Old-wives’ tales say to plant peas on the first day of spring, and it’s true! But spring is relative to where you live.
No matter where you garden, do plant peas in cool soil to enjoy them within 60 days, or sometimes as early as 45 days after planting.
Three types of peas can be planted: crunchy Sugar Snaps, which are eaten whole; tender, flat Snow Pea pods, also eaten whole; and Shell or English, from which sweet, plump peas are removed from tough pods.
Peas can be vining or bush variety, so check your package before planting to determine whether you will need to plant along a trellis or fence if you choose the vining variety.
Taste and texture are the best if you prepare and eat peas immediately after harvesting; the sugar in peas turns to starch a few hours after picking.
PLANTING IS EASY:
- Soak peas in water 12-24 hours before planting to increase germination.
- Choose a spot in the garden with full sun and loose soil.
- Plant climbers in double rows 6-8” apart on either side of a trellis or along a fence line.
- Space seeds of bush or dwarf peas 1” apart in rows 2’ apart. Plant seeds 2” deep in light soil or 1” deep in heavy soil.
WHEN TO PICK:
Pods are ready to pick about 3 weeks after blossoms appear. You should harvest peas daily to catch them at their prime and to encourage plants to keep producing.