Peas, Sugar Snap Peas and Snow Peas
Frozen and canned peas don't contain nearly as many nutrients as fresh peas nor do they taste as good so peas are a great vegetable to grow in your garden.
Sow seeds directly in the ground where they are to be grown.
- Mid - late summer in sub arctic areas
- Spring and late summer in areas with cold winters
- Mid - late winter and early autumn in cool areas too
- Ensure that the plants will not be in flower when its frosty - the plants are frost tolerant but the flowers aren't
- Autumn - winter in warmer areas
Germination tip: plant your seeds into moist soil and don't water them until sprouts appear otherwise the seeds may rot.
Peas are frost tolerant veggies that will actually grow (very slowly) over winter if your winters aren't too cold. If your winters are very cold, they'll stop growing but they should survive the winter to start growing again in spring. This means that in most areas, you can sow pea seeds in early to mid autumn (and late summer if you have a very short autumn), they will germinate and start to grow and then even if they stop growing completely in winter, they'll start growing normally again when the weather warms up and you'll be harvesting peas well before you can harvest from spring sown plants. Pea shoots are edible too so if your plants are growing through winter, you can harvest the growing tips and add them to salads and stir fries - they have a lovely fresh pea flavour.
Peas can be harvested between 12 and 16 weeks after germination. Climbing peas tend to take a little longer to reach maturity than dwarf peas.
All peas can be eaten raw and sugar snap and snow varieties can be eaten without shelling (make sure you pick them before they become plump). They are also lovely boiled or steamed. Snow peas are used a lot in stir-fries.
Peas are a good source of the vitamins A, B1 and C. They also contain lots of fibre and are a good source of folic acid and protein. Peas, like all legumes, contain plant hormones.