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Sweet, juicy and tender peas, they are full of natural goodness.
They are members of the legumes family which also includes beans, lentils and peanuts.
Peas are easy to grow from seed or seedling. They will be ready to eat within about 60-80 days of planting seeds depending on variety.
Peas are high in protein and fibre and are low in fat and carbohydrates.
Good for soils, they will put much needed nitrogen back into it.
Follow our seven easy steps to successful pea harvest including tips along the way.
When to plant and position in the garden.
Peas can be planted in late summer to autumn in most regions. Check with your local garden centre for varieties.
- In cool and temperate regions plant in autumn for seedlings and late summer for seeds.
- In warmer and tropic regions plant in autumn for both seeds and seedlings.
- You will need something for them to climb up as a support for your plants. A fence with some wire or trellis is ideal.
- They will grow in partial to full fun, choose a sunny spot in the garden with at least six hours of sun a day.
Get the soil right to harvest a bumper crop of peas.
Follow our steps for easy soil preparation.
- Peas prefer a well-draining, fertile, sandy loam. They will tolerate most soils except heavy clay.
- Add plenty of compost and well-rotted manure to keep the soil friable. For a no-dig option, consider Seasol Liquid Compost.
- The PH of the soil should be 6.0 to 7.5. If it’s too low add a handful of lime to the soil.
- To boost the soil add Seasol Plant + Soil Booster and a fertiliser rich in potassium such as PowerFeed Controlled Release for Tomatoes & Vegetables.
- Water in well and if possible, let the soil rest for a week or so.
Step 1 – Sowing seeds.
- Seeds can be sown directly into the ground or seed trays and later transferred.
- Sow single seeds in soil, to a deep of 3-5cm, in rows 10cm apart.
- In trays put 1 seed in each single cell and slow to a depth of 3 cm.
- Water in well with a Seasol as it helps increase seed germination rates.
- Don’t water for a couple of days to avoid the seeds from rotting.
Note: These are not pea seeds, it’s just an illustration to show the process.
Step 2 – First growth.
- Seeds will start to emerge out of the soil within 7 to 30 days depending on temperature.
- Use a heating pad indoors for faster germination times.
- Check soil moisture daily, but don’t overwater. Apply Seasol weekly (mix 30mL of concentrate per 9 litres of water) to promote strong healthy growth
- When peas sprout, they only have two leaves. These are the seedling leaves that look like two fat hearts on either side of the stem.
Step 3 – Baby pea seedlings.
- About two weeks after the seed leaves have opened, the true pea leaves will appear.
- Thin out weaker seedlings so they are not competing for space and nutrients.
- Apply Seasol weekly to stimulate strong root growth.
- Pea seedlings need a lot of nutrients to produce a sweet crop so liquid feed with PowerFeed PRO SERIES for Tomatoes & Vegetables (Mix 20mL of concentrate per 9 litres of water).
Step 4 – Pea seedlings ready for transplant.
- Transplant your own seedlings when they areabout 10-15cm high or transplant seedlings from punnets you have purchased. Be careful with young shoots and roots as they can be easily damaged.
- Place support such as trellis or frames for young peas to climb on. Peas climb using shoots called tendrils that they use to wrap around anything they come into contact with. Insert short twigs besides seedlings to help guide them towards their frames.
- Continue to apply Seasol regularly every week to the young seedlings to get them over the transplant shock.
- Once a week feed your peas with a liquid fertiliser such as PowerFeed PRO SERIES for Tomatoes & Vegetables.
Step 5 – Pea plant growth.
- Watch as peas start to grow and wrap themselves around their supports, ensure there is enough support such as wire for the peas to hold onto.
- Pinch the tip growth out when the peas are around 20-30cm tall to ensure good branching and greater yields.
- Peas need a regular watering schedule to mature so ensure the soil is moisture but not too wet at all times.
- Apply a layer of mulch such as sugar cane mulch or pea straw to keep the soil warm and the moisture within the soil.
Step 6 – Pea flower growth.
- Peas are produced from flowers, so watch as the flowers turn into young peas as they grow downwards on the plant.
- Every 6-8 weeks apply another application of PowerFeed Controlled Release Tomatoes & Vegetables to produce a bumper crop.
- Additionally liquid feed peas weekly with a combination of Seasol and PowerFeed. For PowerFeed mix 50mL of concentrate per 9 litres of water (standard watering can).
Step 7 – Harvesting peas
- Harvest peas around 9-11 weeks after planting. This will ensure a continuous supply of young, sweet and tender peas.
- Plant more seedlings 3 to 4 weeks apart to ensure a crop through the season.
- For snow peas, harvest once the pods are a good size.
- For green peas, harvest as soon as they are pump, don’t wait too long or they will become dry and bitter.
- Store in the fridge to ensure the peas stay crisp until they are ready to be eaten.
Things to watch out for.
- Overwatering is a big issue with peas, ensure the soil is moist but they don’t handle overwatering. In the early stages it can lead to root rot.
- Powdery mildew, a fungal disease, is a big problem for peas. Ensure watering is done early morning to ensure the leaves dry out before the cool of the night. Remove any damaged leaves as they appear.
- Birds love to eat tender young peas, so try some bird netting over young pea plants to protect them.