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Ease of Growing [Scale 1-5] - 1 (Easy)

How Time Consuming

Very little time needed apart from watering at pertinent times and providing support when seedlings are 10cm (4” high) with pea sticks or netting for the tendrils to attach to.

Recommended Varieties

  • Douce Provence – Early variety, can be sown in Autumn as an over-wintering variety, or sown from Feb under protection for an early crop.  Virtually no support.
  • Ambassador AGM – Second early-main crop variety.  Sow between March – July harvested 10 weeks later.  Resistant to powdery mildew.  Semi leafless for easy picking of pods! 
  • Rondo – Main crop variety.  Long green pods, each pod contains approx. 10 peas and taste superb.  Great to sow in Spring maturing in 60 days.  High yielding variety.  

Home Grown Vs Supermarket

Peas are best eaten as fresh as possible because as soon as they are picked the sugars start turning to starch – we’ve all had, large, dry peas from the supermarket haven’t we!

Best Sites and Soils

Peas like rich, moisture retentive soil and will benefit from soil that has been enriched with well-rotted manure.  Peas dislike hot weather and do not need to be planted in full sun.

When to sow

Sow from Mar-Jul under cover in modules. By carefully selecting different varieties and successional sowing it is possible to enjoy peas from early summer to early autumn.
Distance between rows - Sow in double rows 30cm/12” apart.
Distance between plants - 15cm/6” apart

When to harvest

Harvest the peas when they still have room to swell, not at bursting point.  They will be much sweeter than if you leave them to get bigger. 

Problems to look out for:

Birds and mice will be keen to tuck into your young pea plants.  At Stephanie's Kitchen Garden we surround the crop with a fence of chicken wire to prevent pests from gaining access.

Meet the Author: Jo Blackwell
Jo  Blackwell

Jo Blackwell is new on the Harrod Horticultural block and has recently taken over her post as Horticultural Advisor and Kitchen Gardener in Stephanie's Kitchen Garden. She caught the gardening bug when she bought her first home 18 years ago.  Her first greenhouse soon followed and she later gained an allotment, where she grows her own organic fruit and vegetables.


Further Information

Watering / Feeding - Once the young plants are growing don’t water too much until flowering time and again when the fruits are swelling. If you do you will have lots of leaves and few flowers.  Mulch after watering to retain as much water in the soil as possible.


Guide to sowing and planting - Sow directly into Rootrainers or in lengths of guttering. Never sow directly outdoors into cold wet soil.  If you want to sow outdoors warm the soil first with fleece.  Peas can be planted out when 10cm/4” high under netting for protection.


Problems to look out for

You will have to be on your toes here as lots of pests enjoy the peas too!
Pea moth caterpillars can burrow inside the pea pods and devour the crop, damage is worst in mid-summer – attacks can be prevented by sowing either early or late crops but can be grown under cover in the greenhouse.  If you sow outside in early spring cover the crop with fleece at the beginning of summer to prevent the moth from laying eggs. Alternatively start plants off under cover.  To keep birds off, protect young plants with chicken wire or netting.  Once the plants are growing the birds should not be a problem.
Mice can cause damage to young seedlings too either in the greenhouse or outside –try these humane traps.


How to harvest by type

Harvest regularly to encourage more flowers to form and hence more peas.  Remove any peas past their prime so all energy goes into producing more peas.
After harvest has finished cut off the stems at ground level this will allow the roots to rot down releasing nitrogen into the soil for next year.


Eat immediately or freeze them.

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