Growing Green Peas


green peas
With their climbing vines, green peas are a lovely addition to your vegetable garden.

With green peas, it's true that good things come in small packages. In your garden, green peas are no small presence -- they grow in lovely climbing vines.

Unlike black-eyed peas, green peas are a cool-season crop that must mature before the weather gets hot. The ideal growing weather is moist with temperatures between 60 and 65 degrees Fahrenheit. Plant peas as soon as the soil can be worked in spring: about six weeks before the average date of last frost. Peas need good drainage in soil that is high in organic material. They produce earlier in sandy soil, but yield a heavier, later crop if grown in clayey soil. Plant peas directly in the garden 2 inches deep and 1 to 2 inches apart. Don't let the soil dry out; peas need ample moisture. Provide a three-foot-high trellis to support the vines.

Harvesting Green Peas

The time from planting to harvest is 55 to 80 days. Pick shelling peas when the pods are full and green, before the peas start to harden. Edible pod peas are grown the same way as sweet peas, but harvest the immature pods before the peas have developed to full size. Pods should be plump, but the individual peas should not be showing through the pod.

Types of Green Peas

Some varieties of green peas include pods that are edible and as delicious as the peas themselves.

We've listed the different varieties of green peas below.
  • Little Marvel, harvest at 63 days, has compact growth and produces dark green pods.
  • Wando, harvest at 68 days, is tolerant of heat.
  • Maestro, harvest at 61 days, is prolific, producing 9 to 12 peas per dark green pod.
  • Oregon Sugar Pod II, harvest at 68 days, produces a 41/2-inch edible snow pea.
  • Super Sugar Snap, harvest at 64 days, an All America Selection, is a 3-inch edible snap pea.
  • Snow Wind, harvest at 709 days, is a flat, edible pod variety that is disease resistant.
  • Paso, harvest at 55 days, is a 2-inch dwarf with high yields of baby shelling peas.
Learn how to select green peas in the next section.

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