates in cool soils. Best to soak seed for between 1 and 24 hours before planting, and dust seed with innoculant of nitrogen fixing bacteria if you are planting in soil that has not grown peas or beans before.
After sowing, don’t water as much as you would for other seeds, they might rot. Some people soak them beforehand, then plant, and then don’t water until they see the plant germinating, and even then might wait until they are about 8cm high before watering regularly.

Sow in bands rather than single rows in trenches 5cm deep and 15cm wide. Scatter seeds thinly.

An alternative idea for sowing peas is to fill lengths of plastic guttering with compost and sow seeds as above. When the seedlings are well established, prepare a trench and slide the entire contents out of the guttering “mould” into the trench then grow as usual.

Try to aim for a seed spacing of at least 2.97 inches (7.62 cm) and sow at a depth of around 0.99 inches (2.54 cm). For optimal germination, soil temperature should be a minimum of 4°C / 39°F.

By our calculations*, you should look at sowing Pea about 35 days before your last frost date .

Transplanting Pea

Peas do not transplant well. Peas do not grow well in heat of summer, therefore direct sow early in spring (5 weeks before last frost) and in Fall (10 weeks before first frost) 1.

Pea is half hardy, so ensure you wait until all danger of frost has passed in your area before considering planting outside.

By our calculations*, you should look at planting out Pea about 0 days after your last frost date.

Harvesting Pea

You will know when peas are ready to harvest by how firm the pods are – initially you might have to open a few to get a feel for when they are ready. To pick the peas, hold the plant firm while you pick to ensure you don’t accidently uproot the plant. Any surplus pea harvest should be frozen straightaway.
To freeze podded peas, shell them and boil for 2 minutes to blanch. For peas eaten pod and all (eg. Snow peas, sugar snaps), boil for 1.5 minutes in their pod.
For both types, after boiling, plunge into icy water, then lay flat on wax-proof paper in a tray in the freezer for 24hours, then put in zip-lock bags or whatever you like to freeze in 2.

Seed Saving Pea

Seed viability is three years.

How long does Pea take to grow?

These estimates for how long Pea takes to sprout, grow and harvest are from real observations from real gardeners, right around the world.

Start logging and journaling your observations to participate!

Days to Germination How long does it take Pea to germinate?
11 days

Average 11 days | Min 2 days | Max 32 days (775)

Days to Transplant How long until I can plant out Pea?
+ 19 days

Average 19 days | Min 2 days | Max 47 days (50)

Days to Maturity How long until Pea is ready for harvest / bloom?
+ 87 days

Average 87 days | Min 2 days | Max 186 days (167)

Total Growing Days How long does it take to grow Pea?
= 117 days

When should I plant Pea?

Our when to plant Pea estimates are relative to your last frost date.

Enter your frost dates and we'll calculate your sowing and planting dates for you!

When to sow The number of days to sow Pea before or after your last frost date.
35 days before Last Frost Date
When to plant out The number of days to plant out Pea before or after your last frost date.
0 days after Last Frost Date

Other names for Pea

Snow pea

Pisum sativum L.

Misspellings: Peas

Latest Pea Reviews

  • I had no luck growing these seeds direct sown into the garden so I dug up seeds that weren’t rotted and I sowed one of them again in a peat pot. It is doing good now. Will harden on 9/22/14.

    3 stars

    amccrerrand about growing Green Arrow Shell Pea
  • pulled out the plants. They have some fungus or something. Not producing much anymore and what they do produce, the chipmunks get.

    0 stars

    HollyBee about growing Pea 'Little Marvel'
  • pulled out the plants. They have some fungus or something. Not producing much anymore and what they do produce, the chipmunks get.

    0 stars

    HollyBee about growing Pea 'Green Arrow'

See all Pea reviews and experiences »

Footnotes

1 Square Foot Gardening (Mel Bartholomew, 1981, p. 316).

2 Nankervis, Michelle (2014) “Pretty Peas”, Gardening Australia, July 2014, p58.

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