How To Grow Peas

How To Grow Menu | Pea Varieties

There are basically two types of peas: shelling which is the traditional type of garden pea and edible-podded which includes snow peas and sugar snap varieties.

When to Plant

A cool weather crop, peas do very well when planted early in the season once the soil can be worked. Consider planting both early and late-maturing varieties for an extended harvest period. The use of Garden Inoculant at the time of planting can greatly increase yields.


Well drained soil in full sun is best. Planting where beans and peas have not been grown for at least a year will help reduce insect and disease problems. Ideally it is best to rotate peas to new areas of the garden each without repeating in an area for 4 years.

Planting & Growing Information

Sow seeds 2.5 cm (1”) deep and 2.5 cm (1”) apart. Row spacing 75 cm (30”).

Seeds germinate in approximately 5-10 days.

Days to Maturity

From date directly sown in garden.

Other Information

Pea plants need regular moisture from the time they are in blossom until the end of the season for higher yields and better quality. Peas will not be as sweet when grown in dry conditions.

Edible-podded peas include both Snow Peas and Snap Peas.

Snow Peas have flat, tender pods with small, undeveloped peas inside.

Snap Peas have crunchy, delicious plump pods with sweet full-sized peas inside.

Harvesting & Storage

Although peas can be grown without supports, they are easier to pick when they have been grown on a support. The use of McFayden’s Expandable Garden Fence (3799), works perfectly to support the plants throughout the season.

When harvesting, use two hands or pinch off pods or try using scissors. Be careful not to break the brittle pea vines.

Pick when young and tender for best flavor. Color will fade and pods will harden when overripe.

Snow peas should be harvested when peas are undeveloped and pods are young, bright green and flat. Best to use up snow peas soon after harvest since they quickly lose their sugar content after picked. Harvest regularly to increase the yield.

Snap peas can be harvested when the pods are plump and crisp. They can be eaten at any stage, pods and all without removing the string.

Best when used same day they are picked but can be stored in plastic bags in the refrigerator.

Companion Planting

Likes: Beans, Carrot, corn, cucumber, radish



To Prepare Garden Peas or Sugar Peas for Freezing

  1. In a large pot with tight fitting lid, fill approximately 2/3 full of water and bring to a boil.
  2. Meanwhile, prepare shelled peas or edible-podded peas for blanching by washing, trimming and stringing as necessary.
  3. Drop peas into boiling water and immediately cover with a tight fitting lid. (Ideally it is best not to blanch more than one pound of peas at a time)
  4. Blanch shelled peas for 1 ½ – 2 minutes and pods for 5 minutes.
  5. Prepare an ice water bath in a large 5 to 6 quart container or use the sink.
  6. Remove the peas from the blanching water with a slotted spoon or blanching basket.
  7. Emerge the peas in the ice water bath for 5 min. or until completely cool. If ice is unavailable, use several changes of cold tap water to cool the vegetables.
  8. Remove from water and drain.
  9. Label and date freezer bags.
  10. Pack peas into prepared freezer bags, squeeze out as much air as possible. Using a straw to suck out the excess air work best and then seal and freeze. Peas can be frozen for up to a year.

Note: Blanching water and ice water bath may be used over and over again. Return blanching water to a boil after each batch of vegetables is blanched and replenish water if necessary.


Glazed Snap Peas

12 oz sugar snap peas (approximately 3 ½ cups)

2 Tbsp honey

1 Tbsp butter

½ tsp salt

1/8 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

2-3 Tbsp bacon bits

Cook peas in large saucepan of boiling salted water for 2 minutes; drain.

Stir in honey, butter, salt and pepper flakes.

Sprinkle with bacon.



Garden Inoculant: It is a fine powder applied to the seeds at time of planting. Inoculant is living bacteria that enables garden bean and pea plants to produce nitrogen fixing nodules along the roots which act to gather nitrogen (which is vital for plant growth) from the air and soil resulting in better growth and production. In addition, the nitrogen gathered stays in the soil at the end of the season for the next season’s crops to profit from.


NOTE: Store it in a cool place.   It is best to use inoculant in the year it was purchased. Excess inoculant can be worked into the soil.