© 2024 Connecticut Public

FCC Public Inspection Files:
WPKT · WRLI-FM · WEDW-FM · Public Files Contact
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Connecticut Garden Journal: For the freshest peas, grow your own

A close up shot of a bowl of hand picked peas
Ben Monk
Truly fresh peas are rarely found in grocery stores; you'll have better luck at farmer's markets. But, for the freshest peas, it's best to grow your own. Luckily, growing peas is easy, if you follow a few guidelines.

One of the joys of growing your own vegetables is fresh garden peas. Fresh peas are rarely found in grocery stores, so it's best to grow your own. Luckily, growing peas is easy, if you follow a few guidelines.

It's best to sow peas in the ground while it's still cool. They like to mature early to avoid the summer heat. Once the ground has dried out and temperatures are above freezing, sow pea seeds in two rows separated by a trellis or fence. We grow ours in raised beds. The soil dries out and warms up faster so we get better seed germination.

Another consideration is varieties. Garden peas are either shelling types, such as 'Tall Telephone', snow peas, such as 'Oregon Giant', and snap peas, such as 'Sugar Snap'. The big revolution in peas is different colored types. You can now plant yellow podded or purple podded snow peas, such as 'Golden Sweet' and 'Royal Snow'. And you can plant golden snap peas, such as 'Honey Snap II' and purple types, such as 'Royal Snap'. This adds a whole new color range to these tasty treats.

Before seeding, soak seeds in warm water overnight to hasten germination. The killer of pea seeds is cold, heavy soil, so the faster the germination, the better. Consider planting lettuce or other greens around the pea rows. Peas are legumes and fix atmospheric nitrogen into a form other plants can use. The lettuce benefits from being a pea companion. After harvest, chop up the plants, add compost and sow a fall crop such as kale, carrots and Swiss chard.

Charlie Nardozzi is a regional Emmy® Award winning garden writer, speaker, radio, and television personality. He has worked for more than 30 years bringing expert information to home gardeners.
Related Content