- Dr. Tara Tranguch
Grow Your Phytopharmacy: Peas
Tips & Tricks for Growing Peas
Peas are traditionally planted on St. Patrick's Day. Because of the risk of 2 feet of snow covering my garden and potentially brutal winds while working in the garden, I prefer to plant my peas mid to end of April. But then I risk being too late in the season. So here is my tip to having a successful pea planting:
SPROUT THE PEAS BEFORE YOU PLANT!
It takes approximately 4 days to sprout the peas in your kitchen. These 4 days set you ahead by about one month in the garden.
Steps to sprouting peas:
1. Soak peas overnight in a large bucket or bowl
Note that the peas will expand 2-3x their original size so be sure to cover the seed with plenty of water.
2. The next morning, drain peas in a large colander and rinse generously with water in the sink.
I cannot stress enough the importance of being GENEROUS with the water. Peas are thick and they will dry out easily. The biggest threat you have to not sprouting properly is the peas drying out. So really rinse those peas!
3. Place colander with peas over a large bowl and set on countertop out of direct sunlight.
The peas will drain excess water into the bowl as they come alive on your countertop. The second biggest threat you have to not sprouting properly is not draining the peas and they turn to mush.
4. In the evening, rinse generously with water again.
Then let the peas sit and drain on the countertop overnight. This concludes day 1.
5. On Day 2 you will rinse the peas in the AM and in the PM again - GENEROUSLY - and let them drain (and sprout) on the counter during the day and overnight.
6. Repeat the same steps again on Day 3. Two daily rinses and draining on your countertop.
7. By Day 4, your peas will be ready to plant. They will have long white roots. If they do not, you can sprout them for another day.
But when they are ready to plant, you must plant them immediately. If you let them sprout for too long, the stem will start to emerge and you want that part to happen when the peas are planted underground.
Benefits of sprouting peas before planting
By sprouting the peas before you plant them, you reduce the weeks of the seeds germinating underground. Sprouting allows you to plant the seeds one month later than you normally would.
In addition, you ensure all the peas become plants as you won't lose any to the seeds drying out. You may still lose some seed to animals, but that is always a risk!
Watch my video about sprouting and planting peas for more tips and tricks. Happy planting!
A thick planting of seeds.
I planted very thickly this year as an experiment. My reasoning behind planting more seeds in the same amount of space is that pea seeds are big so they will naturally provide more space around them to the growing plant. This picture was taken 5 weeks after planting (the week before Memorial Day) and so far they are doing well. Fingers crossed!
Do you have any tips for planting and growing peas? Write and let me know!