Growing Peas: An In Depth Guide

Last Updated on April 12, 2024 by Real Men Sow

The best thing about growing peas is that it’s so easy! What’s the point of asking? Typically, when you’re planting peas in the ground, you know it’s time to start the growing season.

There’s a lot more to green peas than simply that. With just one plant, you may expect a sizable crop, making them an excellent project for youngsters to work on.

When it comes to growing peas, there are a number of options available. What follows is an in-depth explanation.

Peas and Temperature

Spring Sowing Peas

Peas require a minimum of 75°F for seeding; depending on the variety, they can be grown for fall harvest when they are planted between 55 and 70 days before the first frost.

Cold soil is more difficult for peas to germinate. They can take up to nine days to germinate in 60°F soil and 36 days in 40°F. To warm soil in cold regions, use black plastic sheeting. (Peas can withstand temperatures as low as 19°F.

Fall Sowing Peas In Mild-Winter Regions

The warmer soil temperature is ideal for seed germination. Mammoth Melting, an old-fashioned variety of peas, will sprout in three to six days when sown in the late summer. To speed up the germination of slower varieties, soak the seeds in water for 24 hours prior to sowing. 

Sow your peas for the fall harvest at least a week before the first fall frost. Pea seedlings in their early stages may need to be shaded during hot autumn days. Protect peas with a floating row cover when it gets cold.

Growing Peas Location


Peas thrive in soil that is rich in nutrients and aged compost. Use a spade or a shovel to till the soil to 10 inches. If the soil is very heavy or poorly draining, sow peas in raised beds. You can add a low-nitrogen fertilizer such as 5-10-10 to your planting bed.


Peas should be grown in full sunlight. Place rows from north to south so plants receive plenty of sunlight throughout the day. Double rows of peas should be sown in twin furrows six inches apart. A trellis can be placed between the rows. Space double rows 24 to 30 inches apart. Plant seed 2 to 3 inches apart. A double row of peas will be planted in each row of the earth.

Planting and Growing Peas

Planting Peas in Twin Furrows

Plant peas in twin furrows, which are narrow grooves in the ground. One furrow should be on each side of the tree about 6 inches apart. Each row should be sown with a seed every 2 inches. Stagger the seeds along each side of your trellis. In sandy soil or cool soil, make the furrows 12 inches deep and 22 inches in heavy or warm soil.

Planting Peas in Blocks

You can grow dwarf or bush peas without support, but it will require some bending and knee harvesting. Place bush peas in blocks with wide rows. Spread the seed 1 inch apart. Later, thin the plants to 3 inches apart. You shouldn’t plant in rows that are too wide to reach the center of the harvest. 

Block-planted or wide-row peas don’t require staking or trellising. Block-planted peas may have some plants that fall over on the edges of the block, but they will generally produce a high yield. To make harvesting easier, use knee pads, a piece of carpet, or a stool.

Inoculate the seed before planting peas

The Rhizobia bacteria, which fixes nitrogen in the soil, will make legumes such as peas and beans more productive and healthier if they are sown in beds that haven’t grown beans or peas in three years. Rhizobia bacteria forms nodules on the root legumes. These nodules convert nitrogen from the air to nitrogen that the pea and bean roots can absorb. 

Inoculate or treat pea seeds by rolling the wet seed in inoculant powder from seed companies. One packet of inoculant usually suffices for one pound of seed. After the seeds are inoculated, it is no longer necessary to fertilize the soil with nitrogen. The soil will continue to support the bacteria for many years, so no need to inoculate new seeds.

Support Growing Peas

Peas need support. Even dwarf varieties require a trellis for climbing. Place stakes or metal posts in the ground along the middle of each row. Make sure to use stakes that are at least twice the height of the variety you grow. Securely anchor the posts. Securely attach the chicken wire, hardware cloth, or reinforcing metal to the stakes.

Caring for Peas

Birds and Peas

Young pea plants are especially attractive to birds. You can cover rows of pea seedlings using chicken wire or netting until they reach 5 inches.


Pea planting beds should be kept moist. Do not dry them. Once the first blooms appear, water the peas with about 14 inch (almost one gallon) every week until they are fully hydrated.

Tie-in the vines

To hold in new growth, tie the vines when they reach 12 to 15 inches in height. As the vine grows, tie-in it. This will prevent wind and rain from whipping vines in the sideways direction.

When to Harvest Peas

The peas will be ready to harvest in 55-70 days from the time they are sown. Peas will reach maturity when they are planted in late spring, early summer, or autumn. This is when temperatures are between 60 and 70°F (15-21°C). Peas should mature before it gets too hot.

When the pods are fully grown but still bright green, harvest garden or shell beans. Taste garden peas before picking. You can taste them each day once the pods begin to fill. They should be slightly bigger than the dried seed they were planted in. Do not wait too long. Once they reach maturity, garden peas quickly lose their quality and start to yellow. They are no longer as edible as fresh peas in a matter of days.

Peas that are picked too quickly will lose their sweetness. Peas that are too mature will become starchy and hard to handle. You should not wait too long for peas to turn yellow and become hard. Instead, let them dry on the vine. Then you can use them as soup peas.

How to Harvest Peas

Two hands are needed to pick peas. Grab the vine with one hand, then pinch each pod’s stem with the other. Then pull the peas with the other. Do not tug on or jerk the pods; pea plants are able to hang on to their supports with their thin tendrils. A heavy hand could cause the plant’s fall from its support.

After the dew has dried, pick peas in the morning. This is when the peas will be fresh and crisp for fresh eating. Peas should be cooled quickly to preserve freshness and sugar content. If they are not cooled, the sugar in peas will soon turn to starch. Peas that have been cooled will keep their quality for longer than one week in the fridge.

After picking, remove any garden or field heat by soaking them in cold water until the pods are cold. Then dry them and then refrigerate. To encourage more pods to form, keep plants picked well. You can still harvest peas if you miss the peak harvest. Once maturity has passed, fresh food quality decreases quickly.

How to Store Peas

Peas should be eaten as soon as possible after they are picked. The sugar that makes them sweet turns to starch as soon as the peas have been picked. Peas should be kept at 32-40°F (0-4°C), and 95% relative humidity. It is difficult to store peas in cold and moist conditions. Refrigerators not only provide cold air but also dry it.

To keep peas moist, place them in a perforated bag in the vegetable crisper area of the refrigerator. Peas can be kept in the refrigerator for up to seven days. Frozen peas should be kept in the freezer for at least one week. They will soften if they are kept too long or cold for too long

Real Men Sow
Real Men Sow

Hello, I’m Pete and I’m currently based in the west of Scotland, in a small place called Rosneath, where I’m exploring my garden adventures. I personally started gardening around 6 years ago and initially, I started out by growing my favorite fruits and berries, such as strawberries, Raspberries & Gooseberries. Since then I’ve added a lot of vegetables and working closely with my neighbor, it’s been a lot of fun.