Connecticut Garden Journal: Time To Plant Peas | Connecticut Public Radio

Connecticut Garden Journal: Time To Plant Peas

Apr 9, 2020

With the Coronavirus keeping many of us at home, it's time to focus on the vegetable garden. Now is a perfect time to start planting and it all begins with peas. Peas have been eaten for thousands of years but mostly as a dried vegetable. It wasn't until King Louis 14th that royalty started eating fresh garden peas. Commoners have been eating them only for a few hundred years.

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Fresh garden peas are a treat. Usually not found in grocery stores, the only way to really enjoy these tasty delights is by growing them yourself. Plant shelling peas, flat podded snow peas or edible podded peas. Tall varieties, such as 'Super Sugar Snap' and 'Tall Telephone' require a 6-foot tall fence for climbing. Shorter varieties, such as 'Sugar Daddy' and 'Sprint', only need a twig or low wire fence. Also, try unusual colored varieties, such as 'Golden Sweet' and the purple colored 'Royal Snap'. These also have attractive pink or purple colored flowers.

Peas are easy to grow. They need cool conditions, so the time to plant is when daffodils are blooming and the soil has dried out. Create a raised bed, making two rows on top of the bed. Based on the variety you're growing, erect wire or twig fence between the rows. Soak seeds overnight in warm water and plant the next day. Peas can make their own nitrogen from the air with the help of soil bacteria so don't need fertilizing. If birds, chipmunks, or squirrels dig up your peas, cover the soil with a floating row cover or chicken wire to deter them.