Let's share PEA growing techniques and experiences!
Peas are one of the earliest spring planted vegetable for my area. They seem easy enough to grow, but you can run into some problems.
First rule I learned is that if you plant them too late, they burn up in the heat before they can produce.
Back in the 80's and 90's when I used to get the Organic Gardening magazine, the managing editor who lived in Pennsylvania said to sow them on St. Patrick's Day. Since NJ is close, I tried that, but had varying results. One that I didn't realize is it takes 3 weeks for them to sprout outside in the garden when sown that early. Pea seeds sown later in March sprouted almost at the same time since the ground and sun/air was warmer... And when we had a heatwave (hot enough to need air conditioning and lasting for a week) in late April, the peas shut down.
So I have been trying to find ways to get them growing earlier somehow. Last year, I tried pre-germinating, then sowing directly outside in the garden. The pre-germinated seeds sprouted a week earlier than dry-sown seeds. This was relatively easy, and I had excellent results.
This year, just to see if I can/should push the envelope even further, I''ve sown the pre-germinated seeds in 2" mini soilblocks. (Green Arrow, Knight, Marrowfat, Golden Sweet Snow, Mammoth Melting Sugar)
We've had some 20's and low 20's since the pea seeds were sown in the soil blocks. They've mostly spent the interim in the unheated, unlit part of the garage -- as low as low 30's mostly 40's to 50's, with occasional outing on the patio as I could manage.
They've started to sprout and after tonight in low 30's we're looking at 60's high and 40's low so I'm going to leave them outside so they can get some sun. (sorry a little hard to see, but the wire shelves are taped on -- I need to protect them from the tree rats -- both feathered (grackles and blackbirds) and tailed (squirrels) as well as chipmunks.)
The TP tube trial with leftover peas that were kept in the house upper to low 60's are spindly but further along.
Since the soilblock peas are sprouting and hopefully planted very soon, I put some more to soak. These are
Sugar Sprint, Carouby de Maussane, and Blauschokker Alauws Blue (one bag of very old original seeds and one bag of saved seeds). Also soaking and pre-germinating Fava beans in this sprouter:
...I'm still working out the kinks on how to grow FALL peas in my garden -- I would love to be able to get a big harvest of green peas in the fall to freeze for the winter..