April 3, 2011

Advice for Growing Peas

By Richard Jauron
Iowa State University Scott County Extension

Suggested garden pea cultivars for home gardens in Iowa include ‘Little Marvel’ (early season, short vines), ‘Spring’ (early season, short vines), ‘Knight’ (early season, short vines), ‘Lincoln’ (mid to late season, very sweet), ‘Green Arrow’ (mid to late season, 24 to 28 inch vines) and ‘Wando’ (mid to late season, heat tolerant). ‘Oregon Giant’ (mid to late season, large pods), ‘Snowflake’ (late season, flat pods) and ‘Super Sugar Pod’ (late season, long vines) are excellent snow pea varieties, while ‘Sugar Ann’ (early season, short vines), ‘Sugar Bon’ (early season, short vines), ‘Sugar Sprint’ (early to mid-season, short vines), ‘Cascadia’ (mid-season, short vines) and ‘Super Snappy’ (mid-season, large pods) are good snap peas.

Peas are a cool season crop. They should be planted as soon as the ground can be worked in spring (late March or early April in central Iowa). Sow seeds 1 inch deep and 2 inches apart. Peas can be planted in single or double rows. Space double rows 6 inches apart. Double rows allow short varieties to cling and hold up one another. Place wire netting or a trellis between double rows of tall vining varieties to provide support. Single and double rows of short varieties should be spaced 2 feet apart. Space single and double rows of tall growing varieties 2 to 3 feet apart.

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