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How to Grow Peas: Garden, English, Snap Peas and Sugar and Snow Peas

Posted Feb 10 2009 10:12am

Garden, English, and snap peas are grown for the shelled seeds or peas in their pods. Sugar or snow peas are grown for their flat, green pods.

 

Peas are a cool-season crop that must mature before the weather gets warm. The ideal growing temperature for peas is 55°F to 70°F. Sow peas in the garden 6 weeks before the average last frost date in spring or as soon as the soil can be worked.

 

Description. Peas are weak-stemmed vining annuals with leaf-like stipules, leaves with one to three pairs of leaflets, and tendrils used for climbing. Peas grow 6 to 10 peas or seeds in a pod. Seeds are either smooth or wrinkled depending on the variety. Garden, English, and snap peas are grown for the maturing seeds in the pods. These are harvested when pods are 4 to 6 inches long and pods are bulging but before the pods begin to dry. Sugar and snow peas are grown for their edible pods. These are harvested when pods are 1½ to 2½ inches long and the peas inside are barely visible.

 

A primer on peas: click here.

 

Yield. Plant 30 plants per household member.

 

Site. Grow peas in rich, loamy soil that is well-drained. Peas will produce earlier if planted in sandy soil. Later crops can be planted in heavier, clay soil. Plant peas in full sun or partial shade. Peas prefer a soil pH of 5.5 to 6.8. Grow peas supported by poles, a trellis, or fence.

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