Growing Hyperguide: Peas

Peas! I’m gonna live forever!

Peas are the perfect spring crop here at Lunaberry Farms! I love that they can be planted directly in-ground as soon as the weather stabilizes (or even earlier indoors if you’re antsy!) and are a delicious, delicate opening act for Spring. We grow our peas once a year, making them a seasonal treat that we eat directly from the trellis. Our preferred peas are Sugar Snap varieties, but all garden peas basically grow the same and have similar requirements. There are many varieties, but I have narrowed down my favorites at the end of the article.

Peas, like beans, fix nitrogen from the air into their roots and help replenish essential nitrogen back into the soil.

Peas, Specified

Latin name: Pisum sativum
Hardiness Zone: None/Annual
Days to Germination: 7-14
Days to Maturity: 60-70
Seeding Depth: 1”
Plant Spacing: 6-9”
Plant Height: 12-36”
Row Spacing: 12-24”
Growing Habit: Climbing vine
Soil Preference: Evenly moist, organically rich, well-drained
Temperature Preference: 55-75 °F
Light Preference: Full sun

How to Sow & Grow Peas

Peas are ideally suited for direct full sun outdoor sowing as soon as the soil can be worked, even before your final frost date. Soak the peas in warm water for 4-6 hours prior to sowing to help germination. Sow 1” deep and 1-2” apart in organically rich, well-drained soil. I like to plant my peas in groups of 4-5 so they can hold each other up until they can reach the trellis. Seeds germinate in 7-14 days and they will soon sprout tendrils to grab onto something to climb. During this time, try to direct your peas toward the trellis, because they can easily grab onto themselves and fall over. Don’t worry about breaking a few tendrils in the process of moving them to the right spot. But also, try not to fiddle too hard with it. Keep the soil evenly moist. I like to plant my peas when it’s warming up and I see 2-3 days of rain in the forecast. We can’t set up our drip irrigation until all danger of frost passes, so rain is important!

When to Harvest Peas

Most varieties of pea are ready for harvest 60-70 days from sowing. The first sign of peas are the beautiful pea flowers! Green peas will have white flowers and purple-podded peas will have pink flowers. Know the variety you are planting because each will have different signs of ripeness. For sugar snap, the pods will swell until they look very full and ripe, not shiny, and taste exceptionally sweet and crunchy. Unripe pods are shiny, flatter, and taste grassy. Peas can be eaten straight from the vine. Carefully cut or gently pluck the pods off the vine. Sugar snap peas are not ideal for drying, they are for fresh eating only.

Favorite varieties

Saving Pea Seeds

Coming soon!