How to Grow Peas

Written by Laveréna Wienclaw

An easy care veggie that does well in cooler weather for your Spring and Fall edible gardens.

Planting & Care

  • Many gardeners start their veggies in pots before transplanting, but you should try to direct sow peas as they get stressed when they are transferred and this could negatively impact your yields.
  • Moist and cool soil is key to growing an abundance of peas. Soil at 60 degrees is optimal and will help most peas germinate in around a week or two, while soil around forty degrees can impede the germination process by about a month. So make sure you have cool soil, but not too cold!
  • Soil should be well draining with some nutrients, try to avoid soil with a high clay content.
  • If not mentioned on a package, peas should normally be planted 1 inch deep, and with 2-6 inches of distance from other planted peas (depending on bush or vine-type.)
  • Peas will germinate well with some shade. Once they are sprouted, they will reach their full potential in a full sun (6+ hours) environment.
  • It's important to note whether you are growing bush-type peas, or vine-type peas. Bush peas are recommended for beginner growers as you just need space rather than a trellis or fence to support the plant. Vine-type peas will maximize your produce output with minimal space, but will require more work in getting a support system in the form of a trellis, fence, or some poles.

Fun Facts

  • Peas are a common plant in the Spring, but most people do not consider them for a fall crop. Fall peas may take a little more work when the plants are started in order to shield them from the heat of summer, but after the initial work of germination and heat-shelter, peas do well in the cooler, moist temperatures of fall.
  • Once peas that are climbers begin shooting out vines, it’s best to find something to keep them supported that’s about 4-6 feet long. Luckily, they grow shallow roots, so if you place them in a container they should do well with just a gallon pot (put those old milk containers to use!) with some holes punctured at the bottom.
  • Even though peas like full sun, they will flourish in cooler temperatures. In fact, once they get too hot, they will stop producing fruit!
  • If you want to plant them out of season, keeping them in a sunny window in a room temperature atmosphere (around 60-70ºF) should be the best indoor conditions for the plant.

Personal Experience

These plants do amazing in the Spring, and they grow and create produce a lot faster than you may expect. Be sure you have a plan for a support system if you have a viney variety!

I planted some peas in Spring and a late planting in spring/early summer. Just a few plants in the Spring helped me create some amazing stir-fries. Luckily the summer peas had lots of shade and were still able to produce, however, they produce so much more in the Spring climate that if you want peas throughout the summer, I would advise an indoor crop!

Published on August 29th 2018. Last updated 10 months ago.