We have really been enjoying our peas this year. With the cooler spring weather we were having they grew well and have been generous in their production. I seldom grow the shelled peas but prefer the sugar pod types and snow peas where we eat pod and all.
Peas are a cold season crop and are easy to grow. They are best started 4 to 6 weeks before your last frost date or 10 weeks before your first frost. They prefer a sunny location in soil rich in organic matter but don’t overdo the fertilizer or manure. Peas make there own nitrogen and do not require extra fertilizers. Seeds can be planted directly into the garden.
Give your peas an adequate amount of water. Too much water before the plants flower will produce lower yields and too little water when the pods are developing will reduce the quality and quantity of your harvest.
Your peas will grow long vines so you will have to supply some sort of support for this growth. You can grow them on a fence, erect a trellis or use pea netting or strings between supports.
Once the summer heat pours on your peas will quickly fade out. They really cannot tolerate heat. Be sure to get your harvest in on a regular basis so the peas or pods don’t become too large and tough. Pick your peas everyday, a day too long on the vine and they will loose their sweetness and flavor because the sugar in them turns to starch. Peas will generally produce from the ground up.
Pick your peas just before cooking as once picked that sugar starts turning to starch. Otherwise place them in the fridge or freeze them. We like them just quickly sauteed in butter or olive oil with a bit of added goats cheese. They are also delicious raw, naked or dipped.
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