How to Grow Peas


  • Sowing Instructions (Indoors)
  • How to Transplant
  • Sowing Instructions (Outside)
  • Crop Maintenance & How to Support
  • How to Harvest
  • Storage
  • Pests & Diseases

Sowing Instructions (Indoors)

  • Sowing time
    • Earlies - Sow February to March
    • Maincrop - Sow April to May
  • Seeds can be sown successionally for a continual harvest
  • Peas can be started indoors & transplanted out
  • Peas can firstly be germinated in tissue or a cloth. To do so, soak tissue in water and place seeds inside, cover seeds with damp tissue and store in a warm and dark place
  • Do not let seeds or tissue / cloth to dry out

How to Transplant

  • After one week the seed should have germinated & will be ready for sowing outdoors
  • In milder areas some pea varieties can be sown in October and over wintered for an early summer harvest
  • When soil temperature begins to feel warm to the touch
  • Prepare soil prior to transplanting
  • Handle seedlings carefully
  • Space seedlings 10cm apart
  • With rows 60cm apart
  • Plant deep, firming in soil & water in well

Sowing Instructions (Outdoors)

  • Earlies - Sow February to March
  • Maincrop - Sow April to May
  • Smooth skin peas are hardier & can be sown out early
  • Wrinkely skinned peas are more tender & sweeter tasting. Sow out once weather is warm
  • Over wintered & early sown peas should be protected using a garden cloche
  • To sow: Lightly rake growing area & then prepare drills
  • Create a drill 5cm deep and 60cm wide
  • Sow peas in drill in double rows, alternating sowing positions
  • Space seeds 10cm apart
  • Lightly press seeds into the base of this drill
  • Close drill with soil, water well and label
  • Distance between drills should equal the height of plant

Crop Maintenance & How to Support

  • Keep moist
  • Keep rows well weeded
  • A sunny site or partial shade is suitable
  • Note that taller pea plants (main crop) will cast a shade on the north side of the vegetable garden
  • Choose a well cultivated, medium soil
  • Avoid soil that waterlogs or dries out too easily
  • Peas prefer neutral to slightly alkaline soil
  • Dig and manure your soil the previous season if possible
  • Before sowing it is recommended that you add a general fertiliser such as growmore or poultry manure

Supporting Growing Peas

  • Peas vary in height with the main crop varieties being the largest
  • To support peas you can use bamboo canes with bamboo connectors or wigwam frame supports
  • Once the pea plants have reached 10cm in height the supports should be set up
  • Alternatively allow peas to climb up wire netting which has been secured to timber posts


  • Time to harvest varies for different peas
  • Earlies are ready to harvest after 12 weeks
  • Second Earlies (such as jaguar) are ready to harvest after 14 weeks
  • Main crops (such as Alderman) are ready to harvest after 16 weeks
  • This can vary depending on weather conditions
  • Remember that pods are ready for picking once they are almost full
  • Its best to harvest from the bottom of the stem working upwards
  • Harvest every few days
  • Regular picking will encourage new growth


  • For short term storage place in your fridge
  • Longer term storage you can simply keep in the freezer
  • Boil peas for 90 second and allow to cool and dry before freezing

Pests & Disease

  • Bird attack is the main problem for pea growers
  • Birds will pull up young seedlings, root and all
  • Slug damage to young seedlings can occur
  • Use a garden cover net to protect your crop
  • Other pests and diseases include pea and bean seed fly, pea thirps, leaf & pod spot

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