Everything You Need To Know About Growing Peas


Peas are a cool-weather crop that is native to the Mediterranean Basin and the Near East and keeps producing more pods when they are picked.

They are an easy-to-grow crop and are one of the first that will be ready for harvest from winter to early summer.

Peas are best grown on a trellis which keeps the pods off the ground and makes harvesting easier.


Peas are best grown in full sun with well-drained soil and a soil pH range of 6.0 through 7.5.

They can be sown straight into the soil after the last frost or as I prefer they can be started 8 to 10 weeks before the last frost indoors using a cardboard seed starting tray.

They are best planted 18 inches apart for rows, 2 to 3 inches apart, and one-half of an inch to one inch deep.

To get the most from your pea plants and to make harvesting easier, it is recommended to grow them on a trellis.

For best results, it is recommended before planting or sowing them to till compost into the soil, known as amending the soil.

This will provide nutrients to the soil, helps with water retention, and will help to keep the soil loose which will make it easier for the roots to grow.


To avoid any possible issues of over-fertilizing your peas, you should test your soil before adding any fertilizers.

If the soil is balanced then they need a fertilizer such as 10-10-10 and if the soil is low in phosphorus then a high phosphorus fertilizer such as 15-30-15 should be used.

If you prefer, you can use a homemade organic liquid fertilizer and they will require about 1 to 2 inches of water per week.

Peas are a cool weather crop that grows during cooler and wetter times, therefore you may not need to water them that often.


Peas are ready for harvest between 60 to 70 days after planting and about 3 weeks after the flowers emerge.

Like many other plants, peas will keep producing pods after the pods on the plant are harvested.

This will happen throughout the year but the quality and production of the pods will slow or stop altogether when the temperatures get above 85 degrees Fahrenheit.


Peas are best propagated through seed, therefore some plants should be allowed to go to seed for the following season.


Peas have many pests that feed on them but using natural methods such as attracting predators and using natural insecticides such as essential oils, diatomaceous earth, or insecticidal soap will keep your pest control organic.

  • Aphids
  • Thrips
  • Spider mites
  • Cutworms
  • Pea weevils
  • Cucumber beetles
  • Armyworms
  • Leaf miners
  • Nematodes


peas that are planted close together can develop mold and mildew issues during times of high humidity.

If this is the case then preventive measures may need to be taken.

  • Powdery mildew
  • Downy mildew
  • Damping off
  • Bacterial blight
  • Asocochyta blight
  • Root rot
  • Fusarium wilt


Peas are divided into three varieties snow peas, English peas, and sugar snap peas but they are also called other names which can make choosing a variety a little difficult.

The difference between the three varieties is obvious and once you know the difference it makes it easier to identify them.


Snow peas have eatable pods that are flat and they are typically harvested before the peas have a chance to fully mature and become plump.

They are best planted about 1 apart in rows with each row 18 to 24 inches apart and about 1 inch deep.

Snow peas are ready for harvest in about 60 days when the peas start to form.


  • Golden sweet snow peas
  • Oregon giant snow peas
  • Oregon sugar pod snow peas
  • Mammoth melting sugar snow peas


English peas have unedible pods and you will know when they are ready for harvest because the pods open showing the peas.

They prefer well-drained fertile soil with daily watering once or twice in the early morning and late evening.

English peas are best planted about 2 apart in rows with each row 18 to 24 inches apart and about 1 inch deep.

Because the pods open when they are fully mature in about 50 days, they are easier and faster to shell.


  • Maestro English pea
  • Green arrow English pea
  • Lincoln English pea


Sugar snap peas are a hybrid between snow peas and English peas with eatable pods and are grown the same as English peas.

They prefer well-drained fertile soil with daily watering once or twice in the early morning and late evening.

Sugar snap peas are best planted about 2 apart in rows with each row 18 to 24 inches apart and about 1 inch deep.

Sugar snap peas are ready for harvest between 40 to 55 days when the peas become plump.


  • Sugar snap pea
  • Sugar Ann
  • Sugar daddy
  • Cascadia

Joel SImon

As a kid, Joel found enjoyment in caring for the many houseplants he grew up with, learning how to transplant them safely, cloning them, and more. At about the age of 10, he wanted to see if he could sprout an orange seed from a store-bought orange and ended up using it as a science experiment in a school project. Throughout the many years of gardening, he has helped many friends and family set up their food and botanical gardens. After years of caring for plants, he was talking with other gardeners and discovering old methods of farming and botanical gardening. Joel has decided to share his knowledge for others to enjoy as he has for many years.

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