Peas are amongst the easiest crops you can grow from seed and are important vegetables for the veggie patch. Not only do they provide a rich source of protein in the diet, but they also manufacture their own nitrogen thanks to their association with a soil-dwelling bacteria. This means they should not require additional feeding with extra nitrogen whilst they are growing & producing fruit. Once the plants have finished cropping, do not dig up the plants. Cut them off at ground level and allow the roots to rot naturally. This allows nitrogen to be released back into the soil as the roots decompose. Legumes need a sunny position in a moisture-retentive soil. If your soil is acid or neutral it pays to lime it in the Autumn.
Peas are generally planted in the Autumn but they can also be planted in cooler regions, By following the packet instructions and growing different varieties you can have fresh pods to pick from May through Spring.
The easiest way to sow is to dig out a flat-bottomed trench with a spade 5cm deep and 15cm wide. Then sow the seeds evenly in the trench, in zigzag fashion, approximately 7.5cm apart, cover with soil and lightly firm down. If you need a second row sow this the expected height of the crop away.
Apart from dwarf varieties you will need to provide some supports for the plants to scramble up. One of the easiest and most natural supports is to insert twiggy branches alongside the plants when they're 7.5cm high. Pea netting is an alternative, but it's a nightmare to untangle the plants from it at the end of the growing season.
Early Crop Massey, Green Feast, Telephone, Dwarf Blue Bantam, Dwarf Sugar Snap, Kelvedon Wonder, Somerwood.
Pods are ready to harvest when they are well filled and the pod is still fresh and green and hasn’t started to dry out. Pick regularly or the plants will stop producing.