Peas are one of the oldest cultivated vegetables. There are three main types of peas grown today. The Garden or English Pea is the most familiar type. Peas are shelled to remove them from the pod, which is generally tough and inedible. The Snow or Sugar Pea produces tender, edible pods that are harvested when the peas are small and undeveloped. The Snap Pea was developed within the last 30 years in the United States. Eaten like a snap bean, the mature plant produces delicious edible pods and sweet, full-size peas. Untreated pea seeds are available.
Growing Tips: Plant peas as soon as you can safely work the ground in early spring. If temperatures are averaging around 60-65°F., seeds will germinate in one week. Some varieties will need trellising because of their large vines. Smaller, bush varieties need not be trellised unless desired. Harvest English Peas when pods are large and rounded with mature peas. Leave in shell until just before cooking to preserve sweetness. Snow Peas should be picked when peas are still small to preserve tender pods and sweet taste.
Fresh Market Grower Tips:
Freshly picked, sweet peas are a sure sign of summer, and customers head for Farmers’ Markets, roadside stands, and other direct-market sources for the finest pods. Three main types of peas are grown today. Standard Pea varieties are the most familiar, also known as Garden, English, or Shelling Peas. The pods of Standard varieties are tough and inedible, so the sweet peas inside are shelled out for culinary use. Snow Pea varieties produce tender, edible, flat pods that are harvested when the pea berries are small and undeveloped. Snap Pea varieties, developed in the United States within the last 30 years, also offer delicious edible pods. However, Snap Pea pods are fleshy, juicy, and filled with sweet, full-sized peas at harvest time. The pods develop sugar as they become plump, so pick them when the sides of the pod become rounded rather than flat.
As soon in the spring as you can work
your ground without damaging it, you can plant peas.
Select a fertile, well-drained loam with a pH of 6.0-6.8.
Plant seed at a uniform 1-2" depth. Peas do not need to
be trellised unless noted. In some climates, peas may
also be sown in late summer to mature in the fall.
Maturity dates listed are from direct seeding, and should be used for variety comparison only.
Avg. Seed Count: 2000/Lb.; 250/Pkt
CW = common wilt
FW = Fusarium wilt
DM = downy mildew
PM = powdery mildew
PEV = pea enation virus
PLRV = pea leaf roll virus
BYMV = bean yellow mosaic virus