Growing your own Peas is super simple - plus, nothing beats a fresh, homegrown Pea straight from the garden!
Peas are one of the best cool-season crops for the home garden and can be grown with ease in all NZ climates.
If you are tight for space, our dwarf pea varieties are fantastic growing in hanging baskets (how good would it be having fresh peas hanging on the porch!?)
When to plant Pea seeds:
If your winters aren't too cold and frosty (for the likes of us Northland folk), you can plant pea seeds from autumn to spring, and down in the cooler climates, mid-winter through to Spring.
Pea growing guide:
- Find a spot in the garden with free draining soil. Free draining is essential, otherwise the seeds will rot.
- Peas like a slightly alkaline soil (6.5-7.5ph) so mixing in some lime or dolomite is helpful prior to planting. Work in some compost material if you have any, or some Blood and Bone (unless you have a hungry Labrador like we do... best if you skip this step!)
- Plant approximately 3cm deep, 8cm apart. Ideally plant them in rows, with spacing of 40-50cm.
- Seeds sown in damp soil shouldn't need any further watering until the seedlings start to emerge. Too much moisture especially in the first day or 2 after sowing may do more harm than good.
- Peas need moisture to thrive. If you're lucky enough to be getting plenty of sun through their growth, make sure you water regularly (particularly when the first flowers appear, and again when the young pods start to form)
- When the seedlings are a few centimetres high, “hill the soil” against the row of plants to give more support.
If you have plenty of space peas can be grown on the ground, or with supporting structures such as trellis, netting, trained along fences or by placing a stake at the end of the rows and running string between the stakes.
Harvest peas when young and tender and they are just filling the pods (depending on the variety, this could be anywhere from 65 days to 100 days from sowing)
Pick every 2 or 3 days - Regular harvest promotes flowering. More flowers = more pea production. Get your eye in for harvesting the perfect pea by sampling a few as you go (try to save some for the dinner plate though!). Its a tough job, but someones gotta do it.
If they taste a little floury and tough, it means they’ve been on the vine a day or so too long. Use any that are a little old in stews and soups... yum!