Tips for Growing the Best Peas
by Sandy Swegel
Two friends each planted a pack of peas back in March and lovingly watered and tended them while I watched.
One garden produced 5 glorious pounds of pea pods and made the gardener, a cook, very happy. The other garden grew 12 spindly plants that have put out about 10 pea pods…and made the gardener very happy because they were her first ever peas.
Here’s what I learned about peas this year…
Soil does make a difference.
Both gardens had soil heavy with clay. One garden was double dug and amended with natural fertilizer and compost last year while the other just had the grass weeds removed. It’s true that peas improve the soil but if your soil is terrible to start with, you aren’t going to get many peas this year.
It’s OK if you forget to thin.
The prolific pea patch was never thinned and the whole packet of seeds went into one area. Turned out OK. More water was needed and careful trellising but all those crowded peas produced more than if they had been thinned.
The more you pick, the more new peas grow.
We kept the big pea patch well picked and those plants kept pumping out more. Those plants worked hard for their keep.
Of course, the most obvious lesson is that how many pounds of peas you get isn’t as important as how happy your garden makes you.