Growing Peas in Raised Beds -What You Need to Know! The third type of plant crop you should add to your repertoire is peas. They’re not just a boring vegetable – there’s many varieties of peas, too – including those used in international cooking. The kind that is most sought after may depend on your region you live in. Where I come from, field and black eyed peas are always a classic.
Growing peas takes me back – I remember visiting my grandparents over the summertime and they would always be shelling peas. Some people might think that’s boring and lame, but I always found it relaxing. Some shells would break open easily and some would be tougher. We had one large bowl for the shells and one for the peas.
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Then we would sort through the peas to make sure none of them had dark spots on them. Good times, right? Almost sounds idyllic by today’s standards. I have always been a fan of crowders, field and white acre peas. I used to get them from the frozen food section, now look at me, I’m growing my own!
Different Type of Peas
Now let’s look at the different types of peas you should be thinking about. Field Peas as I mentioned earlier are great if you like soul food. Where I come from, we love them with tabasco sauce and /or ham pieces in the mix. They also include black-eyes and purple hull.
Speaking of black-eyes, we planted some of those recently. Just to experiment, we saved some remaining dried peas (I think they were left from New Year’s Day cooking) to plant come spring, just to see how they might perform. Don’t think you always have to have seeds directly from the store…when you chop up veggies keep the seeds. Some may sprout, some won’t. Just don’t be afraid to try!
Zipper Peas, which we got from a local store from a quaint town in North Georgia, are the other kind we’ve been planting. They are in the field category and get their name from the string on the hulls that can be pulled down just like a zipper easily. They are white in color and taste great when matured!
These are used in Asian cuisine, you may have even prepared them yourself, you may recognize them by their flat shape and the fact that the pods are edible, too, unlike the others on here.They are used alongside watercress, bamboo shoots and water chestnuts in stir-fry dishes.
Peas , most of them, have certain things in common. Many of them will produce vines, or at least semi vines…meaning you’ll have to train them as they develop, and be sure to use trellisis for them to climb up on.
They are nitrogen rich, when you plant them they can add a nice boost to the soil and this could potentiate other crops as well if you have them.
They can withstand slight drops in temperatures if you plant them in early spring, they should be fine if the last cold snap occurs .We planted ours about the first week in April.
How to Plant Pea Seeds
For the best yield, you should soak your pea seeds overnight in water before planting. . Plant seeds about an inch deep in the soil and try to space them about 2″. We used the “:vertical” approach as the square foot approach isn’t necessary since you can get a lot of pea seeds in a smaller space. So even if you have smaller beds you should still be able to get a nice line going.
The soil should be most, for not too damp either, to minimize root rot – which makes them a good candidate for elevated beds.
This is about a month alter. As time goes by they will need to be getting a little support.
Now a month later you can see how far they have come along.See that nice little teeny sprout? That’s the debut.
The soil should be slightly acidic to neutral for best results, you can add things like grass clippings , straw, etc.
The average germination to harvest time for most peas is about 50-65 days. When they grow they begin to look more like this:
As you look at the pods/shells, you may notice that they are more green when they are still in the juvenile stage (field, garden, crowder,, etc.) and as time goes by they will gradually lighten in color. Snap and snow peas will retain their green color no matter the age.
Most pods are about 5-7″ in length when they are ready to be picked. They will also have a “creamy” color on the outside, and the pods themselves will “plumpen up”. The stems on pea plants are kind of tough so use a tool like shears to trim them off, don’t pull on them too much or you could disrupt the vines..
Here I am, for the first time in who knows how long, shelling peas…
They can produce pods though the fall season, although by then there may be a little of a dropoff by then in how many.
Hope you enjoyed reading and you found this enlightening. Let me know in the comments what type of peas you’re looking to plant in your raised bed and if you’ve had any experience, good or bad, I’d enjoy hearing it.