Growing spring peas – How to grow a spring pea variety

If you are eager to try the first products in your garden, an early spring pea variety could be the answer to your wishes. What are spring peas? These tasty legumes germinate when temperatures are still cool and grow quickly, producing pods in as little as 57 days. Late summer is also a good time to grow spring peas, provided they are grown in a cool place.

What are spring peas?

The spring pea variety is a shelling pea. There are several other types of peas that are early growers, but only this cultivar is called spring pea. By all indications, this is one of the sweetest pea varieties available. It is an easy to grow, low maintenance plant that offers a lot of flavour and yield.

Spring pea is a medium sized variety with heart-shaped leaves and classic legume flowers. The mature plants will be 20 cm wide and 51 cm wide. The pods are 3 cm (7.6 cm) long and can hold 6 to 7 fat peas. This heritage variety is open pollinated.

It is preferable to sow peas directly, either 2 to 4 weeks before the last frost, or in a cool, semi-shaded area in late summer for a fall harvest. The spring pea crop is resistant to USDA zones 3 to 9.

Growing spring peas

Peas prefer well-drained soils of average fertility. Sow the seeds directly in the prepared soil in full sunlight. Plant the seeds on ½ at a depth of 1.2 cm and at a distance of 2 cm, in rows of 6 cm (15 cm). Seedlings should emerge in 7 to 14 days. Dilute them at 15 cm (6 cm) distance.

Keep pea plants moderately moist and control weeds as they appear. Protect seedlings from insects with a floating row cover. They should also be protected from slugs and snails. Aerial spraying can cause powdery mildew in some hot, humid areas. Spraying under the leaves can help prevent this disease.

The spring pea crop is at its best when eaten fresh. The pods should be large, round, green and have some shine in the pod. If the pod forms lumps, the pea is too old and will not taste good. Fresh peas are good, but sometimes you have to eat too many at a time. That’s good, because peas freeze very well. Shred the peas, blanch them lightly, put them in cold water and freeze them in ziplock freezer bags. The taste of «spring» will keep in your freezer for up to 9 months.

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