We all love to eat fresh picked peas. They are a cool season crop that grow and mature quickly. This vegetable is easy to grow and a joy to eat. There are two types: shelling and edible pods.

The shelling variety is where you open the pod and eat the green peas from inside. A snow variety have flat edible pods and are used in salads and stir fry recipes. The snap variety fills out like a shelling variety however unlike the shelling variety the pod is edible.

Botanical Family - Papilionaceae/Pea & Bean Family

Location - Enjoys moderate temperatures and will thrive in partial shade.

Soil - Light, rich, sandy with pH 6. Will tolerate moderate amount of acidity, but the soil should not be over rich in nitrogen.

Soil Preparation - Dig 3 inches of compost or aged manure before planting.

Info for planting peas:

Seed Info -

  • Seed Spacing - 2 inches apart 1-2 inches deep
  • Germinate in soil temperature of 5 – 23 C
  • Days to Maturity - 100-120 days

Planting Times - Direct seed early in spring as soon as soil is worked. Try planting between July and mid August for a fall crop.

Planting Instruction - Dig a row with the end of your hoe or shovel and drop the peas in. Cover them with soil and pat down the soil.

Companion Planting

  • Positive effect: carrot, corn, cucumber, eggplant, lettuce, radish, spinach
  • Negative effect: tomato, turnip

Watering - This vegetable suffers most from heat and drought. They require regular watering.

Weeding - Keep weeded while plants are young.

Disease & Insects - Use crop rotation.

Harvest - Shelling: pick full pods every second day to keep plants producing. Snow: pick when flat pods are 3 inch long. Snap: pick when pods are full.

Storage - Can be stored in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to a week.


Spring Peas & Cooked Lettuce        

1 small head lettuce

2 tablespoon green onions, chopped

1 teaspoon butter

1 cup fresh or frozen peas

Salt to taste

Pepper to taste 

Cut the lettuce into small strips to make 3/4 cup, packed. (Save the remainder for another use.)   Sauté the onions and lettuce in the butter over medium-high heat for 1 minute. Add the peas, salt and pepper; stir. Cover the skillet. Cook until heated through, about 2 minutes. Yield: 2 servings

Return to Vegetable List 

Return to homepage