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applestar
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Is there more than one way to grow PEAS?

Let's share PEA growing techniques and experiences! :D

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. :D

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.)
image.jpg
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..
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jal_ut
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Re: Is there more than one way to grow PEAS?

Wando Peas show some heat resistance. They have been good here.

I plant 4 rows 10 inches apart. Plant 3 weeks before the last expected frost, in the garden right where they will grow.

Have fun!

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sweetiepie
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Re: Is there more than one way to grow PEAS?

I plant mine about May 15 here. Usually three different kinds, early, mid-season, and late so I have peas all summer. But being so far North, I don't have issues with them burning up. I have a little bit of shade that hits my garden and I usually plant them there, every three years in a rotation or on the shady side of the corn or sunflowers. I have found soaker hose works better for them to get more yield. I use the cloth, canvas soaker hose not the garden hose kind because they plug up on me.

Wishing you success!!

imafan26
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Re: Is there more than one way to grow PEAS?

I can plant mine earlier, but they have to be done by May. To extend the season, I have grown them in partial shade. Mildew is the problem of growing them in the rainy season.
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autonomousgardener
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Re: Is there more than one way to grow PEAS?

In NH I do the same, plant them early. Also the Tom Thumb variety is small enough that it doesn't need a trellis and for it's size is an excellent producer. It's perfect for nooks and small pots.

**Also I am starting to have self seeders pop up all over the place.

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skiingjeff
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Re: Is there more than one way to grow PEAS?

I'd like to start my peas earlier but since I start them directly in the garden I'm always waiting for the snow to depart and the soil to dry out some. :(

We plant them in rows and use twine runners from the ground up to a wooden trellis for them to grow on. They normally get to 5 feet plus in height.

Last year I was able to plant twice in early April and late April. Both plantings finally started producing in June so the early planting didn't really germinate until around the same time as the later planting.

I've been planting Oregon Sugar Pod II snow peas. The peas produced abundantly throughout the summer into the fall. I do normally plant them in a section of the garden that gets some more shade so that has helped them not to burn up. Because they lasted so long I didn't actually plant a fall crop. :)

The year before I planted them in a less shady spot and while they produced well, they didn't last as long. We're a little further North on the border of Zone 6a and 5 so that can also be a difference to your experience with the burn up issues.

This year I'm looking at planting probably at the end of April as the garden still has snow on it. Probably next week I'll go down there and see if I can shovel off the remaining snow/ice and get it started on drying out.

Love those peas though! :-()

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Jai_Ganesha
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Re: Is there more than one way to grow PEAS?

I'm in central Kentucky and I planted my peas on March 13th. Since then we've had temperatures as high as 80 and as low a 22. The peas are still small and not growing a bunch which happens in some years because there's not enough time where the temperature stays constant. If I don't have peas in 8 weeks (second week of May), I pull them up and put something else there.

I usually use inoculant, too, though, to be honest I don't know if it really works or not...
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imafan26
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Re: Is there more than one way to grow PEAS?

If you use an inoculant, you will know if it did any good by looking for nodules on the roots. But, that being said, you have to have the right kind of inoculant and some legumes respond better than others.
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applestar
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Re: Is there more than one way to grow PEAS?

Subject: Applestar's 2015 Garden
applestar wrote:The peas I started inside back in March are ready to plant.

These are Mammoth Melting Sugar and Golden Sweet snow peas. You can see they are at just the right growth stage to transplant, with the roots having reached the outside of the soilblocks but not so far that they would be burrowing into each other.
Image

I have two more trays that are slightly less developed so I think I have a window of a few more days to plant them.
The roots of the later started -- soaked and pregerminating -- peas got too long to plant in the soilblocks because I couldn't get to them, so I direct sowed them in the garden and in the 11" deep x 36" long windowbox on the patio. They are just starting to poke up out of the soil now.
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feldon30
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Re: Is there more than one way to grow PEAS?

Oregon Sugar Pod II gave me snow pea harvests well into May in Houston. They're always slow to start, but they give several waves of fantastic crops.
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Gary350
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Re: Is there more than one way to grow PEAS?

What works best for me is, 1st of September sprinkle 100s of seeds in a 12" wide row 25 foot long. Rake the peas into the soil just enough to cover them so they grow. Collect sticks that fall out of your trees and stick them in the pea row for the peas to climb on. About November peas are ready to harvest.

Fourspot
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Re: Is there more than one way to grow PEAS?

I usually plant peas by late March. But I got desperate this year with all the snow still on the ground in March. I started peas in peat pots and planted them out two weeks ago. Wasn't able separate the peat pots and had put them into the ground as well. Just reminded me of how much I don't like these things. The soil blocks seems like a really good alternative.

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applestar
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Re: Is there more than one way to grow PEAS?

Got almost all my pea seedlings in the ground now. I direct sowed some pre-germinated Oregan
Sugar Pod II today. One large area I had intended to plant-sow peas turned into mud bed due to heavy rains since Sunday night -- it was too squishy to even consider walking in -- so I may not get to plant peas there at this point.
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Gary350
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Re: Is there more than one way to grow PEAS?

My grandmother always planted her peas in the snow. She would wait for what she thought was the last snow of the season and sprinkle peas in the snow. It is easy to see where all the peas are in the snow. She sprinkled seeds along a fence, lots of seeds about a foot of so wide. When the weather turnes nice the peas come up.

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jal_ut
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Re: Is there more than one way to grow PEAS?

I planted Wando peas today. I used the Earthway Seeder. Three rows ten inches apart out in the garden where they will grow. I never trellis peas. Just let them come up and do their thing.
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imafan26
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Re: Is there more than one way to grow PEAS?

I grow Oregon sugar pod. I can plant them October-March. During the summer I haven't tried them, I usually don't have room because I usually double them up on the tomato or bean trellis.
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evtubbergh
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Re: Is there more than one way to grow PEAS?

That's weird I just started my peas too! They grow all winter long in the sun :) From late spring into summer is just way too hot.

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