How to Grow Peas in a Garden

18 Jul


If you can remember sitting on the doorstep with your Grandma shelling peas while enjoying the beautiful garden decor you will probably want to know how to grow peas in a garden to enable you to recreate that wonderful experience of shelling peas, followed by the taste of freshly harvested peas served with your evening meal. You probably remember the taste of peas straight from the pod… Such sweet delicate flavours really do not come out of the freezer!

Choose the Area Carefully

So how to grow a garden complete with garden peas is the question you will want answering. It is best to choose a sunny area, although peas can manage in partial shade, particularly if the shaded time is during the hottest part of the day. Be careful of wind as peas can grow to over 6 feet tall and if exposed to high winds they can be damaged. Do not be tempted to plant near walls or fences though, you may get the wind protection but as Peas like moisture it is not the best place for them.

Peas will grow on most types of soil; an organic material medium well-dug into soil is a good start. Do not add nitrogen as peas get nitrogen from the air. An over-rich soil will just give you lots of leaf and a reduced pea crop. Mange tout are treated in the same way as peas so whatever variety you select the basic principles are the same, but you will not have the pleasure of shelling mange tout of course as you eat the whole thing. You can however grow them side by side to ensure variety at dinner.

How Long do Peas Take to Grow?

If you are wondering how long does it take to grow peas, they take only 12-15 weeks from planting to harvest so to ensure a constant harvest from June to September you will need to plant out your seeds from March to June. Use a range of different varieties not only to experience the taste, but to see if one particular variety is more successful as then next year you can make this your main focus, or concentrate more heavily on perfecting the weaker strains to promote a healthier harvest.

To harvest earlier crops you will need to plant under supported plastic or cloches and you will need to cover the soil about a moth before the peas are sown to ensure the bed is warm enough then keep them covered until all danger of frost has passed. So you see the basics of how to grow peas in a garden are not that difficult. Choose your spot with care, fertilise and dig well then plant and water to enjoy a quick return.

Photo by jana_koll **Courtesy of sxc.hu

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