How to Grow Peas

A Vegetable Gardener's Guide on How to Grow Peas

Peas are known for their easy-cultivation methods that can be carried out in a cool climate. Read this Gardenerdy article to know more.
Gardenerdy Staff
Last Updated: Mar 10, 2018
Farm of Black-Eyed Peas
Pea is a legume which belongs to the Fabaceae family, having the botanical name Pisum sativum. Development of peas (seeds) takes place from ovaries of flowers and they remain enclosed in pods. Field pea is basically a cool season crop which completes its life cycle in a single year.


Soil and Fertilizer: The soil used for cultivation has to be tilled properly. Being a leguminous plant, pea is capable of nitrogen fixation. A pH of 6.0-6.8 is considered ideal for the growth of these plants. Addition of nitrogenous fertilizers is therefore not required. However, a healthy amount of organic material should also be added to the soil.

Sowing: Sowing is generally done in the period between mid-June and mid-September. There are three types of pea crops classified on the basis of duration of their life cycle. These types are as follows: first early (12 weeks), second early (14 weeks) and main crop (15 weeks). The temperature of soil at the time of sowing needs to be 45°F. The soil should be well-drained and also moist in order to allow the growth of this plant without much difficulty. Distance between two rows (for sowing) should be maintained at 18-24 inches.

Care and Maintenance
Germination needs proper care in their early days of growth. Hoeing should be carried out at a shallow depth to prevent any kind of damage to the tender seeds and seedlings. Harvesting should be done at a time when peas are soft and not starchy. Picking the peas immediately before cooking is advisable. This practice is important from the point of retaining their sweetness.

Diseases like root rot and fusarium wilt can be prevented by keeping the soil aerated and well-drained. Varieties like Sparkle, Daybreak, Dwarf Gray Sugar, Little Marvel, Snowbird, etc., should also prove to be useful from the point of preventing these problems.

Planting Peas in a Pot

Varieties that mature quickly are used for growing in pots. Containers chosen for gardening should be at least 6 inches deep. It is advisable to use plastic pots, since it gets the work done even at a cost that is less. Soil used for container gardening should be a mixture of potting mix, garden dirt, etc., thorough mixing of different media needs to be carried out. Sowing is generally done during spring or fall. Seeds have to be sown 1 inch deep in the soil. This plant has to be supported as it grows taller. It is therefore necessary to insert sticks in the container for providing support.